- Topic 1
The assignments in unit one are for all learners to complete. You will provide information as to your attitude about reading, work on a sample test, and select a book to read during this course. This unit provides you the opportunity to assess your reading needs and to determine what areas you need to work on within your reading. This should help you become a better reader for the test, and more importantly, for your life.
- Topic 2
Your main man. The main reason you made a decision. The main idea. Support staff. Getting more support for decorating. Supporting details. Main ideas and their supporting details trick many people. What is the main point? What information is providing extra information? Determining the difference between these two reading components is key to understanding what a person is reading. Mainly, this unit will provide the support you need to understand the difference between main vs. support.
- Topic 3
Inferring is a confusing word and one of the most difficult parts to reading. At least, that's what you may think. Read through the following short paragraph from a writer named Richard Brautigan:
'It's hard to live in a studio apartment in San Jose with a man who's learning to play the violin.' That's what she told the police when she handed them the empty revolver.
You made inferences after you read this short paragraph. You probably determined that the woman killed the man because he was a terribly annoying when practicing the violin. She killed him by shooting him because that's what is inferred by the 'empty' revolver. You also can infer that the woman is going to jail because the police are there. In addition, you probably understand that a studio apartment doesn't provide enough room for someone to learn an instrument.
Look again at the paragraph. Look again at what we can infer from it. That is why inferring is so important. We acquire so much more information when we open our eyes to making inferences. This unit will help you hone (practice) this skill.
- Topic 4
Think about a time when you had BIG news to tell a friend. You could blurt out the news and then provide a bunch of details. You could give two options to your friend and tell them why one is better than the other. You could tell your friend the story in chronological order to set the scene. You could explain all of the causes that led up to the effect. These are patterns of writing. Not sure about this? Read on:
"I'm going to prom! Tim asked me last night. He had a pizza delivered to my house and the pepperoni spelled out P-R-O-M-? It was so cute. I called him up right away and said yes."
"What do you think is better--going to prom or not going to prom? If I go to prom, I would spend a ton of money on the clothes, dinner, flowers, car, etc. I might even be asked by someone who wouldn't be fun to go with. On the other hand, prom is the biggest and best dance of the year. Everyone goes and looks so good. Sometimes, people are asked in really cool ways--like with pizza! It's sort of like a once in a lifetime opportunity."
"So, yesterday in class, Tim asked me if I was going to be home later that night. I thought that was a strange thing to ask. Then, around 6:30, the doorbell rings. A pizza guy was standing there. I told him that I didn't order a pizza, but he asked me my name and said that someone ordered it for me. When I went inside and opened it, I saw the word "PROM?" and I knew that Tim was behind it."
"For a while now, I've been talking to Tim during math class. We even work together when there's partner work assigned. Recently, he's been showing up at a few of my basketball games too. This week, he actually started waiting for me after health and we walked to lunch together. When he asked me if I was going to be home last night, I knew he was up to something. When the doorbell rang and I saw the pizza guy, I knew that I might have a date for prom."
Each of these is a pattern of writing. Understanding the different patterns of writing helps you read better because it helps your comprehension and your predicting abilities.
- Topic 5
- Topic 6
A big part of reading is vocabulary. This unit will focus on some of that, completing your choice book, and assessing your growth as a reader. That's quite a hefty load! This load isn't a burden though, it is something that you carry with you so that you are a better communicator and receiver of information. The strategies that you've learned aren't just for the reading test; you can utilize them for the rest of your reading life!