Able readers are able to use a variety of strategies to further comprehension while reading. For example, making predictions, making personal connections, and engaging in self monitoring of understanding.
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CTW has described and placed emphasis on comprehension as it is what reading is all about. Comprehension promotes motivation for literacy. Research has shown that not enough comprehension instruction occurs. However, this is an essential component of literacy instruction and something all educators must partake in more frequently.
CTW details that some students do not know the real purpose of reading - to gain meaning from text. Proficient readers have story structure in their heads, where they are able to understand where the story takes place, the setting, generate background knowledge on the topic ect. As an educator, one must facilitate the story structure and emphasize the purpose of reading is to gain meaning.
Informal ways to assess student comprehension strategies can be done various ways. The Balanced Literacy Diet explains that the educator can make observations during guided instruction, ask the student to retell the story, assess whether the students predictions are appropriate, among others.
Letter writing about stories which students have read is a method to promote comprehension in an engaging manner. The students are being taught the letter format, along with practicing summarizing stories which they have read. Students are urged to write about characters, make personal connections, and summarize the story; all details which promote comprehension.
Making predictions is another way to display and increase comprehension ability. Here, the educator models how to make a prediction, the students make whole group predictions, independent predictions, and then check their prediction. Students should make accurate predictions which are supported from evidence within the story.
An informal type of assessment can be analyzing student summaries. Throughout the summary, the educator can further comprehend if the student was able to notice the key details of the story and understand the overall idea.
Summaries are an opportunity to build comprehension strategies. With a retell of the story, the students are able to notice the key points of the story and summarize the important details. Students can also create a new book cover which can also display comprehension as the book cover must be relevant to the story.
What Do You Wonder? To think critically about what one has read, the reader typically wonders. With wondering and questioning, students are further building their comprehension strategies. Students can wonder at all points within their reading and think critically and comprehend what they are reading.
Making a Judgement: This activity is an engaging and active lesson to have students think deeply about the content they are reading. In order to form a judgement, students must comprehend what they have read. Further, students have the opportunity to defend their choice which can be an assessment piece to understand if the students comprehend the material.