Ann Dolin: Just like any sport, reading is an active process. It requires energy and most importantly, concentration. The good news is that there are simple strategies students can use to help them retain more information and boost the understanding.
One of the best ways for students to retain more information when they read is to take quick and easy notes. Encourage your child to ask himself, what did I just read or what is the main idea after he reads a passage. His answer should be quickly jotted down in the page margin, or if writing in the textbook is not an option, he can use Post-it notes.
Two-column notes also known as Cornell Notes is another easy way to study for a test. First, a student folds a piece of paper into two sections, labeling the columns, keywords, and notes. On the left, he records the main idea and on the right, he jots down a short explanation.
By turning the paper over, he is able to quiz himself, and by adding a third column, a drawing can be included to aid younger children that are more visual learners.
Finally, a fun and effective way to improve reading comprehension is highlighting. Studies show that students are better able to retain information that is color-coded. Encourage your child to choose their favorite color and highlight important terms or phrases after they've read a section or passage, not during, and try highlighting tape when your child cannot mark up the textbooks.
With effective note taking and highlighting strategies, your student will be on his way to better retention, increased confidence and better grades.