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Comprehension Strategy Instruction: The Differences That Make A Difference . Mario Campanaro NCLB 2/6/09. Visit the website for…. Power Point Additional copies of the handout Lesson plans from all the tools we talk about today If your Students have difficulty with….

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comprehension strategy instruction the differences that make a difference

Comprehension Strategy Instruction: The Differences That Make A Difference


NCLB 2/6/09

visit the website for
Visit the website for…
  • Power Point
  • Additional copies of the handout
  • Lesson plans from all the tools we talk about today

if your students have difficulty with
If your Students have difficulty with…
  • Making inferences
  • Summarizing
  • Identifying the main idea
  • Read words fairly well, but do not comprehend what they read

Then… you won’t have buyer’s remorse…


reading comprehension
Reading Comprehension

A short time to discuss a complex topic

Focus for this session will be on three factors that make a difference:

  • researched-based solutions for teaching reading comprehension(don’t be frightened-the research discussion will be painless)
  • how to develop self-regulated readers who love to read and can blow away high stakes tests
based on recent research 2003 2008
Based on recent Research 2003-2008…
  • 5 large and informative studies I have


  • How teachers teach comprehension
  • What professional development model is useful
  • What “tools” teachers need to support teaching comprehension
  • Comprehension strategies students bring to class
  • How students use and apply strategies
students have difficulties comprehending text because
Students have difficulties comprehending text because…
  • They have not been taught to be a strategic/ metacognitive readers
  • Many will never figure out how to be strategic on their own-particularly the struggling reader
how do i know
How do I know


I taught struggling readers

I have studied the rich research available concerning reading comprehension and metacognition

I have conducted research in reading comprehension and metacognition

how do i know8
How do I know…
  • Most teachers have not been trained to teach comprehension
  • Most materials available do not teach comprehension- test comprehension
  • Studies by Durkin(1978/79), Pressley(1995,2006), Campanaro 2006-2008.
  • Today’s presentation is based on the findings from recent EB studies
comprehension what have i learned
Comprehension-what have I learned?
  • Some students will get it if we don’t teach it
  • All students will if we do!
  • Teachers must receive professional development training to effectively teach students to comprehend and become self-regulated independent readers
i have learned that research based practices don t always work for teachers why
I have learned that research-based practices don’t always work for teachers…why?
  • The studies
  • The researcher
  • The teacher reality principle



Lack of Expertise

let s get going and observe a group of expert readers
Let’s get going and observe a group of expert readers
  • Let’s explore what they do when they read
  • Let’s discover how they learned to be proficient self-regulated readers…expert readers
  • Oh…Who are the expert readers
practice activity 2 minutes
Practice Activity: 2 minutes
  • What are the 3 grootste aantallen that can wordt gemaakt using the cijfers 3, 4, 6, and 7? Elk cijfer must be used only een en elk aantallen. Merk uw antwoord.
  • 7643
  • 3467, 3476, 3647
  • 7643, 7634, 7463
  • 34, 36, 73
  • grootste aantallen = largest numbers
  • wordt gemaakt = be created
  • cijfer = digit
  • Merk uw antwoord = mark your answer


Bridge Between Research and the Classroom

bridge needed between research and practice
Bridge needed between research and practice
  • Identify the research that works
  • Conduct research that is needed
  • Operationalize the research for teachers
research validated strategies based on 30 years of research
Research Validated Strategies based on 30 yearsof research
  • Making predictions
  • Asking questions
  • Inferring
  • Activating prior knowledge- connections
  • Visualizing
  • Summarize
  • Monitor comprehension-fix up
  • Identifying Important Information
  • Set purpose for reading
address the teacher reality principle
Address the Teacher Reality Principle
  • Time
  • Fit to curriculum
  • Lack of training
  • Link strategy instruction to state/local curriculum.
  • Provide tools that do not require additional time to teach
  • Provide professional development training-not product orientation sessions.
  • Link standards to strategies
state standards 25 key standards recast as strategies
State Standards: 25 key standards recast as strategies
  • Vocabulary: Author’s Craft

Context Clues Author’s purpose

Synonyms/antonyms Author’s point of view

Figurative language Genre

  • Story Structure

Main idea


Character traits


Order of important events

  • Comprehension




Comparing story variants

instructional model for teaching comprehension strategies
Instructional Model for Teaching Comprehension Strategies

Gradual Release of Responsibility Approach

  • Teacher Demonstration Concrete to Abstract (Modeling)
  • Teacher Directed Practice (Guided Practice)
  • Monitored Student Application (Independent Practice)
  • Independent Student Application (Use in Everyday Reading)
reading comprehension what works educational leadership fielding and pearson
Reading Comprehension: WhatWorks Educational Leadership, Fielding and Pearson


All Student

All Teacher


Guided Practice

Gradual Release of Responsibility



educational bridge research based tools to accelerate comprehension
Educational Bridge:Research-based tools to accelerate comprehension
  • For teachers
    • Tools to diagnose
    • Tools to teach
  • For students
    • Tools to support strategy development
    • Tools to support independence and self-regulation
eb research findings
EB Research Findings
  • GRR
  • Think-Alouds
  • Conditional Knowledge
  • Fast Mapping
  • Multiple Strategies
  • Provisions for Independent Practice and Student Application of Strategies
  • All teachers in experimental groups demonstrated improved capacity to teach reading comprehension strategies
  • Students of experimental group teachers out performed control in reading achievement and gains in metacomprehension
comprehension is taught not caught
Comprehension is Taught, Not Caught
  • A comprehensive plan/approach is required across grade levels and content areas
  • Tools for teaching comprehension are needed based on the gradual release of responsibility instructional model and determining students’ levels of comprehension and metacognition
metacomprehension strategy index schmidt 1990
Metacomprehension Strategy Index (Schmidt, 1990)

What it is?

25 items to explore how:

  • How a student thinks about text
  • Before, During, and after reading

Validated Strategies-

Questioning, etc.


G RR for

State curriculum&


  • Foundations for teaching summary
  • Not a one time event
  • Start at the beginning of the school year-mentor texts
  • The one minute read-alouds
  • The Bio Pyramid
probable passages
Probable Passages
  • Before Reading
  • After Reading
probable passages hot stuff
Probable Passages-Hot Stuff
  • Class Clown
  • School
  • No funny ideas
  • Ben
  • Disruptive
  • Humorous
  • Lunch room
  • Pizza
  • Hot peppers
  • Laughing students
  • Nurse’s office
bio pyramid
Bio Pyramid
  • Mario
  • Educational Publisher_______(2 words describing person)
  • English Language Learner(3 words/childhood)
  • Learning to Read Text(4 word/problem)
  • Earned A Doctorate in Reading (5 word/accomplishment)
  • Authored several professional books in reading(6 word second accomplishment)
  • Founded Celebration Press publisher of the DRA (7 word third accomplishment)
  • Students become strategic and metacomprhensive readers of text (8 word benefits of accomplishments)
you try
You try
  • Construct a bio pyramid about yourself
  • Stop at line 5
  • Discuss
summary pyramid narrative text hot stuff
Summary Pyramid: Narrative Text: Hot Stuff
  • Character’s name-Ben
  • Two words describing Ben-Class Clown
  • Three-word phrase describing the setting-Walking to school
  • Four words indicating problem- needed funny idea quickly

From: FastMapping for Comprehension

you try with a partner
You try with a partner
  • Complete steps 5-8 for Hot Stuff
  • Identify the words your students may not know while completing the narrative pyramid for Hot Stuff
what s so hot about hot stuff
What’s so Hot about Hot Stuff
  • From: FastMapping for Comprehension
fast mapping what is it
Fast Mapping…What is it?
  • Recent comprehension research by Dr Cathy Collins Block(2007)
  • Learner requires 6 intensive in-depth experiences with a new strategy to form a neural pathway that enables application
bridge to reading comprehension chapter books
Bridge to Reading Comprehension Chapter Books
  • FastMapping applied to connected text
  • Focus strategies-7 opportunities
  • Maximize flexible use of texts-read-alouds, guided reading, independent reading.
  • My Almost Perfect Life- T/G Chapter 3
informational pyramid
Informational Pyramid
  • Line 1-Topic
  • Line 2-Two words describing the topic
  • Line 3- Three words describing action of the topic
  • Line 4- Four-word phrase telling about the environment of habitat
  • Line 5 -Five-word phrase telling one important fact about the topic
  • Line 6- Six-word phrase telling another important fact about the topic
  • Line 7- Seven-word phrase stating a third important fact about the topic
  • Line 8-Eight word question-what else you want to learn about the topic
you try it in small group
You Try It in small group
  • Perspectives anthologies
  • Nonfiction section only
what s perspectives
What’s Perspectives
  • Teaches critical thinking and deep comprehension K-6
  • Opposing points view explored through various genres-fables, fairy tales, nonfiction, fiction, etc.
  • Apply all the comprehension(cognitive) strategies when exploring differing points-of-view
sustaining the use of strategies
Sustaining the use of Strategies
  • Developing Readers
    • Lesson plans for the 25 key strategies found on state curriculums and high stakes assessments
    • Strategies applied to all classroom texts
    • Hot Stuff words-Context Clues
    • Developing Readers lesson plan for context clues-use your own materials

He put down $10 at the window. The woman behind the window gave $ 4.00. The person next to him gave him $ 3.00, but he gave it back to her. So, when they went inside, she bought him a large bag of popcorn.

skillful readers
Skillful readers…
  • Recognize the antecedents for pronouns
  • Figure out the meaning of unknown words from context clues
  • Figure out the grammatical function of an unknown word
  • Understand intonation of characters’ words
  • Identify characters’ beliefs, personalities, and motivations
  • Understand characters’ relationships to one another
skillful readers45
Skillful readers…
  • Provide explanations for events or ideas that are presented in the text
  • Offer details for events or their own explanations of the events presented in the text
  • Understand the author’s view of the world
  • Recognize the author’s biases
  • Related what is happening in the text to their own knowledge of the world
  • Offer conclusions from facts presented in the text
skillful teachers
Skillful Teachers…
  • Follow a Gradual Release Model
  • Think-Aloud
  • Build Background Knowledge
  • Teach the 3 types of strategy Knowledge(Declarative, Procedural, Conditional)
  • Teach Multiple Strategies
  • Make Provisions for Independent Practice
student recording sheet
Student Recording Sheet

George Miller (1957) Magical Number Seven

  • Distributed practice
  • Working Memory
  • Long term memory
vocabulary development
Vocabulary Development
  • Common prefixes and suffixes
  • Flip Dictionary (Developing Thinkers)