Toolkit Item Overview
This is a critical reading tool we call chunking. It is designed to help students divide texts up into sections, identify the main idea from each section, and use that understanding to write an accurate summary of the entire text. The tool was created because we found that our students struggled to accurately summarize what they were reading, because they did not understand how to read complex texts.
The tool will help students succeed in any college class by giving them a specific strategy to read critically and more accurately understand the texts that they read. Research indicates that these are transferable skills.
Resources Used to Inform this Toolkit
Sandra Jameison, Rebecca Moore Howard, and Tricia Serviss’s Citation Project indicates that students, nationally, do not understand the material they are reading, and therefore they are unable to effectively use texts in their writing. Further, research from Alice Horning and Rebecca Hill suggests that students can be taught critically reading strategies in order to more accurately understand complex texts, and that those skills are transferable to their other college level coursework.
Key Lessons We've Learned
The most important suggestion we have is to scaffold the use of this tool, Students will need a lot of support to implement it early on, but students also learn how to use it fairly quickly, so they are able to develop the critical thinking skills necessary to apply the strategies from this tool on their own after having support using it once through the process.
Comprehensive Guide to Utilizing Our Tool in Your Classroom