Thinking strategies in reading comprehension

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Thinking strategies in reading comprehensionThinking Strategies in Reading Comprehension

Kids need to be taught what good readers do. Believe it or not, its not intuitive. This means we must teach kids reading comprehension strategies.

I graduated from a teachers certification program and began teaching without the first clue about how to teach children reading particularly in the intermediate grades where I worked (5th grade). My teammate wrote a grant for Lori Conrad from P. E.B. C. to work with us weekly, and thanks to Lori, I finally began a journey thats lasted my career — to teach children to be thoughtful learners, to notice their own thinking, to explicitly model, and to teach reading comprehension strategies. (And I was lucky enough to begin working for PEBC as a staff developer for many years!)

Reading Comprehension Strategies

Here are the (thinking and) reading comprehension strategies

¦ ask questions

¦ draw inferences

¦ determine what is important in text

¦ create sensory images

¦ synthesize information

¦ problem solve and repair meaning when meaning is interrupted

In school . these are best taught in a workshop approach where first, the teacher teaches and models the strategy, two, the students apply and practice the strategy for a sustained period of time, and three the students and teacher gather to reflect and share.

At home . learn the thinking strategies. Now, you can ask questions to determine where your child is with each particular strategy. Notice where your child might need more help. Can he create a mental picture? Can he infer? Can he connect to other books?

When youre helping your child with a strategy, I recommend you do the following:

To start, show your child what good readers do. In other words, you must say what reading comprehension strategy youre using inside your head. If you want to work on the strategy of asking questions, youll want to be showing how many questions a good reader asks naturally. during the day, driving the car, taking a walk, and reading a book. (Read more about this at Kleinspiration where Ive written about making connections. )

Give your child a stack of sticky notes to keep track of instances in her reading where she used a reading comprehension strategy such as asks a question.

Decide on when you and your child will share BOTH of your sticky notes. You do it too, please! Show your child that youre a reader and youll do what youre asking your child to do.

And, dont sticky notes make everything fun. Just dont overdo it so it becomes distracting.

Encouraging children to be conscious about their thinking is essential to comprehension.

Books to Read

I Read It, but I Dont Get It: Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers by Chris Tovani

What books do you like to read to your children when your practicing each strategy?