Low comprehension, high fluency

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by Tutor, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Tutor

    Tutor Comrade

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    Nov 18, 2009

    I have a student that scored at a mid-4th grade level in reading fluency and yet her comprehension is at a high 1st grade level.

    She loves to read but has a very hard time with even simple recall.

    Could this be an indicator of a disability? What can I do to help her?
     
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  3. dcalhoun

    dcalhoun Companion

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  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 22, 2009

    Not necessarily an indicator of a disability...I can flluently read a medical text or legal documents or 'Le Petit Prince' in French (or the more than 2000 page healthcare bill)...doesn't mean I comprehend all of it...

    Your student should be reading books that s/he can read fluently and with good comprehension...reading IS meaning...anything else is 'word calling'...
     
  5. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Nov 22, 2009

    I agree with czacza, even though this student can read books of a 4th grade level, I wouldn't necessarily give him/her a book in that level to read. I would give the student books that match his/her comprehension level or the book is not "just right". He/she would be considered a "word caller", nothing more.
     
  6. MissHunny

    MissHunny Comrade

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    Nov 27, 2009

    I have a student who is very similar. He can read challenging texts fluently and with good accuracy, but when I ask him to retell or even orally answer basic questions from the story he has difficulty. Now this same child can do written comprehension tasks wonderfully when he is given the oppurtunity to go back to the text. He then demonstrates higher level thinking skills and a deep understanding of the books we read, just not immediately after an initial read.

    In his reading group I have been spending a lot of time talking about how readers need to think about what they are reading as they read rather than JUST saying the words correctly and sounding smooth. I would suggest breaking down stories into smaller chunks, such as reading one paragraph/page at a time then checking for understanding by retelling or questioning.
     
  7. teacherheath

    teacherheath Companion

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    Nov 28, 2009

    She may also need to be told that good readers make movies in their heads while they read. I have about >< this much knowledge about it, but I believe the visualizing-verbalizing stuff would be great for this.
     
  8. word girl

    word girl Rookie

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    Nov 28, 2009

    This is a problem in first grade too! We have parents (and some teachers) who push kids through levels in reading based simply on their accuracy and fluency, and not at all on their comprehension. Thus, the 'word calling' debate. I am glad to see Fountas and Pinnell (Guided Reading authors) have developed assessments that include comprehension scoring, so even students with 99% accuracy are not scored at that guided reading level if their comprehension is low.
     
  9. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Dec 2, 2009

    Fountas and Pinnell shoud be your guide.
     
  10. ReadingTeachH

    ReadingTeachH Rookie

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    Some kids just break the code earlier. Meaning they read fluently years above their comprehension level. However, the comprehension is lacking and that is because they lack vocabulary, background knowledge, and comprehension techniques. There is probably nothing wrong with the child. What grade is your student in?
     
  11. Ambrosegirl84

    Ambrosegirl84 Companion

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    Jan 13, 2010

    I have a similar problem with my 2nd grader (see "Silent Student"). These sound like good suggestions that I'll try to implement....I have a hard time finding good second grade books, and leveling systems are soooo confusing (tried F&P, but most of the books I have aren't on there, and they don't seem to correlate). How does one teach comprehension to a kid who won't answer or elaborate, though?
     
  12. Tutor

    Tutor Comrade

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    Jan 22, 2010

    Ambrosegirl - I have the same question--how do you teach a kid who won't answer or elaborate???

    The child I'm referring to is in 2nd grade. She is stuck at the same DRA level. When asked questions, she gives very little or no information.
     
  13. spellingfun

    spellingfun Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2010

    Diagnosing something like that can be very tricky. One simple question. How is the student's vocabulary? It could be as simple as a child who decodes or recognizes words well but has vocabulary deficits which inhibit comprehension.

    If the vocabulary is strong, then it's trickier.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 22, 2010

    Another thing to bear in mind is that fluency assessments generally hinge on reading ALOUD - and a truly adept reader reads aloud-to-others very differently than she reads silently-for-her-own-comprehension.
     
  15. greengables

    greengables Rookie

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    Jan 24, 2010

    Let me guess-a Reading First student. Sorry, snarky reply.
     
  16. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Jan 24, 2010

    I have a student with a similiar issue. In first grade, she can read an on level text at appox. 180 words per minute, but when asked to summarize or tell the story in her own words, she clams up. If I ask her specific comprehension questions, she can answer, but she can't generate it herself.
     
  17. spellingfun

    spellingfun Rookie

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    Jan 24, 2010

    >
    Love it. Clue me. Whats the scoop on Reading First?
     
  18. greengables

    greengables Rookie

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    Jan 24, 2010

    Don't want to hijack the thread-will just say RF really emphasizes fluency and there's some concern that comprehension gets left by the wayside.
     

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