Did you know? “Research shows that one of the most powerful strategies for improving reading ability is reading aloud to children. Students hear how to be expressive, learn to be fluent, and are able to infer and ask questions about text.” Alison Egnoski, Fond du lac Schools
STARTStudents and Teachers Actively Responding to Text Presented by: Pat Beckius Eagle View Reading Teacher
These are iNTirEStinG and cHallinGinG times for anyone whose pRoFEshuNle responsibilities are rEelaTed in any way to liTiRucY outcomes among school children. For, in spite of all our new NaWLEGe about reading and reading iNstRukshun, there is a wide-spread concern that public EdgUkAshuN is not as eFfEktIve as it shood be in tEecHiNg all children to read.
The report of the National Research Council pointed out that these concerns about literacy derive not from declining levels of literacy in our schools but rather from recognition that the demands for high levels of literacy are rapidly accelerating in our society.
Definitions of Reading Comprehension Take a few moments and talk about your definitions of reading comprehension!
Definitions of Reading Comprehension “It is the intentional thinking during which meaning is constructed through interactions between text and reader.” Durkin (1993) “It is the construction of the meaning of a written text through a reciprocal interchange of ideas between the reader and the message in a particular text.” Harris & Hodges, 1995 “Reading comprehension is thinking guided by print.” Perfetti 1995
Definitions of Reading Comprehension “Meaning arises from the active, deliberate thinking processes readers engage in as they read. “The process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language. It consists of three elements: the reader, the text, and the activity or purpose for reading” Rand Reading Study Group, 2002
In summary: Reading comprehension involves active mental effort to construct meaning. Good readers use prior knowledge, information in text, and thinking/reasoning processes to construct new knowledge and understanding.
Factors that affect reading comprehension Accurate and fluent word reading skills Oral language skills: vocabulary, linguistic comprehension Conceptual and factual knowledge Knowledge and skill in use of cognitive strategies to improve comprehension or repair it when it breaks down. Reasoning and inferential skills. Motivation to understand and interest in task and materials.
Marilyn Adams “In fact, the automaticity with which skillful readers recognize words is the key to the whole system. The reader’s attention can be focused on the meaning and message of a text only to the extent that it’s free from fussing with the words and letters.”
Language Knowledge Fluency Metacognition • Life Experience • Content Knowledge • Activation of Prior • Knowledge • Knowledge about • Texts • Oral Language Skills • Knowledge of Language • Structures • Vocabulary • Cultural Influences Reading Comprehension • Prosody • Automaticity/Rate • Accuracy • Decoding • Phonemic Awareness • Motivation & • Engagement • Active Reading • Strategies • Monitoring Strategies • Fix-Up Strategies
The Study for START Classrooms • Teachers modeled and scaffolded strategies during read-alouds: 40 sessions during a five-month period. • Student choice of texts read independently three/four days per week for 20 minutes per day • Students completed ART (Actively Reading Text) recording sheets
The Study for ST and Control Classrooms • ST classrooms: teachers modeled and scaffolded strategies during read-alouds: 40 sessions during a five-month period • Control classroom teachers conducted read-aloud activities without any changes • ST and control students engaged in independent reading activities without any changes.
START Study Results • START classrooms made an average nine-month gain in reading comprehension (6 percentile rank gain) • ST classrooms made an average three-month gain in reading comprehension (6 percentile rank loss) • Control classroom made a one-month loss in reading comprehension (15 percentile rank loss) Scharlach, Tabatha Dobson. (2008).
More START Study Results • Below grade level students in START classrooms gained an average of six months in reading comprehension (10 percentile rank gain) • Below grade level students in ST classrooms made an average two-month gain in reading comprehension (5 percentile rank loss) • Below grade level students in Control classroom made a three-month gain in reading comprehension (2 percentile rank loss) Scharlach, Tabatha Dobson. (2008).
Still More START Study Results • On grade level students in START classrooms gained an average of nine months in reading comprehension (6 percentile rank gain) • On grade level students in ST classrooms made an average seven-month gain in reading comprehension (1 percentile rank loss) • On grade level students in Control classroom made a three-month gain in reading comprehension (6 percentile rank loss) Scharlach, Tabatha Dobson. (2008).
And Still More START Study Results • Above grade level students in START classrooms gained an average of one year and four months in reading comprehension (2 percentile rank gain) • Above grade level students in ST classrooms made no gain in reading comprehension (8 percentile rank loss) • Above grade level students in Control classroom made a loss of one year in reading comprehension (23 percentile rank loss) *It’s unclear why a number of students in the control classroom performed much worse on the posttest than the pretest. Scharlach, Tabatha Dobson. (2008).
Conclusions Average, advanced, and struggling readers in START framework of instruction and independent reading with the ART of Comprehension recording sheets all made significantly HIGHER reading comprehension gains than students in other classrooms. Scharlach, Tabatha Dobson. (2008).
Teacher Read-Aloud • Teacher reads aloud from chapter books or picture books during read-aloud sessions. • START is appropriate for either fiction or nonfiction text. • Teacher explicitly models and explains comprehension strategy during initial introduction. • Teacher provides guided practice, scaffolding students during read-aloud to use the comprehension strategies with teacher support.
“The words on the page are only half the story . . . The rest is what you bring to the party.”Toni Morrison
Teacher models and scaffolds use of these eight comprehension strategies: • Predicting/Inferring • Visualizing • Making Connections • Asking Questions/Seeking Answers • Determining Main Idea • Constructing Summaries • Checking Predictions • Making Judgments
Model of Visualization From The Boy Who Spoke Dog (Morgan, C. 2003) Humans are complicated, Moxie. I told you they are a mystery. But here are a few of the things that I know. Humans are clever. They can see very well, and they can put things together to make new things. They can change the world everywhere they go. This is why we dogs call them the masters. But it is obvious that their sense of smell is very weak, and the way they think and communicate is limited, too – to barking mainly. For example, sometimes humans think by barking out loud. But I was told that often humans think by barking in their minds. The inside of a human’s mind must be a very noisy place. (p. 87
Modeling of Visualizing Teacher: (to class) When I was reading that paragraph in my mind I saw a person’s head with a little dog inside of it barking. I was visualizing that when I read the part, “humans think by barking in their minds.” Student: I saw that too. Teacher: Good! You were visualizing when I was reading! Visualizing helps us connect with the story and understand better what is happening in the story. Scharlach, Tabatha Dobson. (2008).
Making Connections T-S : Text to Self “This part of the book reminds me of myself” T-T : Text-to-Text “This part of the book reminds me of another book” T-W : Text-to-World “This part of the book reminds me of connections that may also affect others in the world”
Quick Connections “I have a dog!” “My Grandma wears glasses, too!” “That looks just like my Dad’s new jacket!” Deep Thinking Connections “This reminds me of the feeling I had when I had a fight with my friend. I felt very lonely and sad”. “This reminds me of the time when had to sing a song in front of the whole school. I felt very nervous and also embarrassed.” Has the connection helped to understand story better?
Scaffolding of Making Connections From The Boy Who Spoke Dog (Morgan, C. 2003) He ran as fast as he could. His leg muscles burned, and the air in his lungs rasped. Then the wild dogs caught up with them. Jack saw them out of the corners of his eyes. They were running and loping along beside them, and Jack expected hard, sharp teeth in his neck.
Scaffolding of Making Connections From The Boy Who Spoke Dog (Morgan, C. 2003) But they did not attack, and this frightened Jack more. Instead, the wild dogs kept running along on both sides of them, and they were spreading out in a ragged line as they neared the top of the meadow and the flock of sheep. “Aaaah!” Jack shouted. He had hoped to be saved by the sheep dogs again, but now he needed to warn them. He hardly had any air left in his lungs. (p. 142)
Scaffolding of Making Connections Teacher: Have any of you ever felt that way before – your muscles burning and like you had no air left in your lungs? Students: Yes! Mmmmhmm. Teacher: When did that happen? Student: Sometimes you run out of air when you play kickball when you’re running really fast. Teacher: And how does that make you feel? Student: Breathless. Student: Like I’m dying. Teacher: Can you talk very well when you feel that way? Student: No. Teacher: Those are good connections to our own lives. They help us understand how Jack feels. It reminds you of playing kickball and feeling breathless. Scharlach, Tabatha Dobson. (2008).
START Reading Strategies Before Reading Predicting/Inferring In this chapter I think . . . Visualizing In my mind I see . . . During Reading Making Connections This reminds me of . . . I wonder . . . Questioning I think the most important thing . . . Main Idea In 10 words or less . . . Summarizing After Reading My original prediction . . . Checking Predictions Making Judgments My favorite part . . . Scharlach, Tabatha Dobson. (2008).
The ART of Comprehension: Actively Reading Text (First page to use with a new chapter or book) My name: _________________________________________________ Title of Book: _______________________________________________ Author/Illustrator: ____________________________________________ Chapter: ____ In this chapter I think . . . In my mind I see . . . Before reading: Predicting/Inferring During reading: Visualizing This reminds me of . . . I wonder . . . During Reading: Making Connections . During reading: Questioning Scharlach, Tabatha Dobson. (2008).
The ART of Comprehension: Actively Reading Text (Second page to use with a new chapter or book) My name: _________________________________________________ Title of Book: _______________________________________________ Author/Illustrator: ____________________________________________ Chapter: ____ In think the most important thing . . . In ten words or less . . . After reading: Main Idea After reading: Summarizing After reading the book/chapter, my original prediction . . . My favorite part of this book/chapter . . . After Reading: Checking Predictions After reading: Making Judgments Scharlach, Tabatha Dobson. (2008).
Independent Reading • Independent reading occurs three or four days per week for 20 minutes per day. • Students select independent reading material at their independent reading level. • Students complete START comprehension self-monitoring recording sheets to assist in the development of metacognition.
Considerations • Suggestions here are not intended to replace other small-group or whole-group comprehension instruction but to supplement such instruction. • Diverse student needs are met through modeling, scaffolding, and student choice of independent reading materials at their own reading level. • The ultimate goal is for students to increase independent comprehension strategies so that the recording sheets become unnecessary. It may take time.
The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.Ralph Waldo Emerson
Planning Time Use sticky notes to jot down each prediction, visualization, connection, question, main idea, summary, prediction check, and judgment. As you use these with students you will model removing the sticky notes from previous reading and placing them into the appropriate boxes on the recording sheets. The process would be repeated with each new reading. *Note: Beginning with the 10th independent reading session, after each of the eight comprehension strategies have been modeled, your students will begin using their own START recording sheets during independent reading.
Thank-You for your time! I hope you have experienced a new idea that can be easily implemented within your classrooms. Pat Beckius Eagle View Elementary • firstname.lastname@example.org • 952.758.6067
Resources • Duke, N.K., & Pearson, P.D. (2002). Effective practices for developing reading comprehension. In A.E., Farstrop & S.J. Samuels (Eds.), What research has to say about reading instruction. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. • Durkin, D. (1993). Teaching them to read (6th Ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. • Harris, T. L., & Hodges, R. E. (1995). The literacy dictionary. Newark, DE:International Reading Association. • Keene, E.O., & Zimmermann, S. (2007). Mosaic of thought: The power of comprehension strategy instruction. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. • Miller, Debbie (2002). Reading with meaning: Teaching comprehension in the primary grades. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers • National Reading Panel (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Washington, D.C. • Perfetti, C. A. (1985). Reading Ability. New York: Oxford University Press. • Pinnell, G.S., & Scharer, P.L. (2003). Teaching for comprehension in reading: Grades K-2. New York: Scholastic Inc. • RAND Reading Study Group. (2002). Reading for understanding: Toward an R & D program in reading comprehension. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. • Scharlach, Tabatha Dobson. (2008). START comprehending: Students and teachers actively reading text. The Reading Teacher, 62(1), pp.20-31.
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