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Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension of Informational Texts

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Patrick DePippo

on 26 June 2013

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Transcript of Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension of Informational Texts

Final Thoughts
Learning how to comprehend informational/nonfiction texts requires different instructional approaches and strategies than teaching students how to comprehend aesthetic/fiction texts.

Frequently remind students to use the strategies you taught them and provide many opportunities for students to practice using these strategies. Students will learn to use these strategies on their own after with practice, repetition, and plenty of reminders.

There is no such thing as "one size fits all." Teachers must use a present a variety of instructional strategies to meet the needs of many students with different learning preferences.
Why do we need strategies for informational text?
Strategies to Improve
Reading Comprehension
of Informational Texts

With the new Common Core Standards being implemented in New York State, there is a large focus on informational texts in all content areas, not just science and social studies.
As a result, all educators should be familiar with strategies that will assist students with accessing informational text in an efficient way.
A variety of strategies are also necessary to provide students with options and cater to all of the different learners within the classroom.
Pre-Reading: Vocabulary Map
Content words can prevent students from understanding informational text and the use of the vocabulary map before reading the text can provide students with some background information about the topic.
This allows students to fully understand the content word aside from looking up the definition.
During Reading:
Post It Notes

Students use “post its” to write thoughts/notes and stick to a text on which they are reading. These notes can be removed and re-attached to record individual student “interactions” with text.
Using Post It Notes can aid students comprehension about what they read, and engage with the text. This is also known as "Coding the Text."
Post It Notes are useful to teach students to stop, mark the text, note questions, and for informational texts, to summarize as they read.
In addition, this strategy is useful across content areas
Here are some useful codes to scaffold the use of Post IT Notes during reading
While reading any non-fiction text, students can complete the 3-2-1 reading strategy. This can be done in students' notebooks, on post-its, or a graphic organizer, if the student could use more scaffolds.

What is it we do?
Identify 3 interesting facts.
What 2 questions still remain?
Write is 1 thing - either a fact, a response, a question - I want to share.
3-2-1 Scaffolds and Differentiation
Need more scaffolds? No problem!
Use 3-2-1 in the form of a graphic organizer.
Offer students helpful question stems for stage "2."
Offer students response stems for their personal response.
Encourage students to work in pairs.
And remind students that there is no such thing as a "good" or "bad" fact learned, question, or response. Everything here is something that works for them - it doesn't have to work for anyone else!
What will this professional development provide you with? What tools can you take away to implement in the classroom?
It is important to have pre-reading, during reading and post-reading activities to offer your students so they can constantly create meaning from the text.
This presentation will introduce you to activities that you may already be familiar with, but they are important strategies to use in the classroom.
Pre-Reading Activities:
Vocabulary Map
During Reading Activities:
Directed-Reading/Thinking Activity (DR-TA)
Post-Reading Activities:
3-2-1 Graphic Organizer
Here is an example of what one looks like
Codes to Use on Post Its
****-Strikes you as very important
++++-Summarized passage
??-Question you hope will be answered during reading
AAA-Answers a question you had
/???/-Really confuses you
!!!-Learned something interesting
>>>-Makes you connect to another text or experience
Follow the arrow to see how Post Its are used.
Here is a short video on how it's done:
Please refer to your folder to see the example that will be used as well as for a template.
How is this strategy used?
. Instruct students to summarize, question, jot down thoughts or ideas they are having about the text while reading. (The questions can be raised in class and used to fuel class discussions).
4. Sticky notes can be saved, attached to a sheet of paper or a folder, and used later as part of a study guide to recall what a given text was about.
Follow the arrow to see a sample.
1. Students are given a (based on length of text) of sticky notes

3. There is no right or wrong answer and assessment is solely based on the students’ participation in transacting with the text.
Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DR-TA)
Directed Reading-Thinking Activity (DR-TA) is a teaching strategy that guides students in making predictions about a text and then reading to confirm or refute their predictions. The teacher periodically poses questions to the students at certain, designated spots in a given reading while students are reading and have them write their responses to these questions in order to focus their attention on specific details, ideas, and the students' own thoughts while they read.
Process of DR-TA
1, Prior Knowledge
Before reading, ask students to think about what they already know about the topic of a given text and respond either ih writing or orally.

2. Predicting
Have students study the title, headings, pictures, and other text features of the text and have them predict what they think the passage is about and why they think so.

3. Read
Students read the given passage up until a pre-determined section (made by the teacher in advance) in the text.

4. Prove or Modify Predictions
After reading a given section, what they think about their predictions now, whether they can prove some of their predictions based on what they have read so far (if so, ask them to provide evidence), and ask them what information or ideas may come in the next section. Ask students to record their responses in writing or respond orally before moving on to the next section.

5. Reflect
After reading the entire text, ask students to think and respond in writing or orally about what they found out in their reading that either proved their predictions or may cause them to reconsider or modify their predictions.
Here's a form older students can fill out periodically as they read through a given text
What is it?
Why Use it?
Caldwell (2008) discovered that many good readers practice several of the same reading behaviors that help them better understand a text. Some of these good reading behaviors include "making inferences and predictions, reading to find answers, and forming and supporting opinions or ideas in the text." (Caldwell, 2008, p. 8). As such, the DR-TA strategy encourages students to be more active and thoughtful readers which, in turn, may enhance their reading comprehension.
Sources: Caldwell, J.A. (2008). Reading assessment: A primer for teachers and coaches. New York: The Guilford Press.
Teacher Vision Website http://www.teachervision.fen.com/skill-builder/reading/48610.html?page=2&detoured=1
Uses of DR-TA
- Have students make predictions at the beginning or each chapter using prior information gain from previous chapters read.
- Use to introduce new picture books.
- After reading a text, have students write a summary of their prediction and why it was correct or needed to be modified.
- When solving word problems, have students predict what mathematical processes (i.e. division, subtraction, estimation) or information they might need to solve the problem based on the illustrations and key words
Social Studies
Ask students to preview a chapter of the social studies textbook, and to use the headings, bold vocabulary, maps, and charts to make predictions. As students read the chapter, have them verify or modify their predictions. At the end of the chapter, discuss predictions with them.

Look for the empty template in your folder and choose a bolded word in the informational text provided.
Create a vocabulary map for this word to get a feel for the process that is needed for this activity.

In your folders look for the blank 3-2-1 graphic organizer and the informational text on the Nazi Regime.
Read the article and then complete the 3-2-1 graphic organizer.
Again, this will give you a sense of the process that is necessary to complete this activity.
http://www.iacademy.org/RRB/DirectedReadingThinkingActivities.html (DR-TA)
http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/drta/ (DR-TA)
http://www.readingquest.org/strat/321.html (3-2-1)
http://www.heinemann.com/shared/onlineresources%5CE01230%5CHarvey_Comp_Lesswebsam.pdf (Post-Its)
http://www.readingquest.org/pdf/wordmap.pdf (Vocabulary Map)
http://www.colorincolorado.org/educators/content/vocabulary/ (Vocabulary Map)
What's Next?
Please look inside of the folder provided and complete the Response Form
Sample of text with Post It Notes
Full transcript