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Comprehension

What was the last thing you read that was difficult for you? Why was it difficult? What factors make reading easier or harder?

Good Comprehenders:
Know how texts work (use structure). Are active readers - think as they read. Approach reading with a purpose. Have knowledge of the world & texts. Have good vocabularies.

Readability level of text is key: However:


Theres a smokey in a plain brown wrapper doing flip flops near 31.

To teach comprehension skills:


Teaching how to comprehend is different from assessing whether a student comprehends. Need to include pre-/during/and postreading strategies to address skills good comprehenders know.

Know how texts work:


Student should be able to use text structure as source of information.
Glossary, index, table of contents, headings, subheadings - all provide a map for students an outline of the authors plan for sharing information. Students should use these cues to get an idea of what information they will gain. Teacher must bookwalk narrative & expository text.

Text structure
Narrative: setting, characters, problem/goal, events/plot, resolution. Expository: differs from text to text, usually includes description, sequence, compare/contrast, cause/effect, problem/solution.
Teacher needs to explicitly teach structures & how to navigate.

Words to Cue Text Structure:


Descriptive: for example, characteristics are, includes, etc. Sequence: first, finally, next, then, later. Compare/Contrast: similarly, however, least, although. Cause/Effect or Problem/Solution: as a result, because, since, therefore.

Teachers/Text Adoption Committees need to evaluate


Do materials:
Activate background knowledge? Set purpose for reading? Identify main idea? Support main idea with clear explanations? Organize information? Include vocabulary and concept definitions? Include metacognition questions/cues?

Active Readers
Need to approach reading with a purpose - prereading activities. Need to think as they read - during reading activities. Need to assess whether they understood (metacognition) & integrate new knowledge with old - post reading activities.

Prereading Strategies
Brainstorm - list & group what you know about the topic. Set questions before reading. Story Words Holly story. Anticipation Guides The True or False Book of Dogs. Contrast Charts. K-W-L. DRTA - Barefoot

During Reading Strategies


Contrast Chart If you Hopped Like a Frog. K-W-L Character/Story Map - Mouse & Librarian Timeline/summary notes - Handout. Response Log.

Post Reading Strategies


Response paper - learning log. Think-pair-share discussion. Answer questions set before reading/redo anticipation guide. Plot organizers/timelines. Venn Diagrams. QAR - right there, think & search, author & you, on my own - Handout. Opinion/Hypothesis - Proof notes.

Vocabulary
Word knowledge is key to good comprehension must know the concept behind the word.
Select key words for teaching. Activate background knowledge. Show students how to elaborate word meaning. Energize students to be active learners. Create ways to insure student independence.

Vocabulary cont
High school chemistry texts may contain 3000 technical words unfamiliar to students - more than are taught in foreign language classes. Need to focus on words needed for true understanding - question: Ten years from now, what do I want the students to remember?

Vocabulary cont
Start with what students know about a concept to teach new vocabulary.
Brainstorm - discuss.

Active involvement - no memorizing.


Concept Maps, Semantic Feature Analysis, Graphic Organizers

Student independence - teach strategies to learn unknown words when encounter outside of class.
Think Alouds, modeling.