Kelsie Syverson, EngEd 275 DL, Chapter 8: Promoting Comprehension: Reader Factors


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. IMG_E3803

Comprehension Strategies

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:


Assessing 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

Classroom Application

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.

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