Be a Better Reader (Boost Your Grades in School) | Derek Zboran | Skillshare

Be a Better Reader (Boost Your Grades in School)

Derek Zboran

Be a Better Reader (Boost Your Grades in School)

Derek Zboran

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6 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The 2 Secrets of 'A' Student Reading

    • 3. The 3 Reading Strategies to Avoid

    • 4. Can SQ3R Make You a Better Reader?

    • 5. Easy 4 Step Reading Strategy

    • 6. Conclusion

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About This Class

As a full-time college student myself, I know that getting great grades in school requires good reading skills. "Be a Better Reader (Boost Your Grades in School)" is a class for struggling students attending high school or college. The purpose of the class is to help the student improve their learning (and grades) in school by showing them how to tackle their reading assignments more effectively. Students who are currently frustrated with grades that range from a 'C' to 'B' (or lower) will learn how to boost their grades by improving the way they approach their reading assignments.

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Derek Zboran


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1. Introduction: Hi, everybody. And welcome to the course. This is Derek Hair from how to get top grades dot com I'm so excited that you checked out this little course I put together. This is the second installment and to boost your grades in school Siri's that I'm making, especially for skill share students like you. In this brief class, you're going to learn how to become a better reader in school. Specifically, we're going to focus on how to refine and improve your reading strategy. As you will discover, your reading strategy plays a key role in how well you handle college level reading assignments. Okay, so there are some good reading strategies, and there are so many bad reading strategies. But when you get a good reading strategy, you cut out time wasted while reading. You increase the amount you learn when you read, and you get better grades on exams and papers. Who here doesn't want more of these things right. But when you have a bad strategy, you spend more time, and you should. I'm reading assignments. You learn less from what you read, and your grades are more likely to be disappointing. I think we can all agree that the less of these things we have, the better off. We are in pursuit of a better reading strategy will be discussing the two essential secrets of a student reading strategies. Three. Common yet ineffective reading strategies A Stone's always avoid the reading strategy called sq three R, and if it is as good as teachers say it is now, you may or may not be already familiar with sq three. R is simply a reading strategy often recommended by teachers for college students. Ah, and in that video I will explain what sq three r is, and I'll explain where it's useful. But I also point out where it might not be so helpful in certain circumstances and finally will cover the four easy steps to an a student reading strategy that rocks. That's going to be a really exciting lesson because they're all walk you through a no nonsense, four step system to a reading strategy that will work great for you. Okay, so I'm a pretty busy guy, and I'm currently in college myself. And if you were in school too, I know you're probably busy as well. I respect your time. So I've designed this class to be really quick. I've packed as much detail as I could into the brief amount of time we have together. So let's continue onward to the next video where we will discuss the two basics of effective college level reading. I look forward to seeing you in that next video. Thank you. 2. The 2 Secrets of 'A' Student Reading: straight A. Students may use different types of reading strategies, but the best strategies share two key characteristics. Thes air the two secrets that separate the kind of reading a student's dio from the kind of reading that less effective students do. Those two secrets are number one engaging in a specific kind of reading called Active reading and number two High Efficiency. The key thing to take note of before we move on is that any good reading strategy will help foster MAWR actor reading and better efficiency. In other words, a good reading strategy will help you to engage in active reading, and it will help boost your efficiency. The reason we need a reading strategy is to help us achieve these two simple criteria of a student reading. First, let's talk about what it means to be an active reader. Active reading is where your mind is engaged with the textbook journal, article, story or other reading material that you have been assigned to study. In fact, you may almost slipped into a state where it feels like you're having a conversation with the author through the words he or she wrote. When you're active reading, you're connecting with the ideas, concepts and terminology discussed in the reading. You are also focused. This focused feeling is a result of knowing what information to pay attention to, as well as how to connect and constructed genuine understanding of that information in your mind. Basically, active reading is the kind of reading that challenges your mind and causes it to think and grow is a kind of reading that an A student does and is the kind of reading we want to do as well. Active reading is the opposite of passive reading in college or high school. It's often tempting to read certain text books or journal articles in a passive way. But passive reading is bored, unfocused and ineffective. What this past of reading look like. Consider the following telltale signs. After reading a page, you can't remember anything you've just read. Your mind is unfocused and frequently drifts off while you read. No matter how often you re read pages, the material just doesn't seem to connect. And finally you feel like you are drowning in too much information, and it seems impossible to understand all of reading you are assigned. If these things sound familiar, fear not. When you learn how to develop a good reading strategy, you'll find yourself less prone to engage in passive reading and more likely to engage in active reading. We should also talk about efficiency. Efficiency is an important word, not just when you tackle reading assignments but really for any kind of studying or schoolwork you dio Efficiency refers to how well you invest your time and energy when working on a reading assignment. If you waste a lot of time and energy when you read, you work with low efficiency. If you invest just enough time and energy to complete your reading assignment at an a student level, then you are working with high efficiency because time and energy are limited. Resource is you should always strive to work with high efficiency when you tackle a reading assignment. The beauty of a good reading strategy is that it helps us achieve both criteria of a student reading active reading and efficiency. In other words, having a good reading strategy will help you maximize active reading and the high efficiency each time you work on a reading assignment. Bad reading strategies should always be avoided because they foster passive reading and make you less efficient when you read. By the end of this course, you will be equipped with a simple yet powerful four step system you can easily follow to help you customise a great reading strategy for any reading assignment you face in college . Passive reading can be a big problem for high school and college students. When students do fall operates, a passive rating is often because of three common yet highly ineffective reading strategies . We'll discuss what those bad strategies are and tips for avoiding them in the next video. 3. The 3 Reading Strategies to Avoid: in college and high school, you'll find that many students adopt reading strategies that facilitate the exact opposite of active rating in high efficiency. The reading strategies such students adopter characterized by passive reading in low efficiency, three common yet bad reading strategies are the psycho highlighter, the humble transcriber and the zombies. Gays. Let's start with the Psycho High later. This is the guy or gal who cracks open the textbook pops open a big, beautiful highlighter and proceeds to highlight the majority of text included on every single page. Each and every pages savaged with so many markings that the parts of the text, which aren't highlighted, actually stand out better in the parts that are students or resort to this strategy are often desperate. They want to try to capture all the relevant information as quickly as they can, but they want to do so without spending too much time taking notes. Now, as a personal manner being, somebody often rents textbooks or buys. Amused. I'm quite familiar with what evils cycle highlighter could do to a textbook, but the main reason to avoid the strategy is that you're not actively reading your text when you are simply highlighting all the words that could be important. Highlighting does not encode the material in your memory. It feels good to highlight. It passes. That seems important but doesn't really help you engage with the material in the way that active reading should. Additionally, the psycho highlighter frequently needs to re read material over and over again. This is not efficient. So always avoid the psycho highlighting strategy. Instead of being a psycho highlighter, highlight passages selectively or do not highlight it all. The key thing is to not fall into the trap of thinking that you are really engaging with the material simply when you highlight what seems important. Active reading requires much more than just a highlighter. Now we will discuss the humble transcribers strategy. This is the guy or gal who broadly sits down with a pen, paper and textbook and tries to copy down all the important information in the reading by hand. The unfortunate result of this is a cramped hand, a mild to severe headache, notes that are rarely ever finished, notes that are not useful for studying and ultimately reading that is still not understood . Simply copying information from your reading materials will get you nowhere. It's just another form of passive reading. The fact that ah, highly laborers form of passive reading does not mean that is more effective than the other , less labour sense of forms of pastor. Reading such a psycho highlighting as a general, Tep tried to be selective. When you take notes from your reading, do not simply copy portions of your textbook but instead tried to rephrase the information briefly. In your own words, this can be difficult. And if you have found it difficult in the past, if you're not, when you watch the lesson this course about the four steps to a winning reading strategy, you'll find this step is much more doable than you may think it is. Now, finally, we'll talk about the zombies gays. This one describes the guy or gal who sits down, opens their text and then proceeds to gaze at the words with their eyes while their mind starts to think about other things. What's for dinner tonight? The argument they had yesterday the party they're going to on Friday. Students like this are not applying their mind to the reading assignment and therefore cannot stay focused when they read, they often finished a reading assignment with little clue about what they had. Just read this trade. This strategy is rarely as deliberate as the other two we just described. Students rarely try to distract, to distract themselves on purpose in the sense that they want to be distracted. It's something that happens more naturally, is a natural consequence of passive reading. Your unfocused mine can't relate to the material you're trying to study, so it thinks about other things. Thankfully, you can easily beat this college reading culprit. Simply work in short focus bursts. Use a timer. Tell pace you're reading sessions, read intensely for a given period of time. 30 minutes, for example. Then take a short break after your short break. Return again with focus and intensity. If you practice this, you will find your attention drifting less unless when you sit down to read. Also, you'll find yourself learning a whole lot more now that we have discussed the three passive reading strategies and some tips for avoiding them will move on and talk about sq three R The reading strategy that many teachers recommend in that upcoming video. We looks for some of the pros and kinds with that particular approach to reading. Elsie is there 4. Can SQ3R Make You a Better Reader?: Now that we've talked about some of the bad reading strategies, let's talk about a very popular reading strategy, often portrayed as a cure for passive reading and inefficiency. It's called sq three R. In this video, I'll explain what sq three r is and talk about how it should be used. Sq three r is simply an acronym that represents a systemized approach to reading. It's a system you can use to approach your reading assignments. The S Stands for survey The Q stands for Question two. Number three indicates that there are three R's and those three R's are read, recite and review. Now there are lots of little variations of sq three R, But quickly, let's just try to get a good basic overview of how sq three R works the s stands for survey . Serving your reading assignment is the first step you take when you use sq three R. This step is where you become familiar with the topic you'll be reading about and how the author discusses that topic. At this stage, you're simply trying to get a bird's eye view of what you're supposed to be reading. For example, let's say you're going to survey a chapter of your textbook. You're going to scan the introduction in the conclusion you're going to review the subheadings in the chapter. You're going to look for ending visuals included, such as graphs, pictures or diagrams, and you're going to scan any written captions. You're also going to check the end of the chapter for review questions, key term lis and critical thinking questions. Basically, when you survey a reading assignment, you're going to develop a good familiarity with the ideas you'll be reading about and how those ideas are communicated and discussed by the author. When you use the sq three arm reading method, you never simply start reading. You prepare for your reading by trying to get a feel for what the key ideas are. The second step in the sq three R system is questioning here. You're going to ask important questions about the information in your reading assignment. One of the best ways to do this is to look at the subheadings in your text, which are often written as statements or phrases, and try to turn those into questions. So, in a textbook about American history, a subhead you might encounter would be the causes of the Civil War. You change the subhead toe a question such as follows What are the causes of the Civil War ? You are simply reframing the South heading as a question this question house provide you with better direction when you read that section of the text book, and it will just help you avoid that feeling of being lost in too much information. You will have better direction. Many students find it difficult to reframe statements or phrases into effective questions, but doesn't have to be difficult for you if you follow the simple checklist presented on this slide. Simply think about how a statement or phrase might be asked using one of the so called five W's and one H questions otherwise known as the who, what, when, where, why and how questions that journalists sometimes ask. Here are some examples of such questions that you might have after reading a Civil War textbook, for example, for who you might have the question Who were the significant military generals in the South for what you might have? What were the causes of the Civil War, when you might have winded the Confederate army, lose the Civil War, you can have as many whose and what's and where and winds and all these different questions as you want. The point is you want to be able to approach the information with the question and the five W's and one H questions can kind of help direct the way you ask questions and maybe perhaps to make it easier for you to ask questions. Now the three are part of the acronym refers to the three R's. Those are read, recite in review. Firstly, reading is the heavy lifting part. This is where you sit down and actually do the reading. Hopefully, the serving in questioning steps you took previously brought a sense of direction and focus to what you were reading usually is recommended that you take notes while you read. Reciting happens right after you read a section of your textbook. This is where you state out loud or through writing in your notebook in your own words. What you just read reciting is simply you summarizing what you have just learned in your own words. You should recite without referring back to your textbook. Instead, try to recall the information from memory reviewing is the process of returning to the material to help strengthen it in your memory. It is usually recommended that you review on a daily basis. Examples of review include memorizing key terms, revisiting key concepts and processes, and rewriting your notes in ways that make the information more clear in your mind and memory. So now we know what sq three R is. Now let's talk about why this reading strategy is helpful. Basically, it provides a structured way to approach reading answer structure that incorporates many things that smart readers naturally do. For example, the idea of serving a piece of reading before you begin reading it or the notion of asking questions every reading are both ideas that smart readers have known about for a long time . Sq three R is really just a system that helps students apply effective reading skills, do their college reading assignments. Now, many of question the true effectiveness of sq three R. On the one hand, student success authors highly credible ones such as Thomas Drink and Cal Newport have argued that reading strategies such as sq three r are inefficient and should be avoided. On the other hand, many teachers continue to recommend sq three r is the best remedy for students who struggle with reading. What should the smart student dio should you avoid sq three R or should you embrace it? One weakness of sq three r is that's too formulaic and two standardized for To effectively apply to all reading assignments, students should customized sq three R, depending on the kind of reading assigned but to customize sq three R effectively, you need a bigger reading strategy. In other words, simply using S 23 are by itself without any larger strategy is not always effective. Sq three r can be used effectively, but you should use it within the context of a larger reading strategy. Sq three R Should be one piece of your reading strategy, not the totality of your reading strategy. What should your larger reading strategy be? And how does Sq three R fit into that strategy? That is precisely what we'll discuss in the next lesson, or I'll give you my four step system to a reading strategy that rocks. I'll see you there 5. Easy 4 Step Reading Strategy: So in the last video, we talked about sq three R In this video, we're going to move on and talk about how to quickly create a great reading strategy for any reading assignment you face in college or high school. Steps in this system are number one identified, the type of class you are taking number to identify the purpose of the reading assignment Number three. Modify sq three R based on your reading purpose and number four. Evaluate your outcome. Let's dive a bit deeper into these steps. The first step in developing a good reading strategy is to identify the type of class you're taking. This is significant because the type of class you're taking is going to help inform what type of approach you should take to your reading. Some reading you're going to want to study very carefully and other readings. You can safely scan or read quickly without taking very many notes. Most classes you are ever going to take in college will fit roughly into one of four simple types or categories. First, we'll talk about understanding courses. This type of class is designed to give you a good bird's eye view of a particular field of study or organized body of knowledge. These classes have names like Introduction to Geography or psychology, one, a One and these types of classes. You're going to be dealing with a lot of information. You will be interacting with lots of ideas and concepts. You'll be memorizing key terms, and you'll be becoming familiar with important theories and research within a particular field. Secondly, we have evaluated courses. This type of class will teach you how to evaluate something of importance. Typically, these kinds of classes are going to be focused on provide you with a framework of some kind . For example, an art history class will generally provide you with a framework for understanding, evaluating art. Another example is the logic in critical thinking class, which generally provides a framework for understanding and evaluating arguments. Thirdly, we have solve it courses. These types of classes are very technical in nature. These, of course, is like algebra and chemistry. There's a lot of problem solving in these classes. Fourthly, we have do it courses in a do It course is much less important to study concepts and memorized key terms, and this kind of a class you were expected to complete projects. Speech classes, photography classes and some writing classes are very much like this. Reading assignments are often assigned merely to help support or give guidance for completing a project of some kind. At this point, you may be asking, Hey, Derek, how do you actually know which of the four categories my course fits into? Here's a Little ninja trick. The answer can usually be found by examining the Solis. Your Course Syllabus probably contains detailed descriptions of what work you need to do to get a good grade. Simply check and see what kind of work here teacher will be expecting you to complete. The type of work you have to do in the class directly determines the type of class you were taking. Now we come to Step two, which is where you identify the purpose of the reading assignment. Here you are simply identifying the purpose of the reading assignment you're expected to complete. This is so important and yet so often overlooked by eager college students, often, if not usually beginner college students simply plunge into reading assignments with little regard for why they should be reading the material in the first place. Are you reading your text book? Because all quizzes and exams will be based on the readings. Does the reading material contained helpful guidelines or how to knowledge that will help you complete assignments or projects in a given class? Well, just reading assignment. Hope you write a paper. These are the kinds of questions you should be asking before you start reading. The point here is that you want to identify how this reading assignment will help you get the grades you want in your class. Clarifying the purpose of a reading assignment should give you a very good idea about what kind of effort you need to be investing into that reading assignment and step three We modify sq story are based on your reading purpose. Once you have identified the type of class you're taking and the purpose for the reading assignment, you will think about how to modify the structure of sq three R so that directly supports your needs. So let's consider some examples. First, let's say your instructor assigns a news article that relates to something that was discussed in class reading. The article is not necessary to complete any great at work your purpose were reading The article is just to get a newsworthy perspective of whatever you're studying and no circumstances you would customize as Q three are by simply doing the s part. The survey. You would simply survey the reading without spending too much time on the other parts of sq three r. Another example. Let's say you are assigned a chapter of a textbook and let's say you were enrolled in an understand it type course, and you know that your final exam is going to be partly based on this textbook chapter. Since understanding type courses are generally information intensive, you want to go through the whole sq tree. Our process described in the last video survey questioning, reading, reciting, reviewing, investing this kind of effort into the reading assignment insurers. You will do well in the final exam. The key point here is that you need to customize sq three R based on the type of class you're taking in the purpose of the reading assignment. This will help you cut out wasted work because you won't be spending too much time on reading. That isn't really important for getting a good grade fourth and final step is to evaluate your outcome. This final step is easy, but very important. When you have finished your reading assignment, recite what you remember from that reading assignment. You don't necessarily have to recall the information perfectly, but what you can recall does reflect your current understanding. Ask yourself, How well can I recall the information I read about? And also, can I recall the information well enough? Keep in mind that if you can't recall information from a reading assignment and you know you will have to take an exam based on that reading, and you will probably want to invest more effort into that reading. Wow, we just discussed the last. Let's just quickly make sure you've got the basic principles down whenever you face a reading assignment. Used to take the following four steps. Identify what type of class you are doing. The reading for number to identify the purpose of your reading assignment. Number three Customized sq three R Based on the type of class you're taking in the purpose of your reading assignment and number four. Evaluate your comprehension now that you brought the material, do you know it as well as you would like to know it if not review the material or customized sq three r differently so that you're gaining the kind of comprehension that you will need to do well in the class. 6. Conclusion: as we conclude, I just want to thank you for watching this class until the very end. I really appreciate your staying with me, and I hope you have learned something useful during this time. Let's just quickly recap what we learned. Number one. We learned that successful reading maximizes active reading inefficiency. Number two. We learned that it never pays to approach a reading assignment like a psycho highlighter. Ah, humble transcriber or with the zombies. Gays Number three. We weren't that sq three r provides a helpful structure for approaching reading assignments and number four. We learned that sq three r could be used more effectively by incorporating it into a larger reading strategy, such as the one discussed in the previous video lecture. Thank you once again for taking this class. If you found something useful here, I encourage you to follow me here on skill share for updates and future classes. As always, I wish you the best of luck is you tackle those reading assignments and pursue those top grades