Presentation on theme: "10 Things Every Teacher Should Know About Reading Comprehension 10 Things Every Teacher Should Know About Reading Comprehension Timothy Shanahan University."— Presentation transcript:
10 Things Every Teacher Should Know About Reading Comprehension 10 Things Every Teacher Should Know About Reading Comprehension Timothy Shanahan University of Illinois at Chicago firstname.lastname@example.org www.shanahanonliteracy.com
1. Reading comprehension tests don’t tell much about reading comprehension Do low “reading comprehension scores” mean students struggle with “reading comprehension”? Because reading is a collection of linguistic and cognitive skills that are embedded and hierarchical, low comprehension scores do not necessarily mean there is a need for more comprehension instruction
Is it a reading comprehension problem? Or is it a decoding problem?
Is it a reading comprehension problem? Or is it a word meaning problem?
Is it a reading comprehension problem? Or is it a fluency problem?
Is it a reading comprehension problem? Or is it a comprehension problem?
Don’t fall for the “comprehension skills fallacy” You can’t simply teach students how to answer particular question types such as main idea, vocabulary, inferencing, supporting details, drawing conclusions, etc.
2. Basic skills teaching improves reading comprehension “Enabling skills” can seem like ends in themselves But the purpose of teaching “enabling skills” is that they can improve reading comprehension Need to pay attention to student performance and developmental level
NRP reviewed 51 studies of phonemic awareness instruction And 38 studies of phonics instruction
NRP reviewed 45 studies on vocabulary instruction And NELP and NLP looks at vocabulary are revealing, too
Don’t fail to teach these basic skills But teach them with a clear purpose Skills instruction should eventually end up with “reading for meaning” as the pay off
3. Reading comprehension itself can be taught explicitly There is more to comprehension teaching than just building enabling skills It is possible to provide instruction that helps students to think more effectively while they read (to understand and remember more)
NRP reviewed 205 studies that showed that reading comprehension could be taught directly throughout the elementary and secondary grades. These studies emphasized teaching students how to think effectively during reading
4. Reading comprehension instruction is not listening comprehension Reading comprehension and listening comprehension are both about thinking with language Students low in reading comprehension are often low in listening comprehension too Early listening comprehension is correlated with later reading comprehension and for English learners these relations are stronger within English than across languages
One reason the correlations aren’t higher is because the demands of decoding: Reading requires students to think about text WHILE decoding Studies do not yet show that improving listening comprehension is an effective intervention for improving reading comprehension
Kindergarten teachers are correct to focus on listening comprehension Unfortunately, teachers of older kids often replace reading with listening lessons because of the difficulty of the books This gets you through the books, but doesn’t teach reading Students need to read materials that are challenging, but not TOO hard to read
5. Reading comprehension instruction requires more than practice Early in 20 th Century, reading instruction focused mainly on oral reading practice Silent reading and reading comprehension instruction were ignored
Thorndike study: Kids who were questioned about what they read comprehended better than those who just read Helped transform teaching of reading More recent studies have challenged this standard of practice (strategies)
Just reading and answering questions is better than just reading But reading comprehension instruction is more than an assignment We can teach kids how to think effectively when reading (strategies)
6. Comprehension strategy instruction is different than comprehension skills instruction Historically, reading instruction has emphasized comprehension skills Skills are meant to be carried out quickly, easily and without conscious attention Strategies are intentional and complex
Reading Comprehension Skills Cause and effect Classify and categorize Compare and contrast Draw conclusions Fact and opinion Main idea Important details Inferences Sequence Bias and propaganda Problem and solution Identify theme Literal recall Tone Mood Etc., etc., etc.
Strategies vs. Skills Strategies: Intentional Metacognitive Reflective Complex/multi-step Probability of success Approximation Skills: Automatic Over-learning Immediate Simple/single step Certainty of success Accuracy
7. Combinations of strategies are best NRP found that instruction in combined sets of strategies (such as reciprocal teaching) were generally more effective than teaching single strategies
8. Clear explanations matter Studies show that how well teachers can explain mental processes makes a difference in student progress Core programs and professional development can give teachers guidance in teaching strategies clearly
Students need to learn the what, when, how, why of strategies.
9. Gradual release of control approaches are effective Modeling and explanation Guided practice and explanation Independent practice
Gradual release of control: I do it. We do it. You do it.
Gradual release of control: I do it. We do it. You do it together. You do it.
10. We don’t have all the strategies. Strategies are about taking intentional mental actions to understand a text Story maps versus character change charts
Story Map Setting: Main Character: Problem: Internal response: Attempt: Outcome: Reaction: Theme:
Character Perspective Chart Setting: Main Character: Problem: Internal response: Attempt: Outcome: Reaction: Theme: Setting: Main character: Problem: Internal response: Attempt: Outcome: Reaction: Theme:
Character Change Chart What is main character like at the beginning of the story? What is the main character like at the end of the story? How has he or she changed? Crisis Given this character change, what do you think the author wanted you to learn? ________ ________________________________________________________________________
History Events Chart TEXTWHO?WHAT?WHERE?WHEN?WHY? 1 Relation: 2 3 Relation 4 Main point:
We can improve the reading lives of children By creating a classroom culture that emphasizes meaning. By ensuring that children have the enabling skills that allow comprehension By teaching students the most effective, research-proven ways to think effectively about the ideas in text and guiding their practice with these strategies across a wide range of text