Sunday, August 17, 2014

Teaching reading comprehension: Best website with FREE strategies and ideas!

Reading comprehension is a critical facet of reading instruction, and one that is often difficult to teach. I target reading comprehension with my kids in speech language therapy often--if the student has a deficit in listening comprehension, we often target comprehension goals through books, since reading comprehension is negatively impacted by overall comprehension.

I use a lot of apps, but there's no magic bullet app that will solve all reading comprehension problems. So I'm always (ALWAYS) looking for good resources to understand and target reading comprehension. One of the best I've seen is Reading Resource. This site is amazing finding great information on every area of reading, actually.

Check out what is on the site for reading comprehension. First, Teaching Reading Comprehension outlines the importance of reading comprehension (it's what gives reading its purpose), the differences between good readers and poor readers, and finally an outline of each reading comprehension strategy.

And a second page is just rich with information for the reading teacher (including parents and SLPs!) Strategies for Reading Comprehension lists idea after idea to teach the different strategies, including necessary downloads to go with each idea. A few of my favorite:

Reading Salad
Since metacognition is being able to read and think at the same time, I demonstrate this by making a "reading salad". "Thinking" is represented by lettuce and the "text" is represented by tomatoes. When reading a book, I have two students stand on either side of me, each holding a green and red bowl. When I am reading the "text" a red card in placed in the red salad bowl. When I stop reading and "think" out loud, a green card is placed in the green salad bowl. This continues until I am finished reading. The cards are then dumped into a large salad bowl and mixed together to make a "reading salad". Print out the above link on Avery 8160 labels to create your own cards!

Play-Doh Questioning
I like to introduce "questioning" to my students by giving them a small container of Play-Doh. When they are at their seats I tell them to "construct something". I don't give them any other directions. In a five minute period, I write down on a large chart paper the questions they are asking. (If a student directs a question to me, I simply shrug my shoulders). Next, I tell them to add something to their creation (as I write down what they are saying). Once I have generated a plethora of questions, I tell them to put their Play-Doh away and take a look at some of the things they said. I explain that good readers ask themselves questions (just like they did when they were given the Play-Doh with out any directions) to help them become better readers.

To read all of the strategies and learn more about reading comprehension, visit Reading Resource! I'm working on compiling some apps that work well with each area of reading comprehension--nominate your favorite!

Teaching Reading Comprehension

Strategies for Reading Comprehension

Heather H's biggest problem with reading comprehension is called, "Getting distracted."

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