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Just what does it mean to make sense


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Presented at the Tennessee Reading Association Conference, this presentation looks at the essence of Comprehension and how we can teach comprehension strategies as tools for students to use.

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Just what does it mean to make sense

  1. 1. Just What Does It Mean To Make Sense? Keith Pruitt, Ed.S.Words of Wisdom Educational Consulting
  2. 2. What IsComprehension?
  3. 3. Some Popular DefinitionsReading comprehension is defined as the level of understanding of a text. Thisunderstanding comes from the interaction between the words that are written and howthey trigger knowledge outside the text. --WikipediaSimply put, reading comprehension is the act of understanding what you are reading.While the definition can be simply stated the act is not simple to teach, learn orpractice. Reading comprehension is an intentional, active, interactive process thatoccurs before, during and after a person reads a particular piece of writing. --Joelle Brummitt-Yale, K12 ReaderAs defined by Partnership for Reading (2005), Reading comprehension is understandinga text that is read, or the process of "constructing meaning" from a text.Comprehension is a "construction process" because it involves all of the elements of thereading process working together as a text is read to create a representation of the textin the readers mind.
  4. 4. To What Degree is this Input Comprehensible?regards situation Markstrong usLincoln stationassassination word? Thus 1. Can I understand each cartonstyle language at the word level. comprehension is available partition 2. But can one make sense of this as a text?
  5. 5. In regards to the assassination ofLincoln, Mark was reading a book whilesitting on a carton at the train station.He had a strong feeling from thelanguage of the author that he felt thePresident’s style of governing haddisturbed many people. Hisunwillingness to partition off the southhad enabled us to heal as a nation.Otherwise, the situation could haveended very differently.Has the dynamic of comprehension changed?
  6. 6. What is the level of Understanding Here?“A related observation about the F distributionis that it is positively skewed, not symmetric asare z and t. This is because F is alwayspositive: It is the ratio of variances, both ofwhich are positive, so F itself must be positive.There is no left-hand tail of F because the Fdistribution ends abruptly at 0.” Russell T. Hurlburt (2003). Comprehending Behavioral Statistics. Thomson: Australia, p. 336. Who Moved My Cheese?
  7. 7. Can You Read This?fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid tooCna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I wasrdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuanmnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, itdsenot mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, theolny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in therghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitllraed it whotuit a pboerlm.. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mniddeos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling wasipmorantt! Now again we have changed the traditional rules of comprehension.
  8. 8. Jamika’s Story What is Involved In Comprehension? What Does it Mean to Understand?•Making Sense of text based on author’sintention and message.•Understanding how the words interplayto relay a message.•To exercise intellectual muscle•To connect with a text in a meaningfulway
  9. 9. …strategic readers are more active readersand that active readers both retain more andare more likely to apply what they rememberin new contexts. --Mosaic of Thought, 2nd Edition (2007) Keene & Zimmermann To create strategic readers the teacher must first create readers who can make sense of reading text. This is done by putting tools in their belt.
  10. 10. How Can I Help Students to Make Sense of Texts? By thinking in terms of Comprehension Strategies, a teacher can focus on the necessary tools for comprehension.
  11. 11. The new student had longdark hair and a chiseled chin.Making Connections
  12. 12. Use Think Aloud to Model Make Connections I am thinking this character reminds me of an uncle of mine who farmed out in South Dakota.
  13. 13. Now ask students to make connections. In your writing journal, please tell me what character in Sarah, Tall and Plain, you most relate to and why?
  14. 14. Asking Questions
  15. 15. Have students ask each other questions Why do you think the little boy is being silly with Sally?
  16. 16. What questions would you have about these pictures and this story? Picture Walks are a greatopportunity for children to pose questions?
  17. 17. Bloom’s Taxonomy New OldFramework Framework
  18. 18. How Does ThisTransform the type of questioning done in the classroom?
  19. 19. Who is the story about? Jack and JillWhat did they do?Why did they go up the hillto fetch a pail of water?How do you know that waswhere the well was?So let me ask anotherquestion, why wouldanyone put a well on top ofa hill?
  20. 20. Creating a Visual ImageTell a partner what visual images are created with the following reading. The snow covered peaks grew larger on the horizon as we approached the last two miles of our long journey. The slopes would be packed with powder and the hordes taking advantage of an early season. We had awaited this getaway all summer; now the time was here and we were anxious to take to the lifts.
  21. 21. Now Let’s Put This in Reverse andCreate Words from an Image. Tell your partner a story based on the picture you see.
  22. 22. In this presentation we have buttouched briefly on the idea of what it really means to make sense of text and some methods.Keene & Zimmermann, Mosaic of Thought Keene, To UnderstandHarvey & Goudvis, Comprehension Toolkit
  23. 23. Thank You Keith Pruitt, Ed.S.Words of Wisdom Educational