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1 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Reading Aloud to Develop Comprehension.

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Presentation on theme: "1 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Reading Aloud to Develop Comprehension."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Reading Aloud to Develop Comprehension

2 2 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Intended Learning Review our definition of comprehension as the process of constructing meaning at three levels. Consider how reading instruction can be arranged to scaffold students to develop effective reading skills and habits. Identify the critical components of Rigorous Comprehension Lesson, the research-based approach to reading aloud developed by Beck and McKeown. Discuss how reading aloud can help students to understand more from the texts that others read to them and to develop rigorous habits for reading on their own. Consider the implications of this framework for our practice.

3 3 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Primary Literacy Standards 1 Learning to Read Involves: Cracking the print-sound code Getting the meaning Accuracy Fluency Self-monitoring and self-correcting strategies Comprehension Reading Habits Independent Reading: On their own Assisted Reading: With instruction and support Being read to: Listening to learn Discussing books: Sharpening thinking with Accountable Talk ® practices Acquiring vocabulary: Encountering new words Accountable Talk is a registered trademark of the University of Pittsburgh. 1 New Standards Primary Literacy Committee. (1999). Reading & writing grade by grade: Primary literacy standards for kindergarten through third grade (Illustrated by Garin Baker). Washington, DC: National Center on Education and the Economy.

4 4 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH CCSS 3 Definition of Reading Comprehension College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity 10. Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently. 3 From Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), & National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) (2012). English language arts (pp. 8-10). Common core state standards for English language arts & literacy in history/social studies, science and technical subjects. Retrieved from

5 5 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH CCSS Definition of Reading Comprehension Key Features of the Standards (CCSS, p. 8.) Reading: Text complexity and the growth of comprehension The Reading standards place equal emphasis on the sophistication of what students read and the skill with which they read. Standard 10 defines a grade-by-grade “staircase” of increasing text complexity that rises from beginning reading to the college and career readiness level. Whatever they are reading, students must also show a steadily growing ability to discern more from and make fuller use of text, including making an increasing number of connections among ideas and between texts, considering a wider range of textual evidence, and becoming more sensitive to inconsistencies, ambiguities, and poor reasoning in texts. (emphasis added)

6 6 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Comprehension: A Complex Process of Making Meaning Comprehension is the process of constructing meaning at many levels across a continuum. Three points along that continuum include: Constructing the gist Connecting information within the text Connecting to information outside the text

7 7 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Comprehension: A Complex Process of Making Meaning

8 8 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Comprehension: A Complex Process of Making Meaning How are the three levels of comprehension related? All three must be actively constructed (for example, you can’t just “get” the gist - you have to construct it). Not sequential One is not better than another All three are needed to deeply understand a text The same piece of information can be used differently at different levels.

9 9 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Comprehension: A Complex Process of Making Meaning How are the three levels of comprehension related? Interactive and interdependent: –When you connect gist details to other gist details you can make connections within the text and make a claim about a character, etc. –When you make a claim about something within the text, you need to support it with gist details. –When you compare across texts, you are always working at the outside level, but you do so by comparing the gist details or claims about something within one text to those within another.

10 10 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Comprehension: A Complex Process of Making Meaning How are the three levels of comprehension related? Recursive: When you are looking closely at information at one level, you have to cycle back and look more closely at information from another level.

11 11 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Comprehension: A Complex Process of Making Meaning Study model(s)Reading Aloud Shared performanceShared Reading Differentiated guidanceGuided Reading Independent practiceIndependent Reading Levels of support forContexts for learning complex reading instruction skills or habits

12 12 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH National Reading Panel 4 Why Is Reading Aloud to Children Important? Reading aloud helps children acquire the information and skills they need in life, such as: Knowledge of printed letters and words, and the relationship between sound and print. The meaning of many words. How books work, and a variety of writing styles. The world in which they live. The difference between written language and everyday conversation. The pleasure of reading. 4 National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction, p 18. Washington, D.C: Author.

13 13 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Task Directions 1.As individuals: Reflect on your reading Review your notes on the Beck and McKeown article entitled “Text Talk: Capturing the Benefits of Read-Aloud Experiences for Young Children.” 5 In Table Groups: Construct the gist Discuss questions B # on your task sheet at your table. Prompt one another to participate, to use details from the text as evidence for their claims, and to explain their thinking. As a Whole Group: Make broader connections Combine our table thinking about each “gist” question. Answer our broader questions - C #1 and 2. 5 Beck, I.L. and McKeown, M.G. (2001). Text talk: Capturing the benefits of read-aloud experiences for young children. The Reading Teacher 55(1), 1-11.

14 14 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH A.Problems identified in Beck and McKeown’s review of research and/or class observations: 1.How do students tend to use pictures? How do students tend to use background knowledge? How do teachers tend to prompt student interactions with text? Task Directions in Table Groups: Construct the Gist

15 15 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH B.With regard to Beck and McKeown’s approach: 1.What are the goals of the Rigorous Comprehension Lesson approach? 2. What key components of reading aloud does the Rigorous Comprehension Lesson approach address? 3. What kinds of texts should teachers select to read aloud? Why? 4. What kinds of questions should teachers ask to promote deeper comprehension? Task Directions in Table Groups: Construct the Gist

16 16 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH B.With regard to Beck and McKeown’s approach: 5.How should teachers handle the pictures in a text? 6.How should teachers handle students’ background knowledge? 7.What should students do to assist their comprehension when being read to? Task Directions in Table Groups: Construct the Gist

17 17 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Summary Points: How do students tend to use pictures during read aloud? Students tend to: Be drawn to vivid colorful pictures See the familiar, here and now, in pictures More easily derive information from pictures than text Ignore linguistic content and rely on content of pictures Fail to examine relationship of content and pictures Miss opportunities to make meaning from text when relying on pictures (Beck and McKeown, 2001, pp. 2-3)

18 18 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Summary Points: How do students tend to use background knowledge? Students tend to: Share background knowledge when teachers invite them to do so Take a notion from text and draw a random association from memory Fail to distinguish between relevant, tangential, and irrelevant background knowledge Maintain ideas from background knowledge when text tells otherwise (Beck and McKeown, 2001, pp. 2-3)

19 19 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Summary Points: How do students tend to use background knowledge? Students tend to: Miss or get distracted from story elements because of prior conceptions Remember associations they import as part of the story Fail to integrate relevant background knowledge with content from text (Beck and McKeown, p. 3)

20 20 “There is evidence that readers’ elaborations of knowledge and experiences that are not integrally related to text information can disrupt the process of comprehension rather than enhance it.” Strang, R. (1967). Exploration of the reading process. Reading Research Quarterly, 2, 33–45. and Trabasso, T. & Suh, S. (1993). Understanding text: Achieving explanatory coherence through on-line inferences and mental operations in working memory. Discourse Processes, 16, 3– 34.

21 21 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Summary Points: According to the article, how do teachers tend to prompt student interactions with text? Teachers tend to: Clarify particular content or unfamiliar vocabulary, e.g., “Does anybody know what______ means?” Invite children’s participation in ongoing story, e.g., “Harry likes everything except taking a what?” Phrase questions that produce brief answers about a detail. Inadvertently constrain children’s opportunities to make meaning. Check on local facts without prompting students to put together pieces. Check understanding after the fact rather than requiring students to make meaning bit by bit. (Beck and McKeown, 2001, p. 3)

22 22 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Summary Points: What are the goals of the Beck and McKeown’s approach? To capture the potential of all components of the read aloud experience To give students experience with decontextualized language by requiring them to pay attention to the words in a text To engage students in the active process of constructing meaning as they read ideas in a text rather than recalling ideas after a text has been read To further students’ language development (Beck and McKeown, 2001, p. 4)

23 23 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Summary Points: What key components of reading aloud does the Beck and McKeown approach address? Selection of texts Initial questions Follow-up questions Pictures Background knowledge Vocabulary (Beck and McKeown, 2001, p. 5)

24 24 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Summary Points: What kinds of texts should teachers select to read aloud? Why? The best texts to read aloud contain: Challenging content and vocabulary Unfamiliar ideas and topics that students must grapple with An event structure Complexities among events Subtleties in expressing ideas Text that carries the meaning of the story without needing to see the pictures (Beck and McKeown, 2001, pp. 4-5)

25 25 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Summary Points: What kinds of questions should teachers ask to promote deep comprehension? Initial questions that require grappling with a text idea, prompt students to describe and explain ideas rather than recall words Follow-up questions that use students’ own responses as the basis of the next question and press them for elaboration and explanation of their ideas about the text Open-ended questions

26 26 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Summary Points: What kinds of questions should teachers ask to promote deep comprehension? Questions posed at strategic points in the story Specific questions targeted to explore ideas or sections of text students might misunderstand Questions that help students examine genre- specific aspects of the text Generic probes that keep students making meaning such as: –What’s that all about? –What does that mean? –What’s happening here? (Beck and McKeown, 2001, pp. 5-7)

27 27 “Teacher-led questioning can be a powerful vehicle in moving text interactions toward higher levels of thinking and critical literacy.” Stahl, K. A. D. (2004). Proof, practice and promise: Comprehension strategy instruction in the primary grades. Reading Teacher, 57, 601.

28 28 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Summary Points: How should teachers handle the pictures in a text? Consider whether and when to show pictures to the students. Whether: picture matches the text picture conflicts with the text picture supplements the text When: Show pictures after students have made meaning from text How: Prompt students to compare and integrate information from pictures and text

29 29 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Summary Points: How should teachers handle students’ background knowledge? Invite students to share and use background knowledge very judiciously. Avoid invitations for students to randomly share any background knowledge because what they share may be only tangentially related to the text and steer conversation away from the text. Help students distinguish between responding from background knowledge and using background knowledge to understand the text.

30 30 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Summary Points: How should teachers handle students’ background knowledge? Ask students to think about how a personal experience is and is not like that in the text so that they do not import misconceptions. Examples: “Monkeys do like bananas, but let’s think about what the story told us about George.” “We sometimes do hear about food being poisoned, especially at Halloween, but let’s think about what’s happening in this story.” (Beck and McKeown, 2001, p. 3.)

31 31 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Summary Points: What should students do to assist their comprehension when being read to? Listen attentively to the text. Listen attentively to others. Hold information in their heads without the support of pictures. Construct complex answers to questions rather than parrot back obvious “right” answers. Talk about their own and others’ ideas about the text. (Accountable Talk practices) Connect background experiences to the text. Ask for clarification when needed.

32 32 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Task Directions: Whole Group—Making broader connections 1.How does reading aloud assist students to make meaning at each level - constructing the gist, connecting within, and connecting outside - and connect information across levels? 2.What is the role of reading aloud in an instructional framework that supports students to become independent readers?

33 33 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH How does reading aloud assist students to make meaning at each level and connect information across levels?

34 34 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Effective Reading Instruction: Scaffolding students toward independent use of the habits of skilled reading READING ReadShared Guided Independent Aloud Reading Study Model Shared Guided Independent Performance Differentiation Practice Teacher control/direction of performance Novice/Assisted Use of Habit of Mind Expert/Independent Use of Habit of Mind TOWITHBY Immersion Demonstration Practice Use Student control/direction of performance 34 Based on the gradual release of responsibility model of Pearson, P. D., & Gallagher, M. C. (1983). The instruction of reading comprehension. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 8, 317–344.

35 35 © 2013 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Reflection 1. Why is reading aloud an essential component of reading instruction? 2. How does the Rigorous Comprehension Lesson framework help students to understand more from the texts that others read to them and to develop rigorous habits for reading on their own? 3. What will you need to do in your practice to maximize the benefits of reading aloud for your teachers and students?

36 36 “Constructing meaning from the linguistic text content is a major feature of what prepares one for becoming a successful reader.” Beck, I.L. & McKeown, M.G, (2001). Inviting students into the pursuit of meaning. Educational Psychology Review, 13 (3),


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