can read perfectly, but no comprehension???

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by corps2005, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Mar 13, 2007

    Hi everyone :)

    I received a new student about a month ago. It's been quite an adjustment for him and learning our class environment and culture. As soon as he came in, I tested him. At that time he knew around 97 words and read on a level D. He didn't want to answer questions at that time, so I let it be.

    Well, I tested him again earlier this week. He knows 160 something words now. He read the level F (DRA) book perfectly. He only had to blend a few words, and he did those almost instantly. His reading speed was average and certainly not slow enough to impair his comprehension.

    So I asked him the corresponding comprehension questions for the story, which also required him to retell the story to me. The only thing he was able to give me was that the children went to a shoe store. He was unable to tell me what they were doing there beyond buying shoes (i.e. what did they each buy shoes for? what kind of shoes did they each need? what did the use their shoe boxes for?).

    Thus, I got one sentence from him and that was it. I started asking leading questions and he still could not respond. Basically, his reading is phenomenal within a one month span, but his comprehension is zip. I'm not really sure how to help him, even my lowest group would be able to tell me more.

    On a side note, I have also noticed that he has difficulty following oral directions, particularly those beyond one step. He also doesn't recognize positional words like in front of, behind, bottom, etc. He has great difficulty with double digit addition/subtraction because of the multi-steps involved. He also cannot repeat directions back to me.

    Any ideas on how to help him with his comprehension? Or could this be due to something else? I'm just amazed at how fast he learned his words. I'm still trying to get a hold of his previous teacher at the other school to see if she has noticed the same thing.
     
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  3. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Mar 13, 2007

    Ah "Shoe Boxes." I know the story well, just went through it with some of the kids in my class. You mentioned adjusting to the culture, do you think that could be a huge part of his comprehension problem?
     
  4. educatingme

    educatingme Companion

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    Ah, this is so my own daughter. One sentence, one direction at a time!
     
  5. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    He's having trouble processing information. Has he been tested? Sorry If I missed this... I'm very tired.
     
  6. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Mar 14, 2007

    Hi all :) Thank you for your responses :) I don't really think that the class culture is an issue anymore because he seems to interact well now with the rest of them, when he chooses to interact with them. Although he has no sense of turn taking and often tries to steal or take items they were just using.

    I have started collecting data to refer him, but had to wait a full month before I could even start my observations. In the meantime, I'm still trying to figure out strategies to use with him. He just looks at me blankly and is unable to contribute when I review the common comprehension lessons with the class.

    Tee hee, and yup, the book was Shoe Boxes :p Like I said he read it perfectly, not a single error, but there was no comprehension other than one sentence.
     
  7. Ms.T

    Ms.T Comrade

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    Mar 14, 2007

    Is he just learning English, or just learning how to read? I have the same problem with a lot of my students, but they are all ESL. I've just been picking one thing at a time and drilling them with it. For example, I have been modeling, modeling, modeling how to summarize the beginning, middle, and end.
    When (if?!) they get that, I will move on.
     
  8. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Mar 14, 2007

    Nope. His first and only language is English. I talked to his mother two days ago, and she said she has never noticed anything. She did mention though something else I had already seen, which was that he was easily distracted. But then, I also have two other children who are easily distracted. Their reading levels are much, much lower, yet they would have been able to answer those questions if I had read the text to them.
     
  9. January_Violet

    January_Violet Comrade

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    Mar 14, 2007

    This describes my entire class....we are in the same area too.:eek:
     
  10. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Mar 14, 2007

    Could be a receptive language delay. See if a Speech Path. can test him.
     
  11. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    Mar 14, 2007

    They often call kids who read accurately with no comprehension "word callers"--you might try doing some research with this phrase and see if some strategies for instruction come up.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Decoding is not reading. Reading is all about meaning!! I can read a medical textbook or the small print leagal jargon quite fluently but could not tell you too much about what I read. Level D is early first grade level. Did you say what grade you teach? Work on some retelling strategies. Story mapping, post its, stop and talk, graphic organizers, story elements.....
     
  13. TXTCHR29

    TXTCHR29 Cohort

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    I agree with the previous poster that he is just "word calling". Just because he can "read" the words doesn't mean he is reading. Thats why the DRA has a comprehension score. I've had students who could "call words" and pass the book, but couldn't tell me anything about what happenend in the book. If they don't have comprehension, thats not their reading level. What you need to do it put him back to easier levels. I would probably go back to a level C with him. Work on comprehension on these stories.
     
  14. Mizz Lucy

    Mizz Lucy Guest

    Mar 15, 2007

    This is very typical for an early reader say K-early 2.
    They concentrate hard so hard on the words that they're not piecing the words to meaning.
    If you're student is older and has been well exposed to literature, have the student observed by a specialist.
     
  15. mrs.oz

    mrs.oz Companion

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    I was thinkin about one of the previous threads. Has he been tested? My son (1st grade) was having the same problem. He tested SLD in reading and listening comprehension. His processing was also a little low. The OT came in after that and found that he had sensory processing problems. Agreeing to have him tested was the best thing I have ever done because he can read and decode words but his previous school tried to tell me that he was reading below grade level. He is getting ready to start level 5 which is the last 1st grade level. He now has special accomodations where things can be read to him. I think they spend so much time thinking about the decoding of the word and not enough on meaning. Me, it takes several readings for me to comprehend things that I have read.
     
  16. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Mar 17, 2007

    Well, I turned in the paperwork for testing, so we'll see what happens. He probably won't be tested until next school year sometime though, but that's another issue.

    He is a word caller from what I've read. In the meantime, I will have to group him with my lowest reading group(C-D) and makes use of the strategies there. We'll see how he handles it. Thank you for all your help and suggestions :). I'll keep you guys updated and will tell how he is doing :)
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 17, 2007


    Even K-2 kids should be expected to have comprehension of what they are reading. In even the most basic books, kids are able and should not only 'piece' together meaning but actually UNDERSTAND.
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Mar 17, 2007

    I've had a 5th grader who could not understand a thing he read. He insisted that Bunnicula was the dog in the story, not the bunny!
     
  19. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Mar 17, 2007

    These are my ESL students....
    What are some strategies to use with these guys? They can read it perfect, but have no idea what happened in the story.

    Then I have one student who copies sentences from the book in her reading log (they are supposed to write one sentence in response to the book they read every night. Each night there is a question, What was your favorite part? What did this story remind you of? etc). No matter how many times I explain and model she doesn't get it. She'll raise her hand to volunteer during reading minilessons and say something that completely doesn't make sense.
     
  20. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

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    Mar 21, 2007

    Perhaps he has an 'information processing' problem and if this is what you think, would need to be assessed by a professional. My nephew is very similar. He can process one instruction, but give him a string of instructions and he can't do the first one.

    I also have ESL students who can read exceptionally well, however, ask them to think out of the box and they are stumped. For example, they can answer comprehension questions if the answer is in the text, but when the question is, "Why do you think ...?", or "How do you think the little boy felt when ....?" they flick through the book looking for the answer. I have to say for my ESL children, I back track to a reading level where they have comprehension. Why worry about improving their reading, they could go to the highest level, but get them comprehending at a level they understand and go from there. It will also improve their grammar and vocabulary if they can understand the text.
     

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