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Strategy #7: Using a process: circle, reflect, and define

Another good approach to share with students is to have them circle vocabulary words as they read, reflect upon them in their context, and then look up the words in a dictionary or glossary. Here are some instructions you can give your students.

1. As you are reading, circle all the words you do not recognize.
2. Continue reading to gain understanding from the context.
3. When you have finished reading a section of a text or article and are ready to take notes, look up unknown words especially if they prevented you from understanding the main ideas and supporting details.

This approach is less intrusive to comprehension than looking up words in a dictionary or glossary while reading because it keeps students focused on content and context. Following through with the definitions enables them to improve their reading comprehension.