Please check out the videos below that show different ways to access some of the reading strategies discussed above.
What is reading comprehension?
Comprehension is a fundamental part to our Responsive Literacy Framework. It is at the centre of what it means to read and is invisible. Reading is thinking and understanding where we try to make meaning within, between and beyond visual, oral and written texts. It involves several different processes where skilled readers think about their thinking and apply their skills to reach deeper levels of comprehension. When reading we use, metacognitive and oral language strategies to interpret, make connections, analyze and evaluate different modes of text as we develop meaning. Comprehension is not about answering literal questions at the end of the chapter or end of the book and it isn't about filling in the blanks, but it is about understanding and thinking before, within and beyond text
Why reading comprehension is important?
The purpose of reading is to generate meaning from text and the goal of instruction is to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and experiences to build independent, competent and enthusiastic readers. To help improve our students' ability to comprehend and actively construct meaning, we need to devote as much direct instructional time teaching thinking as we do to teaching decoding. As our readers develop, the size and depth of text increase and students not only need to understand various aspects of fiction or non fiction, they also need to gather and synthesize information across tens to hundreds of pages. As students' their personal processes progress, they become aware of their thinking as they read, they notice when meaning breaks down and doesn't make sense and they stop think and react to information. As our readers employ fixing strategies and check for comprehension (re-reading, reading ahead, break down unfamiliar words, skip portions, check and recheck for meaning, they continue to develop their processes and become more adept at understanding what they are reading.
What can comprehension look like?
The goal of reading comprehension is to acquire and actively use knowledge. Comprehension is a continuum. It ranges from answering literal questions at the beginning of the process to retelling, making meaning from context, acquiring knowledge, using the knowledge, and ultimately applying the knowledge to new scenarios. The key thinking strategies that help our learners hone their personalized reading processes are activating prior knowledge, questioning, visualizing, making predictions, thinking aloud, and searching for clarification. For activating prior knowledge, we can ask our learners to link the contexts to personal experience, make connections, access their schema and discuss what they know already. Questioning is a strategy that moves learners forward. We can teach students to wonder about the text, concepts, genre or question the author or the information. By reading with questions in mind, our brains automatically search for a response whether we find one or not - and as we search, we build new pathways of knowledge. Inferring and visualizing allow learners to grasp the deeper essence of text and information. We can ask them to use context clues to figure our meaning, draw conclusion from the information, predict outcomes or events. They can uncover underlying themes or create interpretations base on the evidence provided in the text. Our readers can visualize what they hear, taste, smell and feel from the words they read. Comprehension is an important set of skills that are crucial for our students as they begin to recognize and identify personal, social and cultural contexts and values and perspectives in texts as well as think critically, creatively and reflectively about their reading.