Guide Teaching Comprehension With Questioning Strategies That Motivate Middle School Readers

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Giving them too many strategies can cause confusion and even resistance. The four strategies that follow are the ones I have found to directly impact basic comprehension of a text.

Reading conferences

Help struggling readers prepare to approach the text by teaching them how to preview. Tell students about text features, show them examples, explain their purposes, and talk about how readers should use text features to better navigate a the piece purposefully. In my classroom, we practice identifying text features in fiction and nonfiction texts, in visual texts, and on the web. This process — previewing the text features to gather information — is a critical first step in predicting. Once you have previewed the text with students, guide them through the initial prediction process.

I provide my struggling readers with a couple templates to fill in. The real benefit with predicting, however, is the part that often is forgotten. As students read, have them actively monitor their predictions. Pause to allow them to add to or alter their predictions as they reflect on new textual evidence.

Puntuación de la evidencia

During my reading strategies unit, I cover different types of inferences students can make. We study examples, and we practice inferring together. For instance, What can we infer about Doodle after reading that he cried at the beauty of Old Woman Swamp? Train struggling students to ask themselves whether they might be missing an inference when comprehension begins to falter and confusion settles in its place. Summarizing is my go-to reading strategy.

Strategies to Increase Reading Comprehension

When reading a text with your class, pause frequently to check for understanding. I rarely ask struggling readers to read anything in their zone of frustration independently. As you read together, teach them to reflect on short segments of the text. Pose questions to get them thinking. After reading a fictional text, we reflect on the whole piece and write a five-sentence summary — one sentence for each part of the plot. When summarizing nonfiction texts , I ask students to pretend like they are reporters. It gives them a specific process to follow, which reduces the guesswork and uncertainty.

When teachers pose questions, they can respond, but asking students to pose their own? Teach them the difference between a basic comprehension question and a discussion question.

follow url Also, make sure students understand when and why to use each type. Teaching reading in high school is a process of trial and error. Teaching students to be engaged, active readers is one of the keys to successful reading instruction. We can do that by explicitly teaching reading strategies they can add to their reading tool belts.

If you have related ideas to share, please drop them in the comments. I like to use a variety of scaffolding materials when working with reading comprehension. The tools use similar wording and prompts, but the change in format keeps students from getting bored.

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These are two simple tools to use to encourage older students to read actively. They are great as formative assessments and can be graded quickly or simply used as discussion pieces. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive ELA inspiration and resources! An avid reader and writer, I've had the privilege of teaching English for over a decade and am now an instructional coach. Ask them what they notice about the pictures and how they think those details may relate to the story or content.

Use outlines to scaffold comprehension. Provide a brief, simple outline of a reading assignment or an oral discussion in advance of a new lesson. This will help ELLs pick out the important information as they listen or read. Teach vocabulary explicitly. Focus on key vocabulary: Choose the vocabulary that your students need to know in order to support their reading development and content-area learning.

Provide student-friendly definitions for key vocabulary. Include signal and directional words: Remember that students may also need explicit instruction in signal or directional words "because" and "explain" , in addition to key content vocabulary "photosynthesis" and "evolution". Use a "picture-walk" for vocabulary: Once students know a new word's definition, ask them to connect those new words to the pictures they see in the text. Teach students to actively engage with vocabulary: Teach students to underline, highlight, make notes, and list unknown vocabulary words as they read.

Give students practice with new words: Ensure that your students can Define a word. Recognize when to use that word. Understand multiple meanings such as the word "party". Decode and spell that word. Incorporate new words into discussions and activities. For students to really know a word, they must use it—or they will lose it. Use new words in class discussions or outside of class, in other contexts such as on field trips. Give the students as many opportunities to use and master the new vocabulary as possible. Check comprehension frequently. Use informal comprehension checks: To test students' ability to put materials in sequence, for example, print sentences from a section of the text on paper strips, mix the strips, and have students put them in order.

Test comprehension with student-friendly questions: After reading, test students' comprehension with carefully crafted questions, using simple sentences and key vocabulary from the text. These questions can be at the: Literal level Why do the leaves turn red and yellow in the fall? Interpretive level Why do you think it needs water? Applied level How much water are you going to give it? No matter what the students' proficiency level, ask questions that require higher-level thinking: To probe for true comprehension, ask questions that require students to analyze, interpret, or explain what they have read, such as the following: What ideas can you add to?

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    What might happen if? How do you think she felt? Use graphic organizers: Graphic organizers allow ELLs to organize information and ideas efficiently without using much language.

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    Different types include Venn diagrams, K-W-L charts, story maps, cause-and-effect charts, and time lines. Provide students with many different ways to show what they know: Drawings, graphs, oral interviews, posters, and portfolios are just a few ways that students can demonstrate understanding as they are beginning to develop their reading and writing skills in English. Summarize: Ask students to use the following strategies to summarize, orally or in writing, what they have read: Retell what you read, but keep it short. Include only important information.