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The Book in Three Sentences
- Reading is a process of examination to understand information and make sense of the world.
- Learners who raise their own questions are personally interacting with new ideas and using questions to try to make sense of what they are encountering.
- Comprehension happens when readers actively create meaning; they do not passively receive it.
Golden Lines (description and free resource) - These are some of my favorite lines from the book along with my reaction.
"Yet if we consider reading in its broader meaning, we realize that reading is a process that involves strategic examination of some form of information to achieve an understanding. We read to make sense of what we are observing. Making sense—of human interactions, of weather patterns, of competitor’s moves, of facial expressions, and of course, of written language—is the purpose of reading." (Doug Buehl, Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning)
Reading is a lifelong skill that can help individuals succeed in both personal and professional contexts. By improving their reading skills, individuals can gain access to new information and ideas, expand their worldview, and enhance their critical thinking skills. These skills will help students navigate ever-increasing information overload.
"Rather than “leaning back” to receive information, learners who raise their own questions are personally interacting with new ideas and using questions to try to make sense of what they are encountering." (Doug Buehl, Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning*)
Curiosity is like a muscle that must be exercised regularly to stay strong. A good rule of thumb is to include student-generated questions as a part of each lesson, which not only deepens understanding and sparks discussion but also cultivates a sense of ownership over the learning process. By encouraging students to ask their own questions and seek answers, you can foster a love of learning that extends far beyond a student’s formal education.
"Instructional activities that stimulate student imaginations help them picture in their mind’s eye what an author represents in written language." (Doug Buehl, Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning)
Mind maps and sketch notes are valuable tools to help students visualize complex concepts and connect them to prior knowledge. By creating these visual representations, students strengthen their understanding, improve their retention, and improve their overall learning experience.
"Comprehension happens when readers actively create meaning; they do not passively receive it." (Doug Buehl, Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning)
Students need to “do something” when they are reading to maintain engagement and stretch their thinking. The same holds true for using videos and lectures to instruct. To fully engage students in learning, teachers need to design instructional activities that require students to actively engage with the material. This is why guided notes and interactive study guides are effective.
"When teachers believe their students are not capable of independently handling reading assignments, they frequently downplay the role of reading in their curriculum. Teacher presentations, hands-on activities, and other media replace written texts in classroom learning. Although all these methods of instruction have value, when students no longer read even average and above-average students fall behind in their development." (Doug Buehl, Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning*)
After reading this book, I had to pause and reflect on how much time my students spend reading during the school day. There are so many activities that occur during a school day that do not involve reading or writing. The only way for students to improve their reading and writing skills is by practicing them. The students that are struggling need to practice even more.
Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning* by Doug Buehl is a practical guide to assist teachers in creating engaging and effective learning experiences for their students. Buehl emphasizes active engagement with the material and encourages curiosity. He offers strategies to help students develop critical thinking and comprehension skills that will be useful beyond the classroom. This book is a helpful resource for any teacher looking to improve instructional practices and promote student success. I have found the interactive reading guides are a great strategy to use with my science and social studies students.