10 Things Every Teacher Should Know About Reading Comprehension

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10 Things Every Teacher Should Know About Reading Comprehension. Timothy Shanahan University of Illinois at Chicago shanahan@uic.edu www.shanahanonliteracy.com. 1. Reading comprehension tests dont tell much about reading comprehension. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • 10 Things Every Teacher Should Know About Reading Comprehension Timothy ShanahanUniversity of Illinois at Chicagoshanahan@uic.eduwww.shanahanonliteracy.com

  • 1. Reading comprehension tests dont tell much about reading comprehension Do low reading comprehension scores mean students struggle with reading comprehension?

    Because reading is a collection of linguistic and cognitive skills that are embedded and hierarchical, low comprehension scores do not necessarily mean there is a need for more comprehension instruction

  • Is it a reading comprehension problem?

    Or is it a decoding problem?

  • Is it a reading comprehension problem?

    Or is it a word meaning problem?

  • Is it a reading comprehension problem?

    Or is it a fluency problem?

  • Is it a reading comprehension problem?

    Or is it a comprehension problem?

  • Dont fall for the comprehension skills fallacy You cant simply teach students how to answer particular question types such as main idea, vocabulary, inferencing, supporting details, drawing conclusions, etc.

  • 2. Basic skills teaching improves reading comprehension Enabling skills can seem like ends in themselves But the purpose of teaching enabling skills is that they can improve reading comprehensionNeed to pay attention to student performance and developmental level

  • NRP reviewed 51 studies of phonemic awareness instructionAnd 38 studies of phonics instruction

  • NRP reviewed 45 studies on vocabulary instructionAnd NELP and NLP looks at vocabulary are revealing, too

  • NRP reviewed 16 (or 52) studies on oral reading fluency instruction

  • Dont fail to teach these basic skillsBut teach them with a clear purposeSkills instruction should eventually end up with reading for meaning as the pay off

  • 3. Reading comprehension itself can be taught explicitlyThere is more to comprehension teaching than just building enabling skillsIt is possible to provide instruction that helps students to think more effectively while they read (to understand and remember more)

  • NRP reviewed 205 studies that showed that reading comprehension could be taught directly throughout the elementary and secondary grades. These studies emphasized teaching students how to think effectively during reading

  • 4. Reading comprehension instruction is not listening comprehensionReading comprehension and listening comprehension are both about thinking with languageStudents low in reading comprehension are often low in listening comprehension tooEarly listening comprehension is correlated with later reading comprehension and for English learners these relations are stronger within English than across languages

  • One reason the correlations arent higher is because the demands of decoding: Reading requires students to think about text WHILE decodingStudies do not yet show that improving listening comprehension is an effective intervention for improving reading comprehension

  • Kindergarten teachers are correct to focus on listening comprehensionUnfortunately, teachers of older kids often replace reading with listening lessons because of the difficulty of the booksThis gets you through the books, but doesnt teach reading Students need to read materials that are challenging, but not TOO hard to read

  • 5. Reading comprehension instruction requires more than practiceEarly in 20th Century, reading instruction focused mainly on oral reading practiceSilent reading and reading comprehension instruction were ignored

  • Thorndike study: Kids who were questioned about what they read comprehended better than those who just readHelped transform teaching of readingMore recent studies have challenged this standard of practice (strategies)

  • Just reading and answering questions is better than just readingBut reading comprehension instruction is more than an assignmentWe can teach kids how to think effectively when reading (strategies)

  • 6. Comprehension strategy instruction is different than comprehension skills instruction Historically, reading instruction has emphasized comprehension skillsSkills are meant to be carried out quickly, easily and without conscious attentionStrategies are intentional and complex

  • Reading Comprehension SkillsCause and effectClassify and categorizeCompare and contrastDraw conclusionsFact and opinionMain ideaImportant detailsInferencesSequenceBias and propagandaProblem and solutionIdentify themeLiteral recallToneMoodEtc., etc., etc.

  • Reading Comprehension StrategiesSummarizing (18)Questioning (27)Story mapping (17)Monitoring (22)Question answering (17)Graphic organizers (11)Mental imagery (7)Prior knowledge (14)

  • Strategies vs. SkillsStrategies:IntentionalMetacognitiveReflectiveComplex/multi-stepProbability of successApproximationSkills:AutomaticOver-learningImmediateSimple/single stepCertainty of successAccuracy

  • 7. Combinations of strategies are bestNRP found that instruction in combined sets of strategies (such as reciprocal teaching) were generally more effective than teaching single strategies

  • 8. Clear explanations matterStudies show that how well teachers can explain mental processes makes a difference in student progressCore programs and professional development can give teachers guidance in teaching strategies clearly

  • Students need to learn the what, when, how, why of strategies.

  • 9. Gradual release of control approaches are effectiveModeling and explanationGuided practice and explanationIndependent practice

  • Gradual release of control:

    I do it. We do it.

    You do it.

  • Gradual release of control:

    I do it. We do it.

    You do it together. You do it.

  • 10. We dont have all the strategies.Strategies are about taking intentional mental actions to understand a textStory maps versus character change charts

  • Story Map

    Setting: Main Character:Problem:Internal response:Attempt:Outcome:Reaction:Theme:

  • Character Perspective Chart

    Setting: Main Character:Problem:Internal response:Attempt:Outcome:Reaction:Theme:

    Setting:Main character:Problem:Internal response:Attempt:Outcome:Reaction:Theme:

  • Character Change Chart

    Crisis

    Given this character change, what do you think the author wanted you to learn? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    What is main character like at the beginning of the story?What is the main character like at the end of the story? How has he or she changed?

  • Chemistry Note-taking

    Substances

    Properties

    Processes

    InteractionsAtomic Expression

  • History Events Chart

    TEXTWHO?WHAT?WHERE?WHEN?WHY?1Relation: 2Relation:3Relation4 Main point:

  • We can improve the reading lives of childrenBy creating a classroom culture that emphasizes meaning.By ensuring that children have the enabling skills that allow comprehensionBy teaching students the most effective, research-proven ways to think effectively about the ideas in text and guiding their practice with these strategies across a wide range of text

  • Thank you very much!!!

  • 10 Things Every Teacher Should Know about Reading Comprehension Timothy ShanahanUniversity of Illinois at Chicagoshanahan@uic.eduwww.shanahanonliteracy.com

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