Reading Comprehension

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Reading Comprehension Powered By Docstoc
					 From Research to
Practice: Improving
  Comprehension
Instruction, Gr. 2-3
    Janice A. Dole
   University of Utah
              Overview
 Theory and Research in
  Comprehension.
 Major Issues in Comprehension
  Instruction.
   Building conceptual and linguistic
    knowledge.
   Conceptual knowledge and vocabulary.
   Text structures.
   Comprehension strategies.
  Theory and Research on
     Comprehension
 Comprehension is NOT a series of skills that
  you teach to mastery (unlike decoding).
 Comprehension is:
    Reader-driven and text-driven.
      Reading is active.
      Reading is constructive.
      Reading is strategic.
      Reading is holistic.
Theory and Research cont.
 Comprehension is also a social activity.

   The social aspects of comprehension can
    motivate students to read and comprehend
    better as well.

   When was the last time you talked to
    someone about something you read?
Theory and Research cont.
 Preventing Reading Difficulties in
  Young Children (Snow, Burns, &
  Griffin, 1998).

  A major goal of comprehension instruction
  for students is to build linguistic and
  conceptual knowledge about the world.
Theory and Research cont.
 National Reading Panel Report (2000).

 Importance of strategy instruction in
  improving text comprehension.

 Goal of strategy instruction is active
  processing, NOT use of strategies.
          Major Issues in
          Comprehension
            Instruction
 Building conceptual and linguistic
  knowledge.
 Conceptual knowledge and vocabulary.
 Text structures.
 Comprehension strategies.
Conceptual and Linguistic
      Knowledge
 How do you build conceptual and
 linguistic knowledge?
   Lots and lots of read-alouds by teachers.
   Using many, many non-fiction as well as
    fiction books.
   Books need to be above students’
    instructional reading level.
   Teacher and student discussions about the
    ideas and the words.
     Building Conceptual
         Knowledge
 Building conceptual knowledge means
  concept development and
  vocabulary.
 The level of one’s vocabulary
  knowledge effects their reading
  comprehension.
 The more words you know, the better
  your comprehension.
Conceptual Knowledge
   and Vocabulary
 Perhaps his greatest triumph
  was surviving a bivouac in the
  Death Zone.

 Rate your understanding of this sentence,
  1-none -- 5-excellent.

 Why don’t you understand?
   Conceptual Knowledge
      and Vocabulary
 These really should be taught together
  to benefit readers the most.

 Often, they may need to be taught
  before reading a selection.
    Prior Knowledge and
         Vocabulary
 What words do students need to
  know in order to understand the
  topic of the selection?
   Two examples:
     Story about a “plant.”
     Story about a “museum.”
 What are generally useful words to
  know?
        Vocabulary Words
 Beck, McKeown & Kucan’s book,
 Bringing Words to Life
   A wonderful book that explains which
    words you should teach:
     Tier 1 words-- e.g. dog, house, horse,
      animals.
     Tier 2 words--generally useful words to
      know, e.g. normal, routine, especially.
     Tier 3 words--content-specific
      vocabulary, e.g. ecosystem, habitat,
      mammals, species.
       Vocabulary Words
 Beck et al. argue elementary teachers
  should teach Tier 2 words--

   These are generally useful words we all need
    to know to get along in our society.
      Which ones are generally useful words to know?
      Which ones are specialized terms?
      Isotope, coincidence, absurd, lathe.
      Vocabulary Words
 Which Tier 2 words to teach?

   Words that students can define easily on
    their own with knowledge they already
    have:
     Tend --to take care of
     Maintain--to keep doing
     Fortunate--lucky
     Benevolent--kind
      Vocabulary Words
 Which Tier 2 words to teach?

   Words for which students already have a
    conceptual understanding of:
     Despise--hate
     Hurl--throw
     Mumble--speak in a very small voice
       Vocabulary Words
 A caveat:
   With ELLs it is often easy and helpful to
    teach Tier 1 words in English:
      For example, “gato” means cat. So it may be
       helpful to teach the English label “cat” so ELLs
       can make the easy connection between “gato”
       and “cat.”
      Remember, “cat” can easily be associated with
       “gato.”
           Vocabulary Words
 When do you teach Tier 3 words?

   In content area subjects--social studies,
    earth science, biology, physical science.
      Entomologist
      Scientist
      Metamorphosis
      Prior Knowledge and
           Vocabulary
 Different ways to activate and build
  conceptual knowledge and prior knowledge:

     Discussions.
     Semantic webs, Venn diagrams.
     Think, pair, share.
     Writing.
     Picture walks for very young ones only.
     KWLs.
         Text Structures

What are text structures?
 narrative and expository texts.
 basically like fiction and nonfiction, but
 a better way of thinking about it.

Why?
         Text Structures
 Narrative and expository?
   Why do we call text structures this?
   Why not call them fiction and nonfiction?


 Text structures--a way to think about
  how the texts are organized.
           Narrative Texts
Depicts events, actions, emotions, situations,
  people.
Story structures, story grammars, story maps:
   Character
   Setting
  Problem
  Events
  Resolution
            Story Maps
Story maps gives low-achieving readers
  an organizational framework for
  understanding the story.

  You can make predictions only if you have a
   story organization in your head.
   Story Map Instruction
 Students can complete story maps.
 Students can make semantic webs of
  story structures.
 Story maps can be turned into
  summaries:

   Summary is problem and resolution.
        Expository Texts
 Expository texts have different
  organizations than narrative texts.
   Expository texts have:
     Descriptions.
     Sequences.
     Compare/contrast.
     Problem/solution.
     Cause/effect.
     Question/answer.
        Expository Texts
 If you know the text structure of an
  expository text, then you can
  summarize it more easily.
        Expository Texts
 From This Place is Dry, V. Cobb.
 “A day without water in this blazing sun
  could cause death.”

   Cause: no water in the hot, blazing sun.
   Effect: you die.
        Expository Texts
 “There are three ways plants survive
  with very little water. The first is to be
  able to go into a kind of ‘sleep…The
  second way plants survive dryness is to
  grow and make new seeds when there
  is water…A third way plants live
  through dry periods is to store water
  after a rain.”
        Expository Texts
 Plants survive on little water by
   1. Going to sleep.
   2. Growing and make new seeds.
   3. Storing water after rain.
 This structure:
   Problem/solution
        Expository Texts
Well-organized texts increases
 comprehension of main ideas and topics
 when:

 There is clarity in and clear location of main
 idea statements.

 There are cues to the relations between
 important ideas--e.g. first, next, if, then.
Expository Organization
Introduce expository text as a
  different kind of text.
  For example, introduce fiction and
    nonfiction.
  Read a lot of nonfiction materials.
  For fiction, use story map elements.
  For nonfiction, use different structures like
    question/answer, problem/solution,
    compare/contrast.
Comprehension Strategies
 What is a strategy?
   A strategy is a routine or procedure to help
    you to get something done.
 What are comprehension
  strategies?
   Routines and procedures you can use to
    help you comprehend what you read.
Comprehension Strategies
National Reading Panel report:
  Several kinds of comprehension strategies
    improve comprehension:
     Visualizing.
     Making predictions.
     Summarizing.
     Drawing inferences.
     Monitoring understanding.
     Asking questions.
Comprehension Strategies
 “If you stepped outside the Sonoran
  Desert in Arizona on a summer day,
  the first thing you would notice is the
  heat. The hot air hits you in the face
  like opening an oven door.
  Temperatures in the summer can go as
  high as 130 degrees.” (from This Place is Dry,
  Cobb).
Comprehension Strategies
 Visualizing
   Can you visualize the desert on a hot
    summer day? Think about how it feels to
    open an oven door. Think about walking
    outside into the heat. You open the door of
    the hotel and you walk into the heat. The
    heat hits you like you just opened an oven
    door.
Comprehension Strategies
 Making predictions.
   What other information do you think will
    be in this book about the desert?
    Remember that the title of the book is
    called, This Place is Dry.
 Summarizing
   The Sonoran Desert is so hot that it feels
    like you are opening an oven door.
Comprehension Strategies
 Drawing inferences
   Is it easy to live in a desert like the
    Sonoran Desert? Why or why not?


 Monitoring Understanding
   Do you understand how hot it is in the
    summer?
Comprehension Strategies
 Asking questions
   How do people survive in the incredible
    heat?
   Do people actually live in the Sonoran
    Desert?
   How do plants and animals live in the hot
    sun?
Comprehension Strategies
Goal of strategy instruction is NOT to learn the
  strategies by heart.
Instead, the goal of strategy instruction is to
  make comprehension an ACTIVE process.

  Reading is an active process.
  Reading is a strategic process.
Comprehension Strategies
 Strategy instruction is best delivered
  through EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION
 What is explicit instruction?
    Introduction, what, why.
    Demonstration, modeling,
     explanation.
    Guided practice and feedback.
    Independent practice.
      Explicit Instruction
 Introduction--what, why?
   Today we are going to learn about a
    comprehension strategy that you can use
    to help you read better.
   Today we are going to learn more about
    stories. We already learn how stories have
    characters and settings. Every story also
    has a problem and resolution to the
    problem.
      Explicit Instruction
 Demonstration, modeling,
  explanation.
   Pencil-dropping experience.
   Problem/solution.
 Guided practice with feedback.
   Okay, now we are going to read a story
    about a girl named Prudy. Prudy has a
    problem and we are going to find out how
    Prudy solves her problem.
      Explicit Instruction
 Guided Practice with Feedback.
   Before I read you this story, I want to
    introduce a word to you that is important
    for your understanding of the story.
     The word is museum. What is a museum and
      what is it for? Why do we have museums?
      Explicit Instruction
 Independent Practice
   Think of another way Prudy could have
    solved her problem. Draw a picture and
    write a sentence that tells how Prudy could
    have solved her problem.
                 Summary
 Theory and Research in
  Comprehension.
 Major Issues in Comprehension
  Instruction.
     Building conceptual and linguistic knowledge.
     Conceptual knowledge and vocabulary.
     Text structures--narrative and expository.
     Comprehension strategies--like visualizing,
      asking questions, predicting outcomes.

				
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