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K-2 Comprehension Connection

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1 K-2 Comprehension Connection
Mia Johnson and Lora Drum CCS Curriculum Specialist

2 What is comprehension? Turn and talk to a partner, giving them your definition of comprehension Comprehension is “intentional thinking during which meaning is constructed through interactions between text and reader” (Harris and Hodges, 1995). Comprehension is a process in which readers construct meaning by interacting with text through the combination of prior knowledge and previous experience, information in the text, and the stance the reader takes in relationship to the text (Pardo, 2004). The key word in each of the definitions is “meaning”. If readers can read words, but are not able to construct meaning, then are they really reading?

3 What does comprehension look like in my classroom?
Take 40 sec. and “Jot Thoughts” about what you think this looks like in a K-2 classroom. Take up the sticky notes and post them on chart paper on wall.

4 Anticipation Guide Statement
True/False Statement Teaching comprehension means teaching a series of skills. If children are reading at an instructional reading level, comprehension will take care of itself. Comprehension skills and strategies are not the same. If children successfully learn how to decode, then comprehension will take care of itself. Make a chart with statements and have teachers place a dot on the one the left hand side.

5 What does the research say?
“Comprehension can be improved by teaching students to use specific cognitive strategies or to reason strategically when they encounter barriers to understanding what they are reading. Readers acquire these strategies informally to some extent, but explicit or formal instruction in the application of comprehension strategies has been shown to be highly effective in enhancing understanding. The teacher generally demonstrates such strategies for students until the students are able to carry them out independently.” (National Reading Panel, 2000)

6 More research… Explicit comprehension instruction in K-2 is not only possible, but wise and beneficial rather than detrimental to overall reading instruction. “To delay this sort of powerful instruction until children have reached the intermediate grades is to deny them the very experiences that help them develop the most important of reading dispositions – the expectation that they should and can understand each and every text they read.” (p 257) Diane Snowball

7 What should we teach in primary grades?
Text structure elements, visualizing, summarizing, predicting based on prior knowledge, questioning, clarifying and Fluent word recognition. (Duke and Pearson 2002) …but these are six year olds!

8 “The Five-to-Seven Shift”
During this age range, children become able to think “multi-dimensionally,” a requirement of comprehension, and to reason with others in group settings. The University of Chicago 1996

9 So what’s a teacher supposed to do?
So, these children are ready to acquire comprehension strategies, but they tend to not to be proficient decoders. So what’s a teacher supposed to do?

10 “ If we want children to reason their ways through texts during a time when they cannot yet read, then the social context for comprehension acquisition must be a read-aloud of text.” (p.144) Smolkin & Donovan, 2002 Mosy are working on decoding and fluency, but still need comprehension instruction

11 Seven Comprehension Strategies
Fix-Up Strategies Predicting Visualizing Making Connections Inferencing Questioning Determining Importance Summarizing Synthesizing

12 But where is main idea, cause and effect, compare and contrast, point of view,…
“What the panel (The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance research panel) refers to as ‘strategies’ are not the same as comprehension skills typically listed in core reading programs, nor are they teaching activities.” p. 11

13 So what is the difference between a STRATEGY and a SKILL?
A strategy is a thinking process that is used consciously and intentionally to achieve a goal A strategy is an intentional mental action during reading that improves reading comprehension. A strategy is a deliberate effort by a reader to better understand or remember what is being read.

14 Gradual Release of Responsibility
Effective strategy instruction involves a gradual release of responsibility from the teacher to the learner (Duke & Pearson, 2002) so that over time your students gradually take over the responsibility for decision making and putting the strategies into practice.

15 Gradual Release of Responsibility
Explicit Description T Teacher Modeling S Collaborative Use Guided Practice Independent

16 Fix-up strategies Students pay attention to whether they understand what they are reading and when they do not, they reread or use strategies that will help them understand what they have read.

17 There many different ways to say these simple things
There many different ways to say these simple things. The goal is to teach the strategy and not focus on the character or what we call it, but on how we use it!

18 Predicting Students think about what they already know and use that knowledge in conjunction with other clues to construct meaning as they read.

19 Students develop a mental image of what is described in the text.
Visualizing Students develop a mental image of what is described in the text. Text Samples Mini lesson: meet with a partner, one read, one sketch, big book with informational text/narrative.

20 Inferencing Students generate information that is important to constructing meaning but that is missing from, or not explicitly stated in, the text. Ex. Cape Hatteras is in North Carolina. North Carolina is east of the Mississippi. Cape Hatteras is east of the Mississippi. All Dogs are male or female. Lora’s dog had 4 puppies. She named the boys Bill and Bob. The other two dogs must be girls.

21 Inferencing 2. Open your envelope and take out the symbols.
1. Work with your table group. 2. Open your envelope and take out the symbols. 3. Using the three symbols, make an inference as to what your story might be about. 4. Record your inference on the index card.

22 Text to Text Connection:
Making Connections Students make personal connections with the text by using their schema. There are three main type of connections we make while reading: text to self, text to text, and text to world. Text to Text Connection: Chrysanthemum and Owen by Kevin Henkes

23 Determining Importance
Students distinguish the difference between fiction and nonfiction, narrative and expository to question and synthesize important and unimportant information.

24 Determining Importance

25 Questioning Students develop and attempt to answer questions about the important ideas in the text while reading, using words such as where or why to develop their own questions. Questioning the Text By Stephanie Harvey We work on questioning for several weeks in many ways: marking texts with stick-on notes; sorting them according to importance; bringing our questions to book clubs for discussion; talking about questions unanswered by the author; and recording questions on charts.

26 Read the following selection.
The blue whale is as long as a basketball court. Its eyes are as big as softballs. Its tongue weighs as much as an elephant. It is the biggest animal that has ever lived on earth-bigger than any dinosaur. Book:Davies, Nicola. Big Blue Whale. Illustrated by Nick Maland. Candlewick, pages

27 Let’s try these questions:
How long is a blue whale? Are blue whales bigger than dinosaurs? Was there ever a dinosaur as long as a basketball court? I wonder why the author wrote about a basket -ball court?

28 Summarizing Students briefly describe, orally or in writing, the main points of what they read. Who, What, Where, When , Why, and How?

29 Do you have blank paper, sticky notes, …
That is all you need!

30 Synthesizing Students generate new information which makes the reader re-evaluate their schema to form new schema. Find the match to your puzzle and put them together. You and your new partner….

31 “Synthesizing is like baking a cake—all the different parts mixed together become a whole new thing.” David Harris; Strategies That Work

32 Summarizing vs. Synthesizing
“Summarizing is part of synthesis. You can’t synthesize if you don’t know how to summarize. Summarizing is the act of briefly presenting the main point. When teaching summary, teachers should encourage readers to retell information by including important ideas but not telling too much.” Stephanie Harvey

33 Some caveats... The effectiveness of instruction in comprehension strategies depends critically on how they are taught, supported, and practiced Common instructional mistakes Strategies taught as “ends in themselves” -- memorized Too much focus on the strategies themselves, and not enough on constructing the meaning of text. Can go astray if students spend too much time thinking about how they should process the text rather than thinking about the text itself. Too much time on the “explicit instruction” part and not enough time on the collaborative, scaffolded, application/ discussion part will result in the loss of focus: comprehension!

34 Let’s recap: The Big Ideas of Strategy Instruction
Effective, long-term instruction should involve teaching students to use multiple strategies as needed to improve their comprehension of text.

35 Effective instruction requires many opportunities for students to collaborate and discuss text using strategies to structure discussion.

36 The focus of strategy instruction should always be on constructing the meaning of the text

37 (Gradual Release Responsibility)
Effective strategy instruction always involves explicit description and modeling of strategies by the teacher. (Gradual Release Responsibility)

38 (Guided Reading Groups)
Effective strategy instruction always involves extended discussions of text in which the teacher scaffolds student strategy use. (Guided Reading Groups)

39 The purpose of strategy instruction is to stimulate student’s thinking about the meaning of text (by providing guided opportunities for them to actually think about, and interpret text)– ultimately, their attention needs to be on the text and not on the strategies.


41 Transition Page

42 Delete this page when finished with template
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