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Cognitive Strategies Instruction and Reading Comprehension. For 21st Century Readers. by:. Lori Dolezal. BACK. Introduction. Who. This tutoring system is intended to assist elementary school teachers. What. understand and apply cognitive strategies to teach reading comprehension. When.

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Cognitive Strategies Instruction and Reading Comprehension


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  1. Cognitive Strategies Instruction and Reading Comprehension For 21st Century Readers by: Lori Dolezal BACK

  2. Introduction Who This tutoring system is intended to assist elementary school teachers... What understand and apply cognitive strategies to teach reading comprehension... When during daily literacy instruction... Where in a cooperative, interactive classroom environment... Why to increase students’ comprehension and self-regulated learning. BACK

  3. Introduction Reading Comprehension is... “...the process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language.” Rand Reading Study Group (RRSG 2002) “...the essence of reading.” Durkin 1993 Cognitive Strategies Instruction is... An instructional approach emphasizing mental skills and procedures to achieve cognitive goals--in this case reading comprehension. BACK

  4. 6. 3. 4. 5. 1. 2. Review Instructional Models Evolution of Good Readers Comprehension Strategies Instruction Technology History of Reading Comprehension Instruction Main Menu Glossary References BACK

  5. main menu History of Reading Comprehension Research BACK

  6. main menu History In the early elementary school years students are emergent readers-- they are “learning to read”. By the time students have reached the middle of their elementary school career they have the basic literacy skills needed to begin “reading to learn”. The history of reading instruction has not always balanced all factors which are important in literacy development. Bruning, R.H., Schraw G.J., & Norby, M.M. 2011 BACK

  7. main menu History Early Instructional Frameworks Directed Reading Activity (DRA) Betts (1946) was one of the earliest instructional frameworks for reading instruction. This was highly sequenced, individualized instruction with the following format: readiness, silent reading, discussion, rereading, and follow up. Students were not given direct instruction in comprehension, so performance depended on prior reading abilities. Another framework Directed Reading-Thinking Activity (DR-TA; Stauffer, 1969) focused on the developing critical comprehension skills with a cycle of reading-predicting-evaluation. http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/drta Problems: Instruction tended to be teacher dominated and did not allow students to generalize their skills across contexts. There also was little transfer of responsibility to students in becoming self-regulated learners. Block & Parris 2008 BACK

  8. main menu History The 70’s Past instruction focused mainly on individual reading strategies. Research has since shown that students should use a repertoire of strategies flexibly during reading comprehension at all grade levels; what changes is the complexity of text, not individual strategies. Block & Parris 2008 During the 70’s instructional frameworks began to change. Based on research from Vygotsky (1967,1978) and Wood, Bruner, and Ross (1976) the concepts of constructivism and scaffolding became popular frameworks in reading comprehension. Constructivismis a teaching style that emphasizes the active role of the learner in building understanding. Learning is student centered rather than teacher dominated. Students actively search for meaning and teachers play the role of coaches or facilitators. Scaffoldingis support for learning and problem solving. This support may be in the form of cues, prompts, providing examples, or any other assistance that encourages student independence. During scaffolded instruction in reading comprehension there is gradual movement from teacher control and explicit explanation of applying strategies to students’ control of the strategy as they apply it independently. Students eventually assume responsibility for their learning. BACK

  9. main menu History By the mid 80’s researchers focused on methods of helping students control their learning by reasoning and explicit instruction about how strategies work. The 80’s Researchers began to explore the teaching of multiple strategies during instruction. Probably the best known intervention that came out of this research is Reciprocal Teaching, designed by Palinscar and Brown (1984). This method is based on teacher modeling and scaffolding of strategies (predict, clarify, question, and summarize) until students internalize the process and regulate the use of these strategies independently. Block & Parris 2008 BACK

  10. main menu History Research deemed these early methods of instruction effective, however students did not receive explicit explanations about how to think their way through text. Metacognitive awareness became a focus of instruction. Metacognition is knowledge about thinking. Metacognition about reading is knowledge about reading and how comprehension occurs. To construct meaning, students must monitor their understanding and apply strategic effort. RAND Reading Study Group Researchers began to explore how strategies could be taught by direct instructionand how students could be taught to think and reason while using strategies. Block & Parris 2008 BACK

  11. main menu History The 90’s Summary of case studies in three schools using comprehension strategies instruction grades 2-6. Pressley 2002 Strategies were taught during small and whole group instruction. Teachers provided scaffolded assistance within student’s zone of proximal development. Students eventually used strategies independently. Students explained how they used strategies and they modeled for their peers. Students were not taught individual strategies in isolated contexts. They were taught to use strategies when it was appropriate to use them--they were encouraged to be self regulatedstrategy users! BACK

  12. main menu How Do Good Readers Evolve? BACK

  13. main menu Text Reader Activity Evolution of Good Readers Elements of Reading Comprehension: Comprehension consists of 3 key elements--the reader, the text, and the activity--all set within a context . These elements are interactive with the social and cultural context in which reading takes place. RAND Reading Study Group 2002 Texts may be narrative or informational and varies in complexity. To maximize student motivation to read, text should be interesting and challenging but not too difficult to comprehend (i.e. within the students’ zone of proximal development). Reader competencies include decoding, fluency, vocabulary, general knowledge and knowledge of strategies. The explicitness with which teachers teach comprehension strategies makes a difference in learning, especially for low-achieving students.Effective teachers use wide range of instructional practices thoughtfully and dynamically. Reading activity consists of purpose (the reason for reading or the goal to achieve), processes (strategies applied for comprehension), and consequences (e.g. knowledge, improved comprehension, engagement). BACK

  14. main menu Evolution of Good Readers Comprehension is a strategic process. Good readers actively search for meaning as they read, using information from text combined with prior knowledge. Center for the Study of Reading Because meaning does not exist in text but rather must be actively constructed, instruction in how to employ strategies is necessary to improve comprehension. RAND Reading Study Group BACK

  15. main menu Evolution of Good Readers So, What do Good Readers Do? Before Reading *establish goals *skim for important parts relevant to goals *activate prior knowledge that can be connected to text During Reading *make predictions and evaluate or adjust these predictions as they read *make inferences *connect text to prior knowledge and personal experiences *integrate information to get the main ideas *monitor their understanding and shift strategies accordingly *clarify confusing words or ideas by using word attack and fix up strategies After Reading *summarize their learning or the main ideas *reflect on what they have learned and how they may use this information later BACK

  16. main menu Comprehension Strategies Instruction In the 21st Century Balanced Literacy Classroom BACK

  17. main menu Comprehension Strategies Instruction Benchmark School...A Model for Strategies Instruction This school in Media PA delivers a strategies curriculum, based on research of the late 80’s and 90’s, to students who struggled with reading comprehension in regular educational settings. Teachers here have been successfully committed to teaching reading in a scientifically evidenced-informed way for 36 years. Pressley & Gaskins (2006) BACK

  18. main menu Comprehension Strategies Instruction How do they do it? ~Comprehension and strategies instruction begins on the student’s first day. ~Explanation and modeling of strategies is the first step. ~Explicit teaching of strategies is followed by years of student practice with strategies and various texts. ~Strategies taught include: making predictions, asking questions, background knowledge, and comprehension monitoring (does is make sense and am I understanding? if not fix up...more on this later). ~Students transfer learning by applying comprehension strategies across the curriculum. ~Students are taught when and where to apply strategies appropriately. ~Modeling often includes teachers verbalizing, or thinking out loud, to explain how, when, and why they are using particular strategies. They encourage similar self-talk in students as well. ~They assess strategy use frequently and use the results to guide instruction! Comprehension Strategies Instruction is enhanced with metacognitive information: Students learn that effective readers use cognitive strategies and monitor how they are doing. They evaluate their understanding and use fix up strategieswhen needed. BACK

  19. main menu Comprehension Strategies Instruction Opposition Some researchersdo not consider CSI a constructivist approach to learning. It has been described as rote training of strategies for memorization where the teacher is the trainer and the student a passive participant.(Harris & Pressley 1991) On the contrary, CSI involves the active participant of the learner and through scaffolding and transfer the student gains independence regarding strategy application. Other critics may include advocates of discovery learning which is a less structured, self-guided learning process where students generate and test hypotheses about ideas. However, one would assume students must have learned the cognitive strategies and metacognitive processes at some point--through some form of explicit instruction. Similarly, whole language proponents who believe skills should take place in context authentic tasks may disagree with the direct, explicit instruction in CSI. However, CSI is both spontaneous, and contextual in the sense that strategies are modeled when they are needed during reading. Explicit instruction is just part of the process. Overall, it seems the research in support of CSI greatly outweighs the criticism against it. BACK

  20. main menu Comprehension Strategies Instruction Why Implement Comprehension Strategies Instruction? BACK

  21. main menu Comprehension Strategies Instruction Research evidence for comprehension strategies instruction (Farstrup & Samuels 2002) When elementary level students connect text information to their prior knowledge, comprehension improves. (Dewitz, Carr, & Patber, 1987; Hansen & Pearson, 1983). When students represent text ideas with mental imagery, comprehension improves (Gambrell &Bales, 1986; Gambrell & Jawitz, 1993; Pressley, 1977; Sadoski, 1983;1985). When elementary level students generate questions during reading, their comprehension improves (Davey & McBride (1986) When students summarize during reading, comprehension improves (Bean and Steenwyk 1984) Long term explicit instruction and modeling of strategies followed by student practice positively affects reading (Duffy et al., 1987). Metacognition is essential to reading since it allows students to control their cognitive skills. BACK

  22. main menu Comprehension Strategies Instruction Which strategies should be taught? BACK

  23. main menu Comprehension Strategies Instruction During the 80’s and 90’s the list of recommended strategies was quite extensive, including as many as 45 strategies. This number has been reduced over the years. Although slight variations occur, depending on the framework used, there is general agreement on important key strategies. In their 2000 report, The National Reading Panel synthesized scientific research and recommended the following strategies to improve comprehension in normal readers. Based on this report and the collaborative efforts of prominent reading research from the past two decades, the following key strategies are recommended for teaching reading comprehension: BACK

  24. main menu Monitor Comprehension Summarize Connect to World Knowledge Recognizing Text Structure Imagery Questioning Predict/ Infer Comprehension Strategies Instruction Strategies Click for descriptions Make an informed guess about what will happen or what will be learned next in the text. These are made based on prior knowledge and text clues. Generating questions about the text during reading and responding to questions by using information from text and prior knowledge. Making connections between prior knowledge and ideas in text Identifying the way fiction and non-fiction text is organized Active awareness of understanding and using fix up strategies when problems occur. Constructing mental pictures relating to text information and events. Synthesize information from text into a concise form. BACK

  25. main menu Instructional Models BACK

  26. main menu Instructional Models How can these strategies be taught effectively? Strategy instruction is typically moderately successful, regardless of the strategy or instructional method. Models that combine strategies are more effective than individual strategy models. Bruning, R.H., Schraw G.J., & Norby, M.M. 2011 A plethora of research based frameworks for applying strategies instruction have been designed over the past few decades. Let’s look at a few frequently used models that apply the seven strategies just described and have been generally very effective for improving comprehension for elementary school students. BACK

  27. main menu Instructional Models Reciprocal Teaching (Palinscar & Brown 1984) BACK

  28. main menu Instructional Models Instructional Framework Reciprocal Teaching is based on the concept of scaffolding. Teaching is shared between the teacher and students. The four main strategies applied in reciprocal teaching include: predicting, clarifying, questioning, and summarizing. These strategies are applied before, during, and after reading. BACK

  29. main menu Instructional Models Process Initially during instruction, the teacher explicitly models strategies and explains how and when to use them, in the context of authentic reading procedures. Responsibility is gradually transfered to students. Students become the teachers, modeling strategy usage at appropriate times with scaffolded assistance from the teacher. Finally, students apply strategies independently within peer groups. Students apply metacognition (knowing when and how to use each strategy) and eventually become self regulated learners. BACK

  30. Teacher Responsibility main menu Explain Attend Model Observe Guide Practice Assess Apply Student Responsibility Instructional Models Guidelines * Match demands to the abilities of students. * Diagnose the thinking of students as they are teaching and let it guide further instruction. * Shift the teaching responsibility gradually. Consortium on Reading Excellence Inc. 2008 Visual representation of release of responsibility during scaffolded instruction Scaffolded Support Based on El-Dinery 1993; Bergman 1992; Duke and Pearson 2002; Pearson and Gallagher 1983. BACK

  31. main menu Instructional Models Research In Practice Summary of a 1993 intensive intervention applying reciprocal teaching method for 3rd grade students in Highland Park Michigan. Carter, C.J (1997) Reciprocal teaching intervention was used to teach 3rd grade students. The students who received the intensive Reciprocal Teaching Tutoring doubled their reading scores on the state assessment the following year. Reciprocal Teaching with an adult model has led to gains on criterion tests of comprehension, reliable maintenance over time, generalization to classroom comprehension tests...and improvement in standardized comprehension scores. Palinscar and Brown (1984) BACK

  32. main menu Instructional Models Sample Lesson Palinscar & Brown, Harvard Education Letter, March 1986 Here is an example of an early lesson using the reciprocal teaching model Text: Spinner’s mate is much smaller than she, and his body is dull brown. He spends most of his time sitting at one side of her web. Charles: (no question) Teacher: What’s this paragraph about? Charles: Spinner’s mate. How do spinner’s mate... Teacher: That’s good. Keep going. Charles: How do spinner’s mate is smaller than...How am I going to say that? Teacher: Take your time with it. You want to ask a question about spinner’s mate and what he does, beginning with the word “how”. Charles: How do they spend most of his time sitting? Teacher: You’re very close. The question would be, “How does spinner’s mate spend most of his time?” Now, you ask it. Charles: How does spinner’s mate spend most of his time? BACK

  33. main menu Instructional Models Sample Lesson Palinscar & Brown, Harvard Education Letter, March 1986 Here is an example of later lessonafter students have taken more responsibility for teaching. Text: The second oldest form of salt production is mining. Unlike early methods that made the work extremely dangerous and difficult, today’s methods use special machinery, and salt mining is easier and safer. The old expression “back to the salt mine” no longer applies. Laura: Name two words that often describe mining salt in the old days. Kim: Back to the salt mines? Laura: No, Angela? Angela: Dangerous and difficult. Laura: Correct. this paragraph is all about comparing the old mining of salt and today’s mining of salt. Teacher: Beautiful! Laura: I have a prediction to make. Teacher: Good. Laura: I think it might tell when salt was first discovered...well, it might tell what salt is made of and how it’s made. Teacher: O.K. Can we have another teacher? BACK

  34. main menu Instructional Models Reciprocal Teaching In Action Detailed examples and sample lesson videos can be viewed at: http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/reciprocal_teaching http://bcove.me/jkdervrk http://www.vdoe.whro.org/elementary_reading/ReciprocalTeaching1-20-2010_F8_FastStart_512k.swf BACK

  35. main menu Instructional Models Transactional Strategies Instruction (TSI) (Pressley et al., 1992) BACK

  36. main menu Instructional Models Framework TSI is dynamic, interactive instruction during which teachers use a small group of powerful strategies to help students make meaning from text. Students learn these strategies with a variety of texts in various instructional settings. The actual model of instruction may vary but they share key components including: strategy instruction, strategy use, and extensive interaction. The ultimate goal of TSI is students’self-regulated use of the strategies (i.e. knowing how and when to use strategies appropriately and effectively). TSI strategies include: *generating questions *visualization *summarization *making predictions *connecting text to prior knowledge *clarifying vocabulary BACK

  37. main menu Instructional Models Process Take affective, behavioral, and cognitive assessments of students before beginning instruction. Introduce strategies one at a time. Demonstrate strategies in the context of meaningful, authentic, academic tasks. Don’t forget Metacognition: Provideexplicit instruction on how and when to use the strategies through modeling and thinking out loud. Also, explain the benefits of using strategies. Scaffold and assist students during reading instruction by prompting them to use comprehension and word attack fix up strategies as needed. Provide specific feedback and re-teaching based on students’ needs. Once students internalize these fix up strategies, active strategic reading becomes automatic. Gradually transfer responsibility to students so they become self-regulated learners, applying, monitoring, and evaluating strategies independently. BACK

  38. main menu Instructional Models Word Attack Fix Up Strategies • Look at the pictures • Try to sound out the word. • Look at the beginning letters. • Look at the ending letters. • Look for a smaller word inside the word. • Skip the word and read to the end of the sentence. • Try to guess! Does your word make sense? Does your guess look like the word? • Use the words around it. • Go back and re-read. • Put another word in it’s place. BACK

  39. main menu Instructional Models Comprehension Fix Up Strategies 1. Use picture and/or context clues 2. Ask questions 3. Go back & reread 4. Summarize & Retell 5. Make predictions 6. Graphic Organizers BACK

  40. main menu Instructional Models Research In Practice Summary of comparative study: TSI vs. Conventional Teaching Brown, Pressly, Van Meter, and Schuder (1996) A school in Maryland experimented with a version of TSI known as Students Achieving Independent Learning (SAIL). This study compared performance of 2nd grade students receiving transactional strategies instruction versus those that did not. Prior to the study both groups showed no difference on standardized comprehension or word skills measures. Following the experiment, students in the TSI condition outperformed control students and when these students were asked to think aloud as they read, they used many more strategies than the control group. BACK

  41. main menu Instructional Models Sample Lessons One of the most important elements in the process of using TSI is the explicit teaching of how and when to use the strategies through modelingand thinking out loud. Teachers must develop the expertise to modify explanations from moment to moment based on student responses (Block & Pressley, 2007). Here is an example of effective explicit explanation and modeling during an interactive lesson. http://bcove.me/zryzuvz8 Think Aloud : http://www.vdoe.whro.org/elementary_reading/ThinkAloud1-20-2010_F8_FastStart_512k.swf A detailed sample TSI lesson can be found in... Honig, B., Diamond, L., & Gutlohn, L. (2008). Teaching Reading Sourcebook 2nd ed. Berkley, CA: Consortium on Reading Excellence Inc. (CORE). pp. 659-676 BACK

  42. main menu Instructional Models Question-Answer Relationship (QAR) (Raphael et al., 1986) BACK

  43. main menu Instructional Models Framework This is a method of teaching students how to think about, discuss and respond to comprehension questions. It is applicable to both narrative and informational texts. Teachers assist students in analyzing the differences in questions and the sources of possible responses. BACK

  44. main menu Instructional Models The language of the Question-Answer Relationship Based on Raphael 1986 Teachers and students can use this matrix as a strategy during comprehension lessons when searching for answers to questions. This strategy can be applied with narrative and informational text. Teachers can guide students by asking “where and how do you think you will find the answers?” Consortium on Reading Excellence Inc. 2008 BACK

  45. main menu Instructional Models Process Select text on students’ independent reading level. Explain the language of the Question-Answer Relationship. Explain how to use the question-answer relationships to respond to comprehension questions. Model how and when to use the appropriate relationships to answer comprehension questions. BACK

  46. main menu Instructional Models Sample Lessons Resources containing further detailed explanations and sample lessons for QAR : http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/question_answer_relationship http://www.vdoe.whro.org/elementary_reading/QAR1-25-2010_F8_FastStart_512k.swf A detailed sample QAR lesson can be found in... Honig, B., Diamond, L., & Gutlohn, L. (2008). Teaching Reading Sourcebook 2nd ed. Berkley, CA: Consortium on Reading Excellence Inc. (CORE). pp. 702-710 BACK

  47. main menu Classrooms of the Future...Teaching Strategies with Technology BACK

  48. main menu Teaching Strategies With Technology In 2005 The National Center for Education Statistics reported that 93% of U.S. elementary public school classrooms had internet access. This is about an 80% increase compared to access of ten years prior. With the internet being such a prominent fixture in the classroom, there is little doubt that reading comprehension instruction will continue to be transformed and redefined to adapt to this communication medium. As a result,research in new literacies is expanding to provide teachers with valuable resources for instructing online reading comprehension. During online reading comprehension exercises, the reader will locate, critically evaluate, synthesize, and communicate information on the internet. Leu (2002). BACK

  49. main menu Teaching Strategies With Technology Internet Reciprocal Teaching (IRT) This innovative method of reading comprehension is based on the model described previously but uses some processes unique to this medium with online resources and typically informational texts. Strategy instruction during IRT involves teachers and students modeling choices about which links to follow, how to locate important information within multiple websites and how to synthesize information across texts and media. They do this by thinking aloud and discussion. Block & Parris (2008) BACK

  50. main menu Teaching Strategies With Technology Online tools that support strategic instruction of reading comprehension : BACK