July 17, 2005

Instruction in Comprehension

AHA: "We sometimes confuse explaining to students what is happening in a text with teaching students how to comprehend a text" (Beers 40).

Summary: If you only explain the answers instead of explaining how you got those answers, you're only helping them on that particular problem or text.

Suggestion:
Do think-alouds while reading a piece out loud to the class.
1. Decide strategies you want to use and which text you will use.
2. Tell your students exactly what strategy you'll practice.
3. Read passage, model strategy.
4. Give students multiple chances to practice the demonstrated strategy.
5. Continue modeling as students' needs change OR when the genre changes.
*Don't assume they'll apply the skills from a short story to a poem, for example. You must model A LOT at first with every genre before they become fluent.
6. Give students opportunities to try strategy w/o your coaching or support.

Strategies you might "think-aloud," include everything from vocabulary to clarifying something that isn't totally clear to questions you have during the story to attempting to connect something you don't know with something you do, etc.

Important: In a traditional classroom you often don't see chunks of time every day where students read, write, and respond to one another about their reading and writing.
Some of the most effective minilessons (this author has found) are the think-alouds from the teacher modeling a strategy they should use that day in their lessons.
Lots of discussion how to teach reading a story; what never gets confused is everyone's belief that the point of reading is comprehension.

***Pretty good chapter*** Ericka Ableiter

Posted by ablei002 at 8:47 PM