strategies for improving reading comprehension

Discussion in 'General Education' started by J. A., Oct 20, 2018.

  1. J. A.

    J. A. Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2018

    Second year teacher here! However, this is my first year having a considerably low class. I teach 6th and 7th grade Reading/ELA, and one of my 6th grade reading classes is very low. None of them are on IEPs, but many of them tested at the very bottom and struggle with basic recall questions, let alone inferencing and citing textual evidence. I'm struggling because when we do reading assignments, it often leads to discipline issues because they don't understand, and several students want my help at once, and if I don't get to them right away, they start talking and getting off task.

    Please, please, please give me suggestions!
     
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  3. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 20, 2018

    Get them into a fast paced lesson using a comprehension passage and then start cold calling students to randomly answer questions as you read. Ask a couple of questions per sentence and later on per paragraph. You can't do this all of the time, as it can take a while to get through a passage. It does build confidence and make them pay attention, because they can answer the questions as long as they are following along.

    Here's an example of what I mean:

    Passage excerpt:
    Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 in northern Kentucky. At the time of his birth, Kentucky was part of the western frontier of the U.S. His father was a farmer and at one point was relatively wealthy. However, when young Abraham was only 7 years old, his father lost his land.

    First: Read through the passage one time completely.
    Next: Read sentence by sentence.
    Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 in northern Kentucky.
    Where was Abraham Lincoln born? (call on student) When was Abraham Lincoln born? (call on student)​
    At the time of his birth, Kentucky was part of the western frontier of the U.S. His father was a farmer and at one point was relatively wealthy.
    What was Lincoln's father's job? (call on student) Was Lincoln's family always poor? (call on student)​
    Continue throughout the passage.

    As your students get used to this, you can also have them do this with a partner while they read to each other. Partner 1 reads a sentence and asks Partner 2 a question. Partner 2 answers the question. Partner 2 reads the next sentence and asks Partner 1 a question. Repeat for remainder of passage.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
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