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Teaching Comprehension

This presentation offers 5 teaching ideas to aid in teaching comprehension on the elemenary school level
by

Tanya Tankersley

on 18 September 2012

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Transcript of Teaching Comprehension

ELEMENTARY AGE TEACHING IDEAS: COMPREHENSION 1.CREATE AN APPROPRIATE LITERARY ENVIRONMENT 2. MAKE USE OF
PRIOR
KNOWLEDGE 3. ENCOURAGE
METACOGNITIVE
AWARENESS 5. MAKE
CONNECTIONS, AND CONSEQUENTLY, DEMONSTRATE COMPREHENSION 4. USE
VISUAL
STRATEGIES “Comprehending a story or text is like completing a jigsaw puzzle: all of the important slots must contain information, and the completed interpretation must make sense” (Anderson & Pearson, p.286). Example of
modeling
comprehension Example of activating prior
knowledge 1. CREATE AN APPROPRIATE LITERACY
ENVIRONMENT

2. MAKE USE OF PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

3. ENCOURAGE METACOGNITIVE AWARENESS

4. MAKE CONNECTIONS TO THE TEXT

5. USE VISUAL STATEGIES COMPREHENSION INSTRUCTION
STRATEGIES To effectively create a literary environment that encourages comprehension strategies a teacher must allow "a great deal of time and opportunity for actual reading, writing and discussion of a text" (Duke & Pearson, 2002, p.205). What does this look like in my classroom?

Set aside specific time for reading every day (shared, guided and sustained reading)

Offer a wide range of texts in a variety of genres

Use rich vocabulary to talk about a text

Facilitate accurate and automatic decoding of words

Experience writing within a variety of genres

Address the needs of all children by using a variety of instructional techniques

(*list created from articles by Duke & Pearson, 2002, p.208-209 and Weaver, 2002, p.358-359) Making use of prior knowledge requires an understanding of schemata and its role in inference:

Comprehension comes from the interaction of new information with old knowledge; this "old knowledge" is schemata (Anderson & Pearson, 1984, p.255).

"Relational knowledge is necessary for inferencing and [...] can be necessary to get the right schema activated," so prior knowledge will play a part in this process (Anderson & Pearson p.263).

"Drawing inferences based upon prior knowledge and the pictures and words of a text, ... is what we do when predicting what might happen next" in a text (Weaver, 2002, p.331). MAKING PREDICTIONS (a strategy for making use of prior knowledge)

Making predictions is a good comprehension strategy because it allows the student to get involved in his learning and make connections to the text using what he already knows.

Research shows that use of prediction as a comprehension strategy "led to superior comprehension of the stories in which the activity was embedded and to superior performance for younger and less able older readers on new stories that the students read without any teacher support" (Duke & Pearson, 2002, p.214)

Prediction strategies seem to work best with narrative texts with familiar themes and topics (Duke & Pearson, 2002, p.215). Metacognition ("thinking about thinking")

necessary because it is the foundation for learning how to have control over their reading

must be performed in 3 stages of reading
pre-reading: preview the text and determine the text's purpose
during reading: monitor understanding and "fix" any comprehension issues
post-reading: check understanding

(from Reading Rockets website-http://www.readingrockets.org/firstyear/fyt.php?CAT=40) How do I aid students in learning metacognition?

1. share reading strategies with the students

2. model reading strategies with "think alouds"

3. monitor understanding of a text by asking
questions and perform ongoing assessments

(Duke & Pearson, 208-215) Teachers need to "generate children's metacognitive awareness of these strategies and their usefulness by naming strategies, demonstrating them and involving children in applying strategies themselves" (Weaver, 2002, p.331). Case study:

**Research shows that giving specific attention to given objectives (ie. answering questions while reading a text) yields deeper understanding and better memory of the information read in a text.

**In a specific study, in which some students were issued questions with objectives to keep in mind while reading. The "questioned groups learned and remembered more question-relevant information than the nonquestioned groups". Benefits of visual strategies:

helps students focus on text structure

allows students to more easily define relationships within the text

helps students recall information more easily in discussion and writing summaries

(from Reading Rockets website- http://www.readingrockets.org/firstyear/fyt.php?CAT=40) TYPES OF VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS
(Graphic Organizers)

Venn diagrams

Storyboards/ chain of events

Story maps

Cause/effect maps



(Sources: Reading Rockets-http://www.readingrockets.org/firstyear/fyt.php?CAT=40; Duke & Pearson, 2002, p.219) GRAPHIC
ORGANIZERS When using visual representations, there must be "direct involvement in constructing the visual display along with compelling feedback to the students in the form of evidence that the arduous effect involved in re-presenting information pays off in terms of learning" (Duke & Pearson, 2002, p.222) THE IMPORTANCE OF CONNECTIONS

*Utlizing reading strategies helps readers "make connections with other texts, the world, and their life" (Weaver, 2002, p.329).

*Connecting ideas by paying "systematic attention to the underlying organization" of the text yields greater understanding and makes the text "more memorable" (Duke & Pearson, 2002, p.217).

*"Becoming a good reader depends upon teachers who insist that students think about the interconnections among ideas as they read" (Anderson & Pearson, 1984, p.286). QUESTIONING
(a strategy for making connections)

*Asking questions is "likely to come into play" when making basic connections

*Teacher questioning- get the students involved in comprehension by asking questions for read alouds and modeling think aloud questions that will be helpful when reading independently

*Student generated questions- from seeing modeled behavior, students will more easily create their own questions as they read and yield better understanding

*QAR (question and answer relationships) strategy
"right there" questions
"think and search" questions
"on my own" questions

(p.Duke & Pearson, 2002, p.217, 220& 223) Reciprocal Teaching
(another strategy for making connections)

*This technique focuses on four comprehension strategies: predicting, questioning, seeking clarification and summarizing

*This strategy moves from teacher modeling (early on) to the student taking full responsibility for their own reading comprehension with this technique. Hopefully you were able to see some strategies that will work well in an elementary classroom!

Overall, remember that "sustained reading and writing are not merely the desired ends of instruction but the means of accomplishing our goal of heolping students become adults who choose to read and write for many purposes" (Weaver, 2002, p.359). References:

Anderson, Richard C. & Pearson, P. David. (1984). A Schema-Theoretic View of Basic Processes in Reading Comprehension.

Duke, Neil K & Pearson, P. David. (2002). Effective Practices for Developing Reading Comprehension. International Reading Association, Inc. pp.205-242.

Reading Rockets website. http://www.readingrockets.org/firstyear/fyt.php?CAT=40

Weaver, Constance. (2002). Teaching Comprehension Strategies and Phonics Skills. Reading Process and Practice. pp.325-364. Creator: Tanya Tankersley
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