Thursday, August 20, 2015

Deep Reading: What's Your Approach?

I've got a meaty document to read and understand today.

The overview made me realize that this document has a lot of language and ideas that I've been looking for.

I don't want to give it just a quick overview, instead I want to read it with depth so that the words, facts, and phrases stay with me.

How do you read deeply so that the information you read stays with you and impacts your work?

I use the following strategy.

First, I review the entire passage quickly and think, 'Why is this information important to me?" In this case, the information will make me a better teacher by providing me with pathways for better work and effort.

Next, I'll read the article with one window open and take notes with another window. I'll make a two-column chart in my note-taking window, and in one column I'll type significant ideas/research, and in the next column I'll write down how that will impact my work.

Once the reading is done, I'll synthesize the notes in a written document. Perhaps I'll blog or write a private piece. I'll file the document online in a way that I can refer to it readily when needed.

This is a good process for deep reading of online articles. If this was an offline book or article, I'd probably mark up the text, write notes in the margin, and still take notes in an advantageous way with an online document as well. I'd also finish by writing a synopsis that I can refer to. I've done this with most of the professional books I've read in the past few years, and I often look back at those posts to further inform my work and share.

Here's some of the book posts I've written about, posts that serve to influence my work with children well:

There are others, and there's still more by the bedside waiting for a good read. 

As I think of this deep reading approach, I'm reminded of the ways that we can authentically help students access text they're interested in, text that enriches their life and responds to their curiosity.