A good reader is consciously or unconsciously always using these strategies while reading. Well, to be more precise, while learning, these strategies are consciously used, but once a person keeps reading using these strategies, it becomes an automated process.
These strategies have proved beneficial in more than one way in the classes I teach. My students now read for enjoyment. I now have to reprimand them for reading in the class during instruction time. A couple of favourites books of most of my students are the Harry Potter series, all books of Geronimo Stilton, books by Roald Dahl among others. But to tell you the truth, most of them were not so fond of reading until we started using the reading strategies.
Once, they knew how to use them, they went back to the books they had read as a chore for class discussions and admitted to wanting the books to never end, or in the words of one of my students, “I so wanted to go inside the book and be a part of that world.”
But how did that happen? Have you ever read any book and felt the camera or your mind gets switched on, only for you to be able to visualise everything as if you were there? Well, then you are probably using one of the strategies above.
These strategies have multiple uses. I have recently been using them with my grade 5 students to help them decode texts they would otherwise have found tough. Like most things in a text can be understood if we visualize and make connections with things we know about. But, if one isn’t able to still decode the text, then probably you need to start with first choosing the ‘just right’ text for yourself. Here’s a recent blogpost on that. Keep practising with books that are not too challenging and then you might get good at reading any text easily and taking back more than you have been from your reading experience.
However, more on that later!
Till then, start where you are!
Keep learning, keep growing.