Building comprehension strategies with students


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Building comprehension strategies with students

  1. 1. Building Comprehension Strategies with Students Created by Katie Soble Contact:
  2. 2. Topic Slide # Reading, Decoding and Comprehension 3-5 Barriers to Comprehension 6-8 Reading Skills vs. Strategies 9-10 How to Teach Strategies 11-12 Pre-, During, and Post-Reading 13 Making Connections 14-16 Common Comprehension Strategies and Resources 17 •Predicting 18-19 •Clarifying 20-21 •Making Inferences 22-23 •Summarizing 24-25 •Questioning 26-27 •Visualizing 28-29 •Self-Monitoring 30-31 •Bibliography 32-34
  3. 3. Reading O Reading is a complex task which involves both decoding and comprehending the text O Good readers are able to do both of these without much thought or effort, and they use strategies to help them when one of these factors breaks down O Struggling or dependent readers need help to learn how to identify when they are struggling and what to do about it
  4. 4. Decoding O The ability to recognize letters and sound out words O Letters represent words: S+CH+OO+L = “SCHOOL”
  5. 5. Comprehension O Durkin’s definition: “intentional thinking during which meaning is constructed through interactions between text and reader” (1993) O Comprehension is the dialogue between the reader and the text O Meaning is created by the reader connecting the text to his or her background knowledge
  6. 6. Barriers to Comprehension O Decoding is a significant factor in successful comprehension O Particular problem for disadvantaged children who lack the opportunities to build background knowledge, access to resources and are exposed to a fraction of words in relation to other children O Words are labels to “packets” of information (Marzano); therefore, the more words a child has, the more knowledge they possess
  7. 7. Barriers to Comprehension O Dependence O Dependent readers rely on teachers to provide the “correct” interpretation or information about a text O Passive Readers do not monitor their own reading abilities or actively engage in the reading process O “Metacognitive Atrophy” (Zwiers) O Students experience this when they do not know they are struggling or how to address it
  8. 8. Barriers to Comprehension O Decoding Fluency without Comprehension O Older students can appear fluent based on traditional assessment for fluency (ie. they can sound out the right words) O These students have trouble relating the words to background knowledge, making inferences, applying the strategies, or knowing the basic definitions to the words they are reading (low vocabularies)
  9. 9. Reading Skills vs. Reading Strategies According to Olson: Skill: unconscious ability Strategy: deliberate effort Good readers have good reading skills. They are able to use strategies without thinking about them. Dependent or struggling readers need to break the process down and be aware of the strategies they should be using. They need to practice until the strategies become skills.
  10. 10. O Meaning is not just a product of reading, it is a process; it is dynamic. (Beers) O Zwiers sees these strategies as habits that students can learn to use regularly. Many students already use a lot of these strategies in their daily lives such as making connection and inferences; they just need to translate them to their academics.
  11. 11. How to Teach Strategies O According to Tokuhama-Espinosa, the brain learns through analyzing information, self-reflection and self- correction O Frequent opportunities and suitable lengths of time for practice, as well as meaningful feedback, is essential
  12. 12. O A scaffolded process is used to gradually release readers into reading and applying strategies independently O Scaffolded Process: O Teacher Models Strategy (see Mini- Lessons) O Guided practice (large or small groups; pairs) O Independent Practice O Mini-Lessons (5-15 minutes) O Introduce or refresh strategies O Think Aloud and Read Aloud work well O “Think Aloud Mini-Lesson” Appendix 2 (p. 40)– OLC Course Profile online
  13. 13. Pre-, During, and Post- Reading O Students need multiple strategies in order to have a selection from which to choose in different reading situations O They also need strategies for pre-reading, during reading and post-reading (See “Additional Reading Strategies” Sinclair Strategies PDF; or, “Reading Approaches 1 and 2” Appendix 12 (p. 50)– OLC Course Profile online) O This enables the reader to be prepared, engaged, and able to reflect
  14. 14. Making Connections O Making connections helps facilitate learning (Tokuhama-Espinosa) and increase retention O It also enables the reader to make inferences by using their background information to see patterns and make educated guesses about the text O It is helpful for a reader to track his or her thoughts while readings. Using sticky notes or a graphic organizer is a good example.
  15. 15. O There are three common connections readers make Text-to-Self Text-to-Text Text-to-World O Students need to practice using connectors (ex: “This part reminds me of…” or “If that happened to me I would…”
  16. 16. Making Connections Resources O “Activating Background Knowledge and Making Connections” Live Ink Strategy LM2 O “Schema” by Robert Price online O “Making Connections” exemplars from FORPD O “Making Connections Observation Form” (assessment) Live Ink AM 2 O “Making Connections” Sinclair Strategies #3 O “Making Connections; Mini-Lesson” Appendix 1 (p. 39)- OLC Course Profile online
  17. 17. Common Comprehension Strategies O These are some main strategies readers should use to improve their comprehension: O Predicting O Clarifying O Making Inferences O Summarizing O Questioning O Visualizing O Self-Monitoring (Metacognition)
  18. 18. Predicting O Good readers make educated guesses before and during reading (Zwiers 99). O This strategy is effective with narrative texts in regards to predicting plot development, but can also be used with expository texts in conjunction with analyzing the text structure and elements (ex: graphics, headings, etc.). O This strategy helps keep the reader engaged with the text over time.
  19. 19. Predicting Resources O “What’s your POV?” (Anticipation Guide) Live Ink LM1 O “Predicting” Live Ink Strategy LM1 O “Making and Assessing Predictions” Sinclair Strategies #5 O “Pre-Assessing Predicting Skills” Live Ink AM1 O “Text Features” online
  20. 20. Clarifying O Students need to learn how to construct word meanings through context and knowledge of word structures. O There are often clues in the text that can helps students identify the meaning of a word such as a synonym or antonym, a cause and effect relationship, or even an explanation. O Sometimes a reader can use clues from much earlier in the text, or from graphics near the word, or even from the word’s grammatical role (Zwiers 140-5).
  21. 21. Clarifying Resources O Word Wall online O “Word Wall” Sinclair Strategies #1 O “Meaning from Context” Sinclair Strategies #2 O “Word Attack Strategies” Sinclair Strategies #7 O “Cloze Passages” Appendix 4 (p.42) - OLC Course Profile online
  22. 22. Making Inferences O Making inferences is a process of extending the information from the text with the reader’s own experience to create meaning beyond what is explicitly stated in the text (Zwiers 99). O This strategy includes being able to make generalizations or drawing conclusions not explicitly stated (Beers 41).
  23. 23. Making Inferences Resources O “Inferring” Live Ink Strategy LM5 O “Guidelines for Teacher-Selected Reading” Appendix 11 (p.49)– OLC Course Profile online O “Making Inferences” and “Drawing Conclusions” Scholastic Graphic Organizers online
  24. 24. Summarizing O According to Zwiers, summarizing is the process of reducing a section of text to a smaller chunk of important information (31). O This involves deleting unnecessary and redundant information, simplifying long lists or generalizing specifics, and developing a main idea (Wendling 110)
  25. 25. Summarizing Resources O “Analyzing” Live Ink Strategy LM 6 O “Summarizing” Live Ink Strategy LM 7 O “Synthesizing” Live Ink Strategy LM 8 O “Paraphrasing” Appendix 5 (p.43) – OLC Course Profile online O “Summarizing” Scholastic Graphic Organizers online
  26. 26. Questioning O Students asking and generating their own questions about a text has been proven to improve their understanding of a text (Wendling 110). O It increases their personal investment in the text and in finding the answers for those questions (Zwiers 122). O Open-ended questions lead to deeper thinking and better retention of information.
  27. 27. Questioning Resources O “Asking Questions” (3 levels of questions organizer) Live Ink Strategy LM3 O “Interpretive Questioning” or “Powerful Questions” by Robert Price online
  28. 28. Visualizing O The benefit of readers visualizing what they are reading is that it promotes active engagement and deep thinking (Wendling 108). O The mental organization involved in visualization helps the reader retain the information (Zwiers 68). O Visualization can be as simple as imagining the text as images, or as complex as creating visuals (drawings, models, etc.) to represent what is read.
  29. 29. Visualizing Resources O “Creating Visuals for a Purpose” Live Ink LM9 O “Visualizing” Live Ink Strategy LM3 O “Reading Graphic Text” Sinclair Strategies #6 O “Opening the Door: Teaching Students to Use Visualization to Improve Comprehension” online
  30. 30. Self-Monitoring O Students need to be taught explicitly how to monitor themselves while they are reading (Wendling 111). O Many struggling readers will either skip over sections when they are confused, or give up altogether. O They need to learn to recognize when they are struggling, apply an appropriate strategy and evaluate its effectiveness. O They also need to monitor and control their attention to the text, commitment, attitude and motivation (Zwiers 173).
  31. 31. Self-Monitoring Resources O “Synthesizing” Live Ink Strategy LM 8 O “Peer Assessment – Analyzing Text” Live Ink AM 3 O “Assessing Reading Strategies” (self-assessment) Live Ink AM 4 O “Affect and Literacy” Sinclair Strategies # 4 O “Metacognition” Sinclair Strategies #8 O “Reading Conferences” Appendix 7 (p.45) – OLC Course Profile online
  32. 32. Bibliography Allen, Janet. The Yellow Brick Road. Portland: Stenhouse Publishers, 2000. Beers, Kylene. When Kids Can’t Read; What Teachers Can Do. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2003. Cronsberry, Jennifer. Word Walls. Jennifer Cronsberry, 2004. Online: “Graphic Organizers.” Scholastic Red, 2002. Online: Harvey, Stephanie and Anne Goodvis. Strategies that Work. Markham: Pembroke Publishers Ltd., 2007. Hanson, Susan and Jennifer F.M. Padua. Text Features. Honolulu: Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, 2011. Online:
  33. 33. Independent Reading Strategies. Whitby: Sinclair Secondary School, 2011. Marzano, Robert J. Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2004. Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course; Course Profile. Public and Catholic District School Board Writing Partnerships, Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 2003. Online: Olson, Carol Booth. The Reading/Writing Connection. Toronto: Pearson, 2011. Moss, Barbara and Virginia S. Loh. 35 Strategies for Guiding Readers through Informational Texts. New York: The Guildford Press, 2010.
  34. 34. “Opening the Door: Teaching Students to Use Visualization to Improve Comprehension.” Education World, Inc., 2011. Online: Price, Robert. “Schema,” “Interpretive Questioning” and “Powerful Questions.” Robert Price, 2007. Online: Sara, Amanda. The Literacy Toolkit. Bethel, CT: Crown House Publishing Ltd., 2009. Tokuhama-Espinosa, Tracey. Mind, Brain, And Education Science. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2011. Wendling, Barbara J. and Nancy Mather. Essentials of Evidence-Based Academic Interventions. New Jersey: Wiley, 2009. Zwiers, Jeff. Building Reading Comprehension Habits in Grades 6-12. Newark: International Reading Association, Inc., 2010.
  35. 35. Live Ink Note O Live Ink is a resource purchased by school license. There are some hard copies available at select schools (Sinclair S.S. or Anderson C.V.I.) Contact an administrator in regards to obtaining online access. O For further information or to login go online: