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Teaching Comprehension Strategies

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  1. Teaching Comprehension Strategies Accelerating Your Students’ Literacy Achievement in Years 4–9 Plus

  2. Introducing Kyran SmithDip Tchg • 13 years in education • Deputy principal • ‘Great Teaching for Literacy Stories’ project • School leadership – literacy and assessment

  3. Introducing Neale PitchesONZM, BA, MEd Admin (Hons), Dip TchgForty years in education: - English and history teacher, Hillmorton and Dunstan - English head, deputy principal - Wellington High, principal Onslow College - Learning Media - South Pacific Press and Lift Education

  4. Background • South Pacific Press and Lift Education • New Zealand educators and publishers • Resource developers • Our comprehension experiences: • the international reader • the New Zealand reader • combining learning theory and literacy research

  5. Seminar Agenda 1. Introductions2. The Comprehension Issue3. Effective Comprehension Instruction – a Rich Learning Model4. Video5. Reflection6. Selecting Support Material


  6. The new standards are all about comprehension.New Zealand students have shown increased ability to decode but comprehension has shown little improvement.Students with poor comprehension are not receiving comprehension strategies instruction. (Anecdotal comments) Associate Professor Terry Crooks

  7. The purpose of teaching comprehension is to teach strategies as tools to expand and deepen understanding. We best do this by … teaching kids a repertoire of strategies they can use flexibly in many circumstances and with many texts. Teaching Comprehension Harvey and Goudvis Comprehension strategies are specific, learned procedures that foster active, competent, self-regulated and intentional reading. Trabasso and Bouchard, 2002

  8. A Rich Learning Model Known concepts Long term memory Selecting Sorting Classroom experiences Working memory New concepts Integrating Elaborating Evaluating Knowledge structure (Nuthall, 2007, p.71)

  9. We set out to build a rich, 3x3-step model based on the research evidence: Co-operative learning Whole-Group Instruction Independent Application Before, during, and after reading Building metacognition – a gradual release model

  10. Accelerating Literacy Achievement Seven comprehension strategies: 1. Making connections 2. Asking questions 3. Visualising 4. Drawing inferences 5. Determining important ideas 6. Synthesising info 7. Monitoring comprehension and repairing understanding

  11. Accelerating Literacy Achievement Five text collections: (Content Literacy)1. Fiction 2. Non-fiction (general)3. Science 4. Mathematics5. Social studies (Social Sciences)

  12. A new approach to ‘differentiation’ • “On-year” level texts • Multiple scaffolds: • Audio for all 40 student co-operative texts at each year level • Collaborative (peer) learning built into whole-class lessons and student co-operative activities • Digital whole group texts especially engaging • Bespoke graphic organisers • Student reflection journal

  13. … in summary: eight evidence-based principles for effective instruction • Teach comprehension strategies singly and in combination • Use short, engaging, diverse texts • Use metacognitive strategies before, during, and after reading • Involve students in interactive learning communities • Gradually release responsibility • Include self/peer/teacher assessment • Offer several opportunities to learn new concepts (3-4+) over a short space of time, therefore… • Assume all students will make progress (Learning community)

  14. The Comprehension Landscape Professional Reading

  15. Comprehension Strategies Reading Strategies making connections asking questions inferring identifying the main idea analysing and synthesising identifying the writer’s purpose and point of view forming and testing hypotheses summarising evaluating visualising predicting self correcting attending and searching cross checking Processing Strategies

  16. The Literacy Progressions

  17. Rich Learning Model Whole-class teaching - Builds an inclusive learning community - Provides an ideal medium for scaffolding - Interaction through “think-pair-share” Engage Scaffold and Model GRADUAL RELEASE OF RESPONSIBILITY Interact and Reflect Apply and Assess

  18. Miramar South School Case StudyPre- and Post-Test Data 2008 and 2009 “The students seem to have made a staggering leap in their reading ability unlike any other year I've known!” Kyran Smith, Deputy Principal, Miramar South School

  19. School background Miramar South School Decile 2 Mixed ethnicity Pasifika 54% Maori 23% Somali 16% European/other 7% Classroom background Year 8 Students decoding effectively Comprehension strategies high priority Knowledge of effective literacy practice Seeking successful programme model

  20. 2008 AsTTle Results

  21. Miramar South half-yearly progress (2009, as measured by running records)

  22. 2009 AsTTle Results

  23. Hagley High School Hi … One of our English teachers has trialled the kit with her Yr 10 English class and has had stunning results. The pre and post  PAT results showed amazing shifts. We have done a presentation of the results of the trial (including filmed excerpts) to the Social Sciences and Science depts. There is considerable interest… we would like to have a look at the Level 7 English texts, as our Learning Support/ Literacy teachers felt that the level of the Level 8  texts may be too high for our year 9 cohort. Is there any possibility that we could have a look at those texts please. Many thanks Marie Stribling HOD English Hagley Community College Christchurch

  24. Drawing Inferences – “Elephant Walk”Students will learn to enhance their comprehension of a text by using information in the text and their knowledge to infer deeper meanings and draw conclusions.This non-fiction text is a report – descriptive, sequential, cause and effect, problem and solution The Lesson Focus / Learning Intention

  25. Drawing Inferences – Ready…Aim…SpitThis text for cooperative learning of the strategy of drawing inferences text is an article – descriptive, enumerative, sequential The Lesson Focus / Learning Intention

  26. Sample lesson: Explicit instruction What did Kyran do to include the elements of explicit instruction: • An explicit description of the strategy • Modelling of the strategy • Scaffolding students • Students articulating what they do as they use the strategy • Students applying and reflecting on the strategy. Effective Literary Practice, Years 5–8

  27. Content areas Video Evidence-based Principles Expectation Learning Community Deep Knowledge Assessment Engagement Explicit Instruction GradualRelease ofResponsibility Revisit Concepts Metacognition

  28. www.csi-literacy.comElephant WalkSample Texts Seminar Take-home Resources

  29. Summing Up - New Thinking Digital Shared Reading • Diverse, on-grade-level texts – to give students broad experience – not all are “suited” to them • Explicit / deliberate teaching • Digital scaffolds • Interaction – learning community

  30. Summing Up - New Thinking Cooperative learning: A challenge to our thinking about ‘levelled text, levelled kids’ • Diverse, grade-level texts – to give students broad experience – not all are “suited” to them • Scaffolding via peers, audio, learning community • Audio texts • Graphic organisers – “bespoke” – developed for that text and that strategy

  31. Summing Up - New Thinking Summing up • We can overcome the concern that levelling has become too prescriptive – a deficit model • We can serve ‘digital natives’ with digital texts • The developmental model we have described is shown to have major benefits for comprehension achievement for all students • We can use multiple scaffolds and a rich learning model to ‘differentiate’

  32. www.csi-literacy.com

  33. Register your interest in more professional development http://www.csi-literacy.com/educators/literacy2u.html

  34. Teaching Comprehension Strategies Accelerating Your Year 4–9 Students’ Literacy Achievement