Make Reading Count
Why teach comprehension? <ul><li>The ability to read words is  necessary  for comprehension, but not  sufficient </li></ul...
Text Model <ul><li>External building materials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pictures </li></ul></...
Comprehension breakdowns <ul><li>Breakdowns in comprehension happen when: </li></ul><ul><li>background knowledge is incons...
How to teach comprehension <ul><li>Name strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Teach kids when and where to use them </li></ul><ul><...
PICTURE acronym <ul><li>P redict – guess what will happen next </li></ul><ul><li>I magine – visualize, create a mental ima...
Comprehension-focused classroom <ul><li>Lots of language  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>talking as well as reading </li></ul></ul>...
Connecting across grade levels <ul><li>PICTURE acronym can be applied to all different age groups </li></ul><ul><li>CORE p...
4 th  Grade challenge <ul><li>Text is more complex and demanding </li></ul><ul><li>Kids are reading in areas with little b...
What can elementary teachers do? <ul><li>Make sure kids can decode easily and well </li></ul><ul><li>Give kids practice so...
Assessment <ul><li>Ask questions! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask child to tell you what they understood from the text </li></ul...
Video: Understanding Themes <ul><li>Community School 200,   Harlem, NY </li></ul><ul><li>Theme Scheme </li></ul><ul><ul><l...
Helping kids make connections <ul><li>Build coherent representation  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Connect parts of text </li></ul...
Vocabulary and comprehension <ul><li>Teach little kids big words </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow kids to practice reading word...
Which words do you teach first? <ul><li>No hierarchy for word knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kids can learn complex words...
Ramifications of low vocabulary <ul><li>Knowledge of word meaning and comprehension is almost the same thing </li></ul><ul...
Children with learning disabilities <ul><li>Take instruction to a sensory level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help child experienc...
Video: Students Take Charge <ul><li>Frank Love Elementary School,   Seattle,   WA </li></ul><ul><li>Reciprocal Teaching </...
Importance of mental images <ul><li>Good readers “make movies” in their heads when they read </li></ul><ul><li>Dual coding...
How can teachers improve mental imagery? <ul><li>Start with mental image of word, then a phrase, then a sentence </li></ul...
Mental imagery for ELLs <ul><li>Research project in Pueblo, Colorado </li></ul><ul><ul><li>25,000 children </li></ul></ul>...
Characteristics of successful schools <ul><li>For comprehension: </li></ul><ul><li>Large capacity for collaboration; oppor...
Impact of federal funding <ul><li>Reading First money brings new resources to low SES schools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commer...
Using writing to improve comprehension <ul><li>Writing is an extension of reading </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expression is a wa...
Teaching comprehension to ELLs <ul><li>Define issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>English labels for words they know in native la...
What can we learn from brain studies? <ul><li>Studies are starting to focus on reading comprehension </li></ul><ul><li>Rec...
Comprehension assessment <ul><li>Difficult to test whether kids have built a text model </li></ul><ul><li>Likely to undere...
What can parents do? <ul><li>Volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Read to children and talk about what’s going on, ask questions </...
Final thoughts <ul><li>Nanci Bell: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehension is now getting attention it deserves </li></ul></ul...
Thanks for watching! <ul><li>For more information,  </li></ul><ul><li>visit  www.readingrockets.org   </li></ul>
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  • Reading rocket

    1. 1. Make Reading Count
    2. 2. Why teach comprehension? <ul><li>The ability to read words is necessary for comprehension, but not sufficient </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehension uses complicated cognitive processes that take time and practice </li></ul>Teaching words alone is not enough!
    3. 3. Text Model <ul><li>External building materials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pictures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Internal building materials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Background knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Word knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehension strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Comprehension is an interactive process of building understanding </li></ul>Building a structure for comprehension
    4. 4. Comprehension breakdowns <ul><li>Breakdowns in comprehension happen when: </li></ul><ul><li>background knowledge is inconsistent with author’s expectation </li></ul><ul><li>vocabulary knowledge is inconsistent with author’s expectation </li></ul><ul><li>child has limited knowledge of English language </li></ul><ul><li>child has few strategies to make processes work together </li></ul><ul><li>Good News: Each breakdown area can be taught! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How stories work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to make inferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategies to build on text model </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. How to teach comprehension <ul><li>Name strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Teach kids when and where to use them </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inappropriate use of strategies are a waste of cognitive energy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Goal: Help kids develop a text model </li></ul><ul><li>Start early! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kindergarteners can learn to use text information to understand what they read </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. PICTURE acronym <ul><li>P redict – guess what will happen next </li></ul><ul><li>I magine – visualize, create a mental image </li></ul><ul><li>C larify – make sure your text model makes sense </li></ul><ul><li>T ry – ask yourself ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions </li></ul><ul><li>U se – use what you know, background knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>R eview – summarize during and after reading </li></ul><ul><li>E valuate – Did this text meet my purposes? How is it connected to other texts? </li></ul>A tool to remember comprehension strategies
    7. 7. Comprehension-focused classroom <ul><li>Lots of language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>talking as well as reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>conversations about books </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teachers model thinking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ask questions as they read </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>encourage questions from students </li></ul></ul><ul><li>High quality literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>complex books and characters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You can’t teach comprehension quietly! </li></ul>
    8. 8. Connecting across grade levels <ul><li>PICTURE acronym can be applied to all different age groups </li></ul><ul><li>CORE program materials offers strategies for use across grades </li></ul>
    9. 9. 4 th Grade challenge <ul><li>Text is more complex and demanding </li></ul><ul><li>Kids are reading in areas with little background knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading to build background knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May have word recognition problems or fluency problems </li></ul>Why do comprehension scores decrease after 4 th grade?
    10. 10. What can elementary teachers do? <ul><li>Make sure kids can decode easily and well </li></ul><ul><li>Give kids practice so they can read fluently </li></ul><ul><li>Support development of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vocabulary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concept knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehension strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provide chances to interact with teachers, text, and peers </li></ul>
    11. 11. Assessment <ul><li>Ask questions! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask child to tell you what they understood from the text </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Children with dyslexia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment covers a spectrum of language skills, from decoding to comprehension </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dyslexics generally have higher vocabulary and comprehension ability than decoding ability </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Video: Understanding Themes <ul><li>Community School 200, Harlem, NY </li></ul><ul><li>Theme Scheme </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focuses on underlying theme of story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps kids understand messages, lessons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relates themes to other stories and real life </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Helping kids make connections <ul><li>Build coherent representation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Connect parts of text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask kids how pieces of information fit together </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Read, then talk about it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask “How does that connect with what we read before?” </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Vocabulary and comprehension <ul><li>Teach little kids big words </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow kids to practice reading words they already know and words they don’t know (literary words) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kids learn literary words from books, not from everyday conversation – even in highly educated households </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make words the focus of instructional time everyday </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explaining a definition is not enough </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discuss good and better examples of uses of a sophisticated word (example: “reluctant”) </li></ul></ul>Teaching vocabulary for literacy
    15. 15. Which words do you teach first? <ul><li>No hierarchy for word knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kids can learn complex words early on </li></ul></ul><ul><li>One rule: </li></ul><ul><li>Must be able to explain word using concrete, simple terms </li></ul>
    16. 16. Ramifications of low vocabulary <ul><li>Knowledge of word meaning and comprehension is almost the same thing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you have a good vocabulary, you will likely be good at comprehension </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solutions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teach big words to little kids </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep kids engaged with good literature and inspired teaching </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Children with learning disabilities <ul><li>Take instruction to a sensory level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help child experience the word through imagery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a picture of the word’s meaning </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Video: Students Take Charge <ul><li>Frank Love Elementary School, Seattle, WA </li></ul><ul><li>Reciprocal Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Prepares kids to run discussions, taking turns as leaders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask questions, generate a good discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summarize, find the main idea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Predict outcomes </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Importance of mental images <ul><li>Good readers “make movies” in their heads when they read </li></ul><ul><li>Dual coding theory: reading involves interpreting verbal and nonverbal codes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interplay between verbal and nonverbal codes gives text meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual differences alter ability to get meaning from text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Weak decoders have difficulty with verbal code </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Weak comprehenders have difficulty with nonverbal code </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. How can teachers improve mental imagery? <ul><li>Start with mental image of word, then a phrase, then a sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Help kids connect images into a connected whole, not just separate images </li></ul><ul><li>Harder for kids with weak vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Research base: </li></ul><ul><li>National Reading Panel Report of 2000 cited mental imagery as helpful </li></ul>
    21. 21. Mental imagery for ELLs <ul><li>Research project in Pueblo, Colorado </li></ul><ul><ul><li>25,000 children </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low socioeconomic status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High percent minority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low-achieving on state tests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After 8 years of lessons on imagery and verbal processes, Pueblo out-performed the state </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Characteristics of successful schools <ul><li>For comprehension: </li></ul><ul><li>Large capacity for collaboration; opportunity for teachers to work together to discuss and practice techniques </li></ul><ul><li>For vocabulary: </li></ul><ul><li>Willingness to go beyond traditional “look it up and write a sentence” approach to teaching vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Introduces hard words in interesting ways </li></ul>
    23. 23. Impact of federal funding <ul><li>Reading First money brings new resources to low SES schools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial reading programs that define and highlight comprehension strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classroom libraries – better books! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Institute for Educational Sciences supports research in comprehension </li></ul>
    24. 24. Using writing to improve comprehension <ul><li>Writing is an extension of reading </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expression is a way to interact with text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Utilizes vocabulary, decoding, and mental imagery </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Students’ writing should create a mental image for reader </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demands use of adjectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Structure words’ to make writing richer </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. Teaching comprehension to ELLs <ul><li>Define issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>English labels for words they know in native language? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty with everyday conversation in new language? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to teach older kids (4 th grade +) sophisticated words – ELL and native English speakers </li></ul><ul><li>Same teaching methods, some unique challenges </li></ul>
    26. 26. What can we learn from brain studies? <ul><li>Studies are starting to focus on reading comprehension </li></ul><ul><li>Recent fMRI studies show that parts of the brain relate to mental imagery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hyperlexia: flip side of dyslexia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have strong decoding skills and weak comprehension </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Often on the autism spectrum </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Autism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Studies show autistic children may be able to read individual words, but have difficulty accessing neural connectors to understand what they read </li></ul></ul></ul>
    27. 27. Comprehension assessment <ul><li>Difficult to test whether kids have built a text model </li></ul><ul><li>Likely to underestimate comprehension of novice writers and spellers when evaluated in written form </li></ul><ul><li>Written test is an important way, but not the only way </li></ul>Does written evaluation show what kids understand?
    28. 28. What can parents do? <ul><li>Volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Read to children and talk about what’s going on, ask questions </li></ul>
    29. 29. Final thoughts <ul><li>Nanci Bell: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehension is now getting attention it deserves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hopeful that we will find new information about sensory components of comprehension </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sharon Walpole: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both decoding and comprehension are critically important to reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both can be taught </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Isabel Beck: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use big words! </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. Thanks for watching! <ul><li>For more information, </li></ul><ul><li>visit www.readingrockets.org </li></ul>

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