COMPREHENSION: TAUGHT, NOT CAUGHT!
There was a time that we thought that comprehension was caught, not taught. If we taught students how to read the words, overall comprehension would follow naturally. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Too many of our struggling readers in intermediate and senior grades can say the words on the page but they don’t understand what they’ve read. In fact, a 2004 study of 6000 struggling readers found that only about 8% struggled with decoding. The great majority could read the words with accuracy (and even fluency) but didn’t understand what they read.
The problem is, we haven’t always known! For too long, reading instruction consisted of
giving students something to read and asking them questions about it. There wasn’t much “teaching” going on at all.
I DO – WE DO – YOU DO…
Now we know that teaching comprehension is like teaching most other things – with modelling and demonstration, guided practice and independent application. Read more about the THINK ALOUD, THINK ALONG, THINK ALONE Protocol.
When comprehension breaks down, readers need a repertoire of tools to repair it. At HIP, we focus on five key comprehension strategies: connecting to prior knowledge, asking oneself questions, drawing inferences, synthesizing connected text and monitoring one’s own comprehension. Read more about the FANTASTIC FIVE COMPREHENSION SUPERPOWERS.