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The Reading Connection


How to Help Your Child Develop Critical Thinking Skills

The purpose of reading is more than being able to “read” all of the words correctly and identifying the facts or
details that were stated in the text. There are several processing systems that readers need to be able to use
simultaneously as they read a text. These include:
*Synthesizing: adjusting present understandings to accommodate new knowledge
* Inferring: using what the writer has given you in conjunction with your background knowledge in order to
“figure out” what the writer means but has not stated
* Analyzing: noticing aspects of the writer’s craft and text structure
* Critiquing: thinking critically about the text

Below are some suggestions to use at home to extend your child’s learning from text.
1. Newspaper Headlines
Look at newspaper headlines together then read the text. Did the headline do a good job of telling the reader
what the piece was about? If so, how did it help? If not, why?—What would your headline be so that it would
help the reader know what the piece was about?
2. Fact versus Opinion
Facts are established truths while opinions are a person’s beliefs. Pick portions of the newspaper article (or
other informational texts) and ask your child if it’s a fact or an opinion then have him explain why.
3. Conversation
Talk with your child about what she read beyond what was the text about. Ask questions that encourage her to
share her thinking and explain why she thinks as she does.
Whether your child is in Kindergarten or 5th grade, you can use these techniques with him.
Adapted from Fountas & Pinnell’s Continuum of Literacy Learning &
Building Readers


– Jackie Knapp & Jennifer Grannis

April 2017 Tiger Times