Friday, February 26, 2010

Comprehension Procedures and Strategies

Reading comprehension is such an important part of literacy in children’s development, but also one of the toughest things to teach children. From my own experiences growing up, as well as my experiences of working with students in my placements, I have found reading comprehension to be a difficult task for many students. When I was in elementary school I saw a reading specialist several times a week to work on various literacy skills including, comprehension, pronunciation, letter/word recognition, and other components of literacy. It was not until then that I realized how my reading comprehension was lacking from my overall literacy understanding, and what an important aspect it really was to being a literate individual. Being a student, it is quite easy to forget about comprehension when reading a story, because it is so easy to focus on fluency and correctly identifying the words. Children can get caught up with reading correctly, that sometimes they are forgetting about what is going on during the story and the comprehensive aspects that they should also be focused on to gain the full idea the story is trying to portray. Although comprehension can be difficult to conquer for students, and a tough task to promote as teachers, it is absolutely essential that we give students various methods to help them with comprehension.

One comprehension strategy that could be helpful to students is KWL charts. Not only did I use these when I was in school, but I also used them last year in my 401 social studies component. These charts allow children to identify what they know, what they want to know, and what they want to learn. This is a good way for students to represent their understanding and misconceptions, but also a great way for teachers to assess what the students know, and what they need to focus on teaching them. Another idea for a comprehension strategy that has worked wonders in the classroom is reading comprehension worksheets. This allows the students to answer questions from the story to make sure they have an accurate understanding of what is going on in the story. It could also be beneficial to give students the worksheets ahead of time, so they have a chance to see what questions need to be answered, which allows them to look for those answers while they are reading. Students will then be more focused on comprehension and have an idea of what they should be looking for in the text. Story maps or graphic organizers can also be helpful to students who are struggling with reading comprehension because it allows them to carefully map out the characters, setting, plot, theme, etc so they know what is going on in the story. These are just several examples among many that have been beneficial in helping out students in my own placements, and have also made a positive impact on my comprehension development while I was in school.

Comprehension is arguably one of the most important aspects of literacy, because it allows us to identify the reason we are reading a text in the first place. Making sure students have the correct resources and proper instruction to further their understanding of comprehension strategies is vital to creating literate individuals. There are many resources out there that can help teachers and students with working out comprehension strategies in literacy, and it is important that we as future teachers, take full advantage of coming up with a list of resources to benefit our students. Here is a link that offers a couple other comprehension strategy ideas, Hope it helps!

1 comment:

  1. First of all, great link! I'm definately bookmarking it so I can look back at that in the futre. I totally agree with you in regards to the importance of comprehension for children. Right now, in my placement, I'm working a lot with one young girl who has a really difficult time with comprehension. Her reading is VERY choppy and she has a really difficult time with fluency. I'm beginning to realize how closely fluency and comprehension are tied. I spent some time talking to my CT and he had actually went to a professional development not that long ago on developing reading comprehension with students. Basically, what we were talking about, is that helping students become fluent readers will positively affect their comprehension.