Incorrect predictions can signal a misunderstanding that needs to be revisited.
Reading comprehension instruction often includes strategies for tackling certain, discrete skills, like vocabulary, identification of main ideas, and comparisons within and between texts. Comprehension of a text is made up of smaller piecesall of which must come together in perfect harmony: Image via pixabay and Workingham Libraries Thanks in part to the Common Core State Standards, but also to the increasing emphasis in education on adequately preparing students for college and careers, reading comprehension has become increasingly important in the non-ELA content areas like math, science, and social studies.
Math students have to explain and justify their processes and answers. This is causing some trouble for content area teachers who feel they now how have to be both experts in their field and experts in English and reading skills.
This article from the Atlantic on why the math word problems in the new SAT are proving to be so tough is a prime example of what is expected of content area teachers. To prepare students for college and careers, reading comprehension needs to be a part of all subject areas.
Students cannot master complex scientific concepts, comprehend historical treaties, or follow complex logic problems without it. Content areas deal with complex texts that require analytical reading skills. Students in social studies, science, and math classes have to be able to compare and synthesize ideas, and use specific academic vocabulary.
InFisher, Frey, and Williams compiled this list of literacy strategies for the content areas. While this means having to know a lot of information about a lot of different topics, it also means that elementary level teachers are more likely to easily employ reading comprehension strategies across all areas.
The same activities teachers use with their class during reading can be recycled for science, math, and social studies. When reading content-related texts, students can learn a lot from teachers who stop to vocalize their thinking.
Many teacher assign roles for students during book discussions. Each student is given a task like clarifier, connection-maker, questioner, and summarizer. These same roles can be assigned while reading nonfiction texts in the content areas.
Identifying context clues helps students in decoding unknown words. But going beyond that vocabulary strategy and having students identify the most important words in a text can help them process the topic and further understand the content area subject.
One way to do this might be to have each student nominate an important word found directly in the text. Together, the class can rank the words in order of relevance and importance to the text. Main Idea and Details: Encourage underlining and highlighting of main ideas and details.
Adding the physical component engages different parts of the brain and allows students to think critically about a text. Many students reread their favorite picture and chapter books over and over, which deepens their comprehension of the story.
This same skill should be applied to nonfiction content area texts. These two questions get at the analytical and inferential thinking important for mastering comprehension of subject-matter texts.Ten Tips to Improve Your Reading Comprehension: In this YouTube clip, an instructor discusses strategies he uses to understand what he reads.
Quick Tips for Better Reading: This article from Niagra University discusses simple strategies to make you a better reader. How to Improve Reading Comprehension: 3 Steps Because reading comprehension is a skill that improves like any other, you can improve your understanding with practice and a game plan.
Dedicate yourself to engaging in a combination of both "guided" and "relaxed" reading practice for at least two to three hours a week. Reading “5 Comprehension Teaching Strategies, I was reminded of another past reading program I used. The graphic organizers were so much help in the beginning of the reading comprehension process.
Visual learners get to observe the ideas in a different way than just print. Teach reading comprehension skills and strategies at all levels of reading development.
Teachers at every grade level and every subject area should always be planning how reading assignments will help students develop and practice skills and strategies. Often skills and strategies get misinterpreted as they are often used together (Winch, Johnston, March, Ljungdahl, & Holliday, ) so it is important to differentiate the two.
‘Reading skills are automatic actions of the reader that result in efficient and fluent decoding and comprehension of texts’ (Duke & Pearson, ) such as recognition skills. This list of reading strategies is designed for anyone who wants to hone their reading skills and cut down on frustration and confusion.
We talk about reading comprehension and critical reading, and we discuss pre-reading strategies such as scanning the headings and predicting, as well as strategies like reading more than once and asking questions.