Monday, February 7, 2011

Reading Comprehension

After reading with my buddy several times I realized that although she appears to be a good reader, she struggles with comprehension.  Based off from reading with her at grade level work and seeing that she had little comprehension, I am going to go move down a grade level for her to try. 
I have a couple of books for her to choose from.  Once she makes her selection I will have her first read a few pages to herself and then ask for her to read it again out loud.  Once she finishes reading I will ask her questions about what the story is about, who the characters are, what she knows about the characters, and to predict what will happen next in the book. 
Each time with I meet with her, I will tell her before she starts reading to remember to think about the words she is reading and not just say them.  My goal is to help her remember what she has read instead of just reading words on the page that have no meaning. 


  1. Great post Tina! I think you have a great plan for your buddy. It’s good that you test her comprehension when she reads silently as well. My fourth grade buddy’s comprehension is very limited when he read aloud, but he does great when he reads the passage to himself. I suggest giving this a shot a couple of times before lowering her down a grade level.

    I also think it’s great that you give her guidance (to pay attention to the words she reads) before she starts. Hopefully she will make this a habit. I do suggest ‘weaning her off’ of this habit with time. The goal is to eventually have her automatically pay attention to the words without a warning ahead of time.

    How has she been doing in other areas like spelling and convention?

  2. Good idea! I love that you are allowing her to read the passage to herself, as well as read out loud. From my experience, some kids do not comprehend what they are reading (when reading aloud) because they are so nervous about being timed or judged by others.

    I just observed a teacher working with a small group on reading comprehension. She played a board game with them. They rolled the dice and answered questions about the passage they read. Every "space" on the game board had different kinds of questions so they kids stayed engaged with the game as well as the text. This might also be a fun way to help your student focus her attention on the text and learn some great reading strategies at the same time.

    Have you decided which EALRs you are going to focus on? You could write your game questions using the EALRs or GLEs you choose for her.

  3. It seems that a lot of blogs I have been reading are all having the same difficulties: comprehension. I, personally, have mixed feeling son this. Is the student reading something that interests them? I know that I tend to tune out when I am reading something that I find boring. I have also found that many students are either worried about how many words they are reading in a minute to also really concentrating on the words as they read so they don't make a mistake. This in turn makes them not able to comprehend what they are reading. IT would be interesting to see if you could test her on her own book and see if she comprehends. There is also a website that I have used that helps too. Lots of choices on passages that seems to meet most students needs and the questions at the end are great for testing comprehension!

  4. It's great that you are having your buddy read silently to herself before reading out loud again. For many people comprehension can be difficult when reading out loud, including myself. By allowing her to go through the text at her own pace quietly, you are definitely helping her with not only comprehension, but I think also with easing the possible stress of having to read aloud to you, the teacher buddy. If you find that she still struggles with comprehension, perhaps you could see if it improves when you read the text out loud to her while she follows along on her own copy of the text so that she is hearing and seeing at the same time. Just a thought!

    I think the stopping points and guiding questions are also wonderful for helping her stay focused on the storyline. Nice job!

  5. What are your buddy's strengths across dimensions of reading? Is there a particular strategy (Tovani, Routman, Cooper) that might be a good focus for a lesson? What about text selection--what kinds of stories or texts might you buddy be interested in reading?