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Comprehension Strategies for Elementary Readers

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Ashley Bass

on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of Comprehension Strategies for Elementary Readers

Foundation Irwin's Framework Explicit Instruction Comprehension Strategies for Elementary Readers By: Ashley Bass Explicit Instruction When teachers use explicit instruction they are gradually shifting the responsibility of a task to the student (Ness, 2011). During explicit instruction of reading comprehension strategies, teachers should teach two very important concepts (Ness, 2011). The first concept that the teacher should be demonstrating for the student is when to use specific strategies for comprehension. The other concept is how to reason strategically when the student encounters barriers. Each comprehension strategy should be taught one at a time until the student has mastered it independently (Dymock and Nicholson, 2010). Microprocesses Level

The reader comprehends individual words and phrases. The 5 Levels of Irwin's Framework A good place to start when deciding on what comprehension strategies to teach a student is with the 5 levels of conceptual framework.

When determining what strategy to use it is important to know what strategy is developmentally appropriate.

This framework comes from Judith Westphal Irwin and coincides with recent perspectives of cognitive, psychology, and neuroscience” (McGovern, 2010). Integrative Processes Level

The reader is making connections between parts of the sentence and between sentences. Macroprocesses Level

Represents a reader that understands and organizes all the elements of a story or the components of a factual statement. Elaborative Processes Level

The reader embellishes on the content of the printed text and makes connections to prior knowledge. (makes predictions, visualizes, reacts affectively, and activates the higher-level thinking skills of application) Metacognitive Processes Level

The reader is in executive control of themselves and of the reading task. The reader sets the overall goal of successfully decoding and understanding the book. Vocabulary Sentence Structure A useful comprehension strategy is vocabulary instruction. When students understand the vocabulary that is being used in the text they are reading, it can deepen their comprehension. Vocabulary knowledge has even been theorized to precede the ability to read and comprehend text (Mahdavi & Tensfeldt, 2013). Story Grammar and Text Structure Students who are in the macroprocess level would benefit from using story maps to organize and understand elements in the story. Bui and Fagan (2013) explain that when students are able to use concept maps and graphic organizers, they are able to rely on a predictable pattern. Questioning Self - Questioning: Teachers are teaching students what questions to ask while reading. Teachers should also demonstrate to the students, how to know where to stop in the text to ask these questions in order to gain comprehension (Mahdavi and Tensfeldt, 2013)

Text - Questioning: “Text-based questioning allows making the reading comprehension process more explicit as students can demonstrate levels of understating as well as highlight areas of confusion in relation to details or key concepts in text” (Taboada, Bianco & Bowerman, 2013, p.88).

Comprehension can be enhanced when readers activate prior knowledge and make connections to it. The teacher can use initial questioning to establish what students already know about a topic (Dymock & Nicholson, 2010). Activating Background Knowledge Using Art for Comprehension Literature Circle Mih and Mih (2012) analyzed a study that was done on using sentence structure (particularly with a focus on verbs) to help students comprehend better. The authors mention that students need to train the ability to understand the way in which sentence components relate to each other. The sentence structure strategy allows the reader to code information in meaningful units, which are broader than the word itself. Literature circles are great resources for the more experience reader. Much of the work preformed in the literature circle is done in small groups or independently. This can be a great strategy for the readers in the metacognitve process level. Readers in this level are decoding and understanding books on their own (Ferguson & Kern, 2012). Barton, Sawyer & Swanson (2007) look at the benefits of using art as a strategy for comprehension. They comment that students do not lack intelligence or originality but, “what they do sometimes lack are the strategies to focus on the important details in narrative texts and make connections among these details” (p. 125).The authors in this article wanted students to focus their attention to detail in order to help them identify points
for their own interpretations.

Barton, J., Sawyer, D., & Swanson, C. (2007) They want to learn how to think: Using art to enhance comprehension. Language Arts 85(2), 125-134.

Bui, Y.N. & Fagan, Y.M. (2013) The effects of an integrated reading comprehension strategy: A culturally responsive teaching approach for fifth-grade students’ reading comprehension. Preventing School Failure, 57(2), 59-69.

Dymock, S. & Nicholson, T. (2010). “High 5!” Strategies to Enhance Comprehension of Expository Text. The Reading Teacher, 64(3), 166-178.

Ferguson, L. & Kern, D. (2012). Re-visioning literature circles: Incorporating comprehensive strategy instruction in student-led discussions. The NERA Journal, 47(2), 78-87.

Kersten, J., Apol, L., & Pataray-Ching, J. (2007) Exploring the role of children’s literature in the 21st-century classroom. Language Arts 84(3), 286-293.

Mahdavi, J. N. & Tensfeldt, L. (2013) Untangling reading comprehension strategy instruction: Assisting struggling readers in primary grades. Preventing School Failure, 57(2), 77-92.

McGovern, M. (2010) Using a conceptual framework of comprehension to empower literacy instructors. Journal of Reading Education 35(3), 47-79.

Mih, V. & Mih, C. (2012). Reducing children’s reading comprehension difficulties through a training for enhancing sentence organization skills. Cognition, Brain, Behavior. An Interdisciplinary Journal, 16(3), 387-401.

Ness, M. (2011) Explicit reading comprehension instruction in elementary classrooms: Teacher use of reading comprehension strategies. Journal of Research in Childhood Education 25(1), 98-117.

Roberts, K.L. (2013) Comprehension strategy instruction during parent-child shared reading: An intervention study. Literacy Research and Instruction 52(2), 106-129.

Taboada, A., Bianco, S., & Bowerman, V. (2013) Text-based questioning: A comprehension strategies to build English language learners’ content knowledge. Literacy Research and Instruction 51(2), 87-109. Reference List
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