How Do We Focus Our Instruction on Comprehension Strategies to Help Our Students Become Proficient Readers?(IowaCore Literacy StandardIA.1)
Reading Standards for LiteratureReading Standards for Informational Text
IA.1 Employ the full range of research-based comprehension strategies, including making connections, determining importance, questioning, visualizing, making inferences, summarizing, and monitoring for comprehension.
Qualities of Best Practice in Teaching Reading fromBest Practice,4th ed.,Zemelman, Daniels, & Hyde. (2013)Reading means getting meaning from print—The essence of reading is a transaction between the words of an author and the mind of a reader, during which meaning is constructed. This means that the main goal of reading instruction must be comprehension.Reading is thinking--Reading is a meaning-making process: an active, constructive, creative, higher-order thinking activity that involves distinctive cognitive strategies before, during, and after reading. Students need to learn how skillful, experienced readers actually manage these processes.Teachers should model reading--. . . They mustshowtheir students how they think while they read. Using a powerful teaching strategy called “think-alouds,” teachers can read aloud unfamiliar selections in front of their students, stopping frequently to “open up their heads” and vocalize their internal thought processes.
Why These Strategies?
. . . Mainstream researchers agree that all skillful readers:Visualize (make mental pictures or sensory images)Connect (link to their own experiences, to events in the world, to other readings)Question (actively wonder, surface uncertainties, interrogate the text and the author)Infer (predict, hypothesize, interpret, draw conclusions)Evaluate (determine importance, make judgments, weigh values)Analyze (notice text structures, author’s craft, purpose, theme, point of view)Recall (retell, summarize, remember information)Monitor (actively keep track of their thinking, adjust strategies to textat hand)Best Practice,4thed. ByZemelman, Daniels, & Hyde. (2013)
How should Teachers Teach Strategies to their Students?
Explicit instructionShowing our thinking and modeling the mental processes we go through when readingDemonstrate what thoughtful readers doMake our thinking visibleGradual Release of Responsibility ModelTeacher Modeling—I do, You watchGuided Practice—I do, You helpCollaborative Practice—I help, You doIndependent Practice—Iwatch, Youdo
Proficient readers. . .Have an inner conversation about what they are readingHavemetacognitiveknowledge—an awareness and understanding of how one thinksKnow how to use strategies during readingMatchstrategies to their purpose
StrugglingReaders. . .Need explicit instruction demonstratingmetacognition—thinking about what they are thinking while readingNeed NOT ONLY a clear understanding of comprehension strategies BUT ALSO an awareness of when and how to use themGradual Release of Responsibility Model
A bridge from the new to theknown---Activating and connecting to background knowledge—schema theoryConnecting to personal experience facilitates understandingText-to-Self: connections that readers make between the text and their past experiences or background knowledgeText-to-World: connections that readers make between the text and the bigger issues, events, or concerns of society and the world at largeText-to-Text: connections that readers make between the text they are reading and another text
Nonfiction—focuson important information and merge it with what we already know to deepen ourunderstanding--Text features that signal importanceFiction—focus on character’s actions,motives, problems & personalityPoetry—figurative language, metaphors, & imagery require us to dig deeperImportance is determined by our purposeRemember important informationLearn new information and build background knowledgeDistinguish what’s important from what’s interestingDiscover a theme, opinion, or perspectiveAnswer a specific questionDetermine if the author’s message is to inform, persuade, or entertain
Readers ask questions toConstruct meaningEnhance understandingFind answersSolve problemsFind specific informationClarify confusion
Allows readers to create mental images from words in the textInferbut with mentalimagesInvolvesall of yoursensesEnhances meaning with mental imageryLinks past experiences to the words and ideas in the storyStrengthens a reader’s relationship to the textStimulates imaginative thinkingHeightens engagement with text
Occurs when text clues merge with the reader’s prior knowledge and questions to point to a conclusion about an underlying theme or idea in a textWhen readers infer, theyDraw conclusions based on clues in the textMake predictions before and during readingSurface underlying themesUse implicit information from the text to create meaningduring and after readingUse the pictures to help gain meaning
Pull out the most important information and put it into our own words to remember itRetelling the information and paraphrasing itNeed to sift and sort through large amounts of information to extract essential ideas
Strategies That Work: teaching comprehension for understanding and engagement,2nded. Stephanie Harvey and AnneGoudvis, 2007.