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Copy of Finishing Stairs

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Christine Wirthlin

on 11 March 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Finishing Stairs

Steps toward
Reading Comprehension

Text Complexity Is the New Black
Reading comprehension is one
of the five essential reading components.
A renewed enthusiasm for reading
comprehension has become evident in
teaching within the last decade.

"There is always something worthy of our attention in reading instruction. It seems that text complexity is now having its day."

Text complexity is based, in part, on the skills of the reader. When students have the literacy skills necessary to read a text, they are likely to understand what they are reading.

The development of investigations of educational topics was highlighted in a conversation between Diane and her 80-year-old aunt, a retired teacher:
When asked by her aunt what was new in education, Diane replied that she and her colleagues were studying how to support their students in understanding how authors position readers to draw conclusions while reading. Diane's aunt replied, "Well, my heavens, we were teaching that 50 years ago", then paused and added, "But you know, each time some topic in education is revisited, we learn so much more about how to teach it."

What Does Research Say?
By Christine Wirthlin
Define comprehension
and why it is important
Identify how to teach effective comprehension strategies
Recommendations to help promote comprehension
Cited Work:
Comprehension is the understanding of text.
Through the application of different teaching strategies, teachers can provide students with the tools necessary to proactively deepen their reading comprehension and higher order thinking.
Comprehension has been defined in many ways:
"The process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language."
"Intentional thinking during which meaning is constructed through interactions between text and reader" (Harris & Hodges, 1995).
"Teaching children to understand what they read."
3 Elements of
who is comprehending
that is to be comprehended
in which comprehension
is a part
Teaching Expository Text Structure
Reading Comprehension Strategies
Text Complexity Is the New Black cont.
What is readability?
The Literacy Dictionary: The Vocabulary of Reading and Writing defines readability as "the ease of comprehension because of style of writing."

There are some writing styles that are harder for readers to understand than others.
Readability, then, is a balance between the reader's skills and the text itself.
When given a complex text, students need to be able to analyze. In order to have those skills and practice, they need more exposure to other sources to compare and contrast, build knowledge, language, and text investigation skills.
The National Reading Panel (NRP) identified different elements that support the development of reading comprehension skills, some of which are: active reading and teacher preparation to deliver strategy instruction.

Data suggests that text comprehension is enhanced when readers actively relate the ideas represented in print to their own knowledge and experiences and construct mental representations in memory.
Making Connections
Text-to-Self: How would you feel in a situation like this? What would you do if you were the character?
Text-to-Text: What other stories have you read that talk about going on a trip?
Text-to-World: What parts of the story remind you of something that has happened in the news?
Informational Text Structure
Expository texts are challenging for students because of their unfamiliar and abstract concepts.
Text structure of a piece of writing is the arrangement of ideas and the relationships among the ideas.
Teachers can teach their students the text structure of such writing pieces. As students become trained on text structure knowledge, they may facilitate their comprehension of expository texts.
Readers who are unaware of text structures are at a disadvantage because they don't approach reading with any type of reading plan.
The current research on reading indicates that the following types of skills and knowledge are critical to building a young student’s capacity to comprehend what he or she reads:

1. Word-level skills allow students to
identify, or decode, words in text accurately
and "fluently. Instruction in this
area includes phonemic awareness, word
analysis strategies (especially phonemic
decoding), sight word vocabulary, and
practice to increase "fluency while reading.

2. Vocabulary knowledge and oral
language skills help readers understand
the meaning of words and connected text.
Instruction in this area involves strategies
to build vocabulary and activities to
strengthen listening comprehension.

3. Broad conceptual knowledge includes
not only general knowledge of the world
but also knowledge drawn from science,
social studies, and other disciplines. An
information-rich curriculum can help students
develop the background that is necessary
for good reading comprehension.

4. Knowledge and abilities required specifically
to comprehend text include an understanding
of the different ways text can be structured
and the ability to use a repertoire of cognitive strategies.

5. Thinking and reasoning skills that are
involved, for example, in making inferences
are essential to reading comprehension
as text becomes more complex and as
a student’s tasks depend more on the
thoughtful analysis of content.

6. Motivation to understand and work
toward academic goals makes it more
likely that students will intentionally
apply strategies to improve their reading
comprehension. Comprehending complex
text requires active mental effort, which
is most likely to occur when a student is
engaged in the task at hand.
Recommendation 1: Teach students how to use reading strategies.

a. Teach students how to use several research-based reading comprehension strategies.
b. Teach reading comprehension strategies individually or in combination.
c. Teach reading comprehension strategies by using a gradual release of responsibility.

Recommendation 2: Teach students to identify and use the text's organizational structure to comprehend, learn, and remember content.

a. Explain how to identify and connect the parts of narrative texts.
b. Provide instruction on common structures of informational texts.
Compare and contrast is a good way to start teaching students about the structure of informational text.
Recommendation 1
Teachers can use single- or multiple-strategy instruction.

Single-strategy instruction:
introduces each strategy individually
and includes practice for some period of time,
usually a few weeks, before the next
strategy is introduced. Over time, students
come to master a collection of strategies.

Multiple-strategy instruction:
Multiple-strategy instruction introduces several strategies simultaneously, and they are practiced in combination so that readers learn to use them together as they read.

Teachers can use a gradual release strategy.

Comprehension strategies should be taught through a gradual release of responsibility,
in which the teacher first explains how to use the strategy and then gives students more and
more independence in practicing and applying the strategy over time.

Recommendation 2
The panel believes that students comprehend and remember content better when they
are taught to recognize the structure of a text because it can help them to extract and
construct meaning while reading. For instance, understanding how stories are organized helps
students to distinguish between major and minor events and predict how a story might unfold.

The panel recommends that structure first be taught through stories that are familiar to students, such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears or Little Red Riding Hood.
The panel recommends that teachers develop tools, such as simple mnemonics, to help
students identify and remember the elements of structure (ie: linking fingers to list main elements of a story).

Alternatively, teachers can teach the parts of the story using a story map or other graphic organizer such as (1) a chart to match structure to content, (2) a sequencing activity for younger students in which they rearrange a scrambled list of pictures of major events to accurately represent the sequence in the narrative, or (3) a diagram of the plot that connects major action points within the story.

Explain how to identify and connect the parts of narrative texts.
Provide instruction on common structures of informational texts.
Teach reading comprehension strategies individually or in combination.
Teach reading comprehension strategies by using a gradual release of responsibility.
Tomkins (1998) suggested following these 3 steps
to teach expository text structures:

1. Introduce an organizational pattern- The teacher introduces the signal words and phrases that identify each text structure and gives students a graphic organizer for each pattern.
2. Give students opportunities to work on the text- let the students analyze the text structure.
3. Invite students to write paragraphs using each text structure pattern.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, What Works in Comprehension Instruction, readingrocket.com, 2000

Carrier, Comprehension, readingrocket.com, 2006

Akhondi, Malayeri & Samad, How to Teach Expository Text Structure to Facilitate Reading Comprehension, readingrocket.com, 2011

Rand, Reading for Understanding, 2002

Fisher, Frey & Lapp
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