Comprehension: A thinking process that is creative and multifaceted in which students engage and understand the text. Comprehension is the main goal of reading.
Text Complexity: How well a reader can complete an assignment with a particular text. This is one way to check comprehension.
What Readers Think About When Reading: Readers think of many things while reading and comprehending texts. These things can include:
- Active prior knowledge
- Examine text to uncover its organization
- Make predictions
- Connect to their own experiences
- Create mental images
- Draw inferences
- Notice symbols and other literacy devices
- Monitor their understanding
These activities can be known as reader and text factors.
Comprehension strategies are thoughtful behaviors that students use to facilitate their understanding as they read. There are many different strategies that can be used.
Comprehension Skills: Students use comprehension strategies to identify main ideas and they use these comprehension skills:
- Recognizing details
- Noticing similarities and differences
- Identifying topic sentences
- Comparing and Contrasting main ideas and details
- Matching causes and effects
- Sequencing details
- Paraphrasing ideas
- Choosing a good title for a text
How Comprehension Strategies Fit Into the Reading Process:
How to Create an Expectation of Comprehension: Teachers can create expectations of comprehension in these ways:
- Involving students in authentic reading activities every day
- Providing access to well-stocked classroom libraries
- Teaching students to use comprehension strategies
- Ensuring that students are fluent readers
- Providing opportunities for students to talk about the books they are reading
- Linking vocabulary instruction to underlying concepts
Ways to Teach Comprehension:
Step 1: Planning – Teachers decide how they will teach comprehension strategies and then decide how to monitor students’ progress.
Step 2: Monitoring – Teachers informally assess the students’ comprehension daily. These are some of the informal assessment procedures:
- Cloze Procedure: Teachers test the students’ understanding by having students provide the deleted words from a passage taken from a text they’ve already read.
- Story Retelling: Teachers ask students to retell stories they have read or listened to during read aloud time. This should be organized and use the big ideas from the story.
Step 3: Evaluating – Evaluation can use the same methods used in monitoring including the ones listed above and running records and think-alouds.
Step 4: Reflecting – Students meet with the teacher for a conference to reflect on what they have learned about reading factors.
All above information comes from:
Tompkins, G. E. (2017). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson
I will definitely use the informal assessment procedures. I find informal assessments to sometimes be more effective than formal assessments because the students don’t feel as pressured to do well because they don’t realize they are being tested. I also think keeping students motivated is very important so knowing the factors that could affects students motivation will be helpful to keep them motivated.