IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION. The Key Ideas. Literacy, defined as reading comprehension, is a growing concern in the high school classroom. As a literature specialist, I feel equipped to address reading strategies in my classroom.
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The Key Ideas • Literacy, defined as reading comprehension, is a growing concern in the high school classroom. • As a literature specialist, I feel equipped to address reading strategies in my classroom. • I explicitly model and teach my students reading comprehension strategies. • I provide numerous opportunities for my students to practice reading strategies and I monitor and provide feedback on their use of these strategies.
OVERVIEW OF PRESENTATION • The push behind literacy – the problems with reading comprehension • Supporting literacy across all content areas • Characteristics of good readers before, during, and after reading. • The strategies in action
Why do students need to become expert readers? According to the work of Dawn Reithaug (Supporting Adolescent Readers 2007): “…in our knowledge based society adolescents need to be expert readers, writers, and thinkers to compete and succeed in the global economy and to navigate through a technological world.” “Reading is central to learning – in school, in the workplace, and in everyday life.”
Shouldn’t high school students know how to read? • YES…The 5 keys to deconstructing text: phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary development, and reading comprehension must be explicitly taught in both the elementary and high school ELA classroom. • BUT…when students are not proficient in reading we know it affects their learning in every other subject. • THEREFORE…Modeling effective reading strategies for content area texts and teaching students content area vocabulary are the responsibilities of all teachers, regardless of subject area. These strategies must also be reinforced at home.
The Problem With Reading Comprehension How to Bartle Puzballs (Gallagher 2004) There are tork gooboos of puzballs, including laplies, mushos, and fushos. Even if you bartle the puzballs that tovo inny and onny of the pern, they do not grunto any lipples. In order to geeme a puzball that gruntos lipples, you should bartle the fusho who has rarckled the parshtootoos after her humply fluflu. How many gooboos of puzballs are there? What are laplies, mushos, and fushos? Even if you bartle the puzballs that tovo inny and onny of the pern, what won’t they do? How can you geemee a puzball that gruntos lipples?
What does our reading of the passage tell us about the reading our students are doing in our classrooms? • Reading is more than decoding • Reading is an active, constructive process. • Good readers have a repertoire of thinking strategies they use to comprehend texts. • Prior knowledge is the main determinant of comprehension. • Reading is a staged and recursive process.
What can we do? Four Keys to Support Adolescent Readers: (Reithaug 2007) • Increase the Volume of Reading • Build Vocabulary • Enhance Comprehension • Offer Support When Needed
Increase the Volume of Reading • How do we increase the volume of reading? • Get our colleagues to focus on content area reading. • How do we convince our colleagues to do this? • Show them they are already doing content area reading, help them to support it with comprehension strategies
Why Content Area Teachers Care About Reading • According to Daniels and Zemmelman in their book Subjects Matter (2004): “There are two main problems with reading in secondary subject fields; first, students are reading the wrong stuff and second, they don’t understand what they read.”(14) • Read the “right stuff.” Textbooks can’t nor shouldn’t be the only reading resource. • Support the reading with explicit instruction of comprehension strategies
How do we build vocabulary? • A word must be heard/used in context 6 times before the meaning is internalized. • The typical high school Chemistry text contains over 3,000 words unfamiliar to the average student. • Use vocabulary building strategies!
Reading Strategies Across the Curriculum – Teaching Tips • Introduce one strategy at a time and then have students practice it repeatedly. Apply to short passages at first and then extend. • Model the activity yourself, as you explain to students how to use it. • Practice the strategy as whole class first so kids can see how it works. • Provide reinforcement and follow up.
What Good Readers Do Before Reading • Tap, activate, and build prior knowledge. • Ask questions • Preview the text • Determine the rate • Anticipate the message and the author’s purpose • Predict what the text will be about • Set purpose for reading
What Good Readers Do During Reading • Connect and construct meaning • Construct mental images • Make, confirm and adjust predictions • Make, confirm, and adjust inferences and draw conclusions • Use cueing systems to construct meaning • Note key ideas and what supports them • Ask questions and self-monitor comprehension • Adjust rate and/or strategy
What Good Readers Do After Reading • Recall, paraphrase, summarize and synthesize • Reflect and interpret • Evaluate • Extend and apply new understanding • Respond personally • Listen, read, view again, speak, write and represent to deepen understanding