Attend to the Details of Comprehension Instruction
Teachers of transitional and fluent readers often struggle with teaching comprehension during the guided reading lesson. The first challenge is to identify a focus. Understanding that self-monitoring is the very first comprehension strategy to teach, I follow it with visualizing and self-questioning. These three strategies seem to be easiest for teachers to implement and most valuable for readers to use. When I conduct workshops, I first model specific comprehension strategies and provide guided practice before I have teachers apply one of the comprehension strategies to the text they plan to use with a group of readers.
Knowing how to chunk the text is another challenge. Some teachers have students read huge sections of text without asking students to stop to reflect on their thinking. I show teachers how to chunk text into smaller segments and then have students write short responses that connect to the comprehension focus. Getting readers to stop, think, and jot helps them reflect on their reading.
Making inferences through analysis of characters has such power. Jan's professional text provides suggestions and graphic organizers to help teachers with this instruction. I model it, we do it together, and then teachers have an opportunity to apply it during the planning session.
Improve your comprehension instruction by attending to these details!
Written by: Sophie Kowzun
Page Turner Consulting