Weekly Reading Response 1

Strategies That Work: Chapters 1 & 2


The first and second chapter of Strategies That Work detail how a reader comprehends the material which they are reading.

The first chapter, titled Reading is Thinking, explores the concept that a reader must be able to relate to the material based on their own experiences. The authors write that a reader's background knowledge must be called upon in order to relate to the writing. What happens in a reader's head is both a combination of the author's writing, and the melding of the reader's own memories and experiences to create a unique story.

The second chapter is titled Reading is Strategic. In this chapter the authors discuss how a reader reads, and what tools and techniques distinguish an experienced reader from a new reader. This chapter breaks down how a reader must first be able to decode what individual words mean, and then must be able to put those meanings together in order to understand the author's message. A key ability that separates experienced readers from new readers is the skill to understand the reading as if they were on autopilot. An experienced reader will cruise through the reading until their train of understanding is broken by either an outside influence or a lack of clarity by the author. An experienced reader will know to back track and re-read a section in order to clarify the author's message. New readers are often too distracted by decoding the wording to be cognizant of the authors message.


In conclusion I believe in the the authors' ideas presented in the first two chapters. As with most things in life, it is easier to comprehend a new subject if we can draw upon our own background knowledge, and make logical connections between that knowledge and the new concept. By combining a wealth of background knowledge with techniques that allow us to understand at a higher level we can comprehend at an almost exponential rate.