Building Comprehension and Vocabulary with Text-Based Discussions. Goals ofTraditional Comprehension Instruction. Teach comprehension skills (e.g. finding the main idea) Assess whether students can apply a given skill Assess whether students have gained a specific meaning of a text
(Dillon, 1998; Mehan, 1979)
Teacher: What was Toad looking for?
Student: His button.
Teacher: That’s right.
How can we use storybooks to move beyond quiz shows and bull sessions? Why should we bother?
Growth in Vocab.
By the end of third grade, these differences in vocabulary
had increased to approximately 5,000 (or twice as many
words) known by the middle SES students
as compared to the low SES students.
But teachers CAN influence vocabulary development!
Shared Reading/Text TalkToo difficult to read by self
Who’s one of the main characters?
What can you tell me about some of the characters?
What color is the train?
What’s the train like?
Would you want to be on that train?
So what do you think about her as a person?
So, is she more successful now?
Does she feel better about herself?
“What did Papa Bear do next? (Students need to remember the information)
“What does this tell us?” (Students need to think about what they have understood)
Rephrasing what students are struggling to express or repeating a student comment
Teacher: Why would she care whether or not he’s nice?
Student: Because he might try to eat her.
Teacher: He might try to do something bad to her.
Let’s students know they are on the right track
Teacher: Why are they worried?
Student: They're probably looking for her. She hasn't been back.
Teacher: We got it. That's right.
Responding to student comments in a way that focuses on certain ideas. Lets students know that a particular idea is important to the discussion.
Teacher:How has your opinion changed about Mr. Tumnus? Has anyone's opinion changed?
Student: I think he's mean because the witch is making him.
Teacher: You think he's mean because the witch is making him? That's an interesting point you just made. Maybe he's not so mean?
Turning responsibility to students for thinking through idea, probing for elaboration, turning attention back to the text to make connections