Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's All About Comprehension

Two years ago, I went to the International Reading Association in Chicago, Illinois.  I loved it, and learned a great deal. A passionate Sharon Taberski declared, "Reading is all about comprehension." Ever since then, I have tried to guide my teaching with comprehension in mind. I started to look through my old notes from Reading Methods.  I found a real gem: THINGS TO NOTE ABOUT MODELING TEXT-TO SELF, TEXT-TO-TEXT, AND TEXT-TO-WORLD CONNECTIONS.

There were eighteen bullets, but I am going to narrow it down to ten.

  • Demonstrate how good readers think by thinking aloud.
  • Model text-to-self, text-to-text, text-to world connections separately.
  • Use a variety of books.
  • Think about where to pause and think aloud before modeling.
  • Demonstrate how to read different kinds of text structure (e.g., nonfiction is often read more slowly and with more rereading than fiction).  
  • Demonstrate how to learn what is needed before reading when background knowledge is inadequate for understanding.
  • Conduct short (10 or 15 minute) mini-lessons modeling with different books for a sustained period of time (e.g., text-to-text connections for a couple of weeks).
  • Model first, delay inviting children to participate until they understand the concept being modeled.
  • During individual conferences, have children think aloud in their independent reading.
  • Make classroom charts of text-to-text connections:
    • Start with a book being read.
    • List the title of a text with which it connects.
    • Have children initial their contributions.

The Literacy Map, J. Richard Gentry, 2000

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