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Comprehending Content-Area and Narrative Texts By: Katrina Brown

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1 Comprehending Content-Area and Narrative Texts By: Katrina Brown
Read to Achieve Comprehending Content-Area and Narrative Texts By: Katrina Brown

2 Read to Achieve Purpose Highlights Scope and Sequence Research Routine
Why use Read to Achieve?

3 What is Read to Achieve? Read to achieve is a research-based program divided into two groups: 1) narrative texts 2) content-area texts similar to the material students would see in their science and social studies textbooks Read to Achieve does NOT teach content Instead, it teaches students how to “access” the content in the books they read Read to Achieve teaches strategies students can use in any content area

4 Highlights of Read to Achieve
Placement test to ensure that students are sufficient decoders of text (students cannot even begin to comprehend if they cannot read) Use of Differentiated Instruction to reach the widest range of student needs and strengths Three-Tier Reading Model-to provide varying levels of teacher support during the lessons (strong, moderate, or student independence)

5 Highlights of Read to Achieve
Units designed to look similar to those a student would find in social studies or science class, designed for easier generalization Team and collaborative learning through the use of partner reading and think-pair-share activities Explicit instruction from the teacher including think-alouds and guided practice

6 Highlights of Read to Achieve
Twice-weekly fluency checks to improve speed and accuracy of student reading Weekly assessments to ensure success and mastery of skills and strategies Daily decoding of multipart words to help students break apart difficult words (as opposed to skipping them) *Read to Achieve does not teach syllable types, but the process of breaking words into smaller parts Visual Aides and graphic organizers compatible for overhead projectors or on a computer projector

7 Levels of Teacher Support
Teacher explains, models, instructs students to copy, guides students in how to respond Teacher assigns partners, has students read and answer, has students provide responses to write out Teacher assigns partners, monitors and guides students as needed, writes out answers as needed Strong Moderate Student Independence

8 Scope and Sequence example: Content-Area Text
Skills and Strategies used in every unit: Text Features Text Connections (Identify Topic, Establish Purpose for Reading, Activate Prior Knowledge) Vocabulary Strategies (Decoding Multipart Words) Higher Order Thinking (Bloom’s Taxonomy, Standardized Test Practice, Graphic Organizers, Metacognition) Fluency Strategies (Oral Reading, Silent Reading)

9 Scope and Sequence Skills Introduced in later units (2-25):
Text Structure (Description or List, Order or Sequence, Cause and Effect, Compare and Contrast) Comprehension Monitoring SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Reflect, Review) QHL (What Questions do I have? How will I find the answers? What did I learn after finding the answers?) Note-Taking Word Learning Strategies (Context Clues, Glossary Use, Dictionary Use, Online-Dictionary Use) Strategy Bookmark

10 Research The National Institute for Literacy reported that, “literacy instruction should continue beyond elementary school and should be tailored to the more complex reading tasks required of middle and high school students”. According to Biancarosa and Snow, “70% of older readers require some form of remediation. Very few of these older struggling readers need help to read words on a page; their most common problem is that they are not able to comprehend what they read”.

11 Research cont. On NAEP testing, only 31% of 8th graders performed at the reading proficiency level Studies have found that students have difficulty understanding the multipart words and the text structure of textbooks Strategies found to be most effective are: using text features, making text connections, identifying text structure, monitoring comprehension, using questioning and mnemonic strategies, and taking effective notes

12 Research cont. Vocabulary strategies are vital to comprehension, and in fact, closely tied to comprehension While most vocabulary is learned through exposure, some content-area vocabulary must be directly taught Rasinski (and others) cite that “the best method of improving reading fluency is through repeated oral reading.” In this way, students can pay more attention to what the words mean rather than what the words say.

13 What does Read to Achieve Look Like in a Classroom:
In this example, students are completing Unit 2, Lesson 2 1) Students identify the page number of the unit in their textbooks (text features). 2) Working in pairs, students complete a Text-Connections Chart that asks: topic of the lesson, purpose for reading, prior knowledge of topic (these are before-reading strategies). Teacher records student answers on overhead transparency.

14 Peek in a Classroom cont.
3) Students are given 3 minutes to read the lesson silently. 4) Teacher reviews the four types of text-structure and does a think-aloud on completing a order-or-sequence chart (using the science content information from the lesson). 5) Teacher guides the student through the decoding multipart word strategy on the word: nucleus.

15 Peek in a Classroom cont.
6) Teacher guides the students with a think-aloud through the context clue strategy. This strategy helps students find the definitions of unknown words from within the text. 7) Students work in pairs reading their fluency passage out loud. Students then individually locate two difficult, multipart words and demonstrate they can use the decoding multipart word strategy to break them apart.

16 Why use Read to Achieve? In a CA class, I teach students with a wide variety of skills, and coming from all grades. One thing that they all have in common is the struggle to comprehend what they read. Read to Achieve focuses on not the actual skill of reading, but the skills we all need to become successful readers. The graphic organizers and visuals help them to break down the important information and show them how to locate what they need to know. I enjoy how the lessons are taken from science and social studies texts because students are able to see how applicable these skills are to their other classes. The weekly fluency checks are tedious to some students, but I enjoy watching the students chart their progress throughout the week. Many of my struggling readers are proud to show me how much they have improved. The strong teacher support, and consistent repetition of information ensures that the students feel successful and confident when answering questions and completing their independent practice.

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