tutoring- comprehension question

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by laf-a-lot, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. laf-a-lot

    laf-a-lot Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2010

    Hi all!
    I have been tutoring a student going into 2nd grade next year for the summer and i have hit a block with him. He is doing okay with his reading and his phonics skills are strong. But when I ask him questions about what he reads, he looks at me with a blank face half of the time! He can tell me the characters, where it is taking place, etc. But if I were to ask him why he knows the story "The Snow Man" is taking place in the winter, he has no idea. He is really struggling with the "digging deeper" questions I ask him. Does anyone have any ideas of things I can do to help him? TIA! :)
     
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  3. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 12, 2010

    Does his family have access to a computer?!?
    http://www.bookadventure.org/ It is free & asks those kinds of questions. It's 5 questions you get pts for answering them. IF you miss any questions you can "retake" the quiz.

    It might be something you or his parents could set him up with as well.

    Maybe asking questions as you go instead of all at the end. I mean ask some at the end, but do some as you read about the pictures or what new character or something like that.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 12, 2010

    What strategies have you been working on when reading with him? Is he able to answer your inference questions in the middle of the reading? Do you stop and question with him while reading? Can he predict? Use titles, headings, illustrations for clues? Maybe you could have him help you find 'clues' to certain story elements as he reads.
     
  5. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jul 12, 2010

    Have you modeled the very thing you're asking him to do? After you ask him and you get no response, perhaps model what you'd like to see.
    "How do you know it is taking place in winter?"

    -blank response-

    "I know it is winter because I see the snow. I know that it is really cold and snows during the winter. I also know that there are no leaves on the trees. And when I look at these pictures, I don't see any leaves. How else might we know it is winter?" (Or something like that... I haven't read the book so I have no idea what is in it!)

    What if you create a graphic organizers together. Go over it together. Talk about the book (before, during and after reading) and keep the conversations going.
    The Fountas and Pinnell prompting guide has some great prompts.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 13, 2010

    Something else that may help is to give him a question before he reads a section--"After you read the next page, I want you to tell me how you know that the story is taking place in the winter."

    I agree with others, it sounds as though your student needs a lot of modelling and guiding through higher-level questions before he is able to tackle them on his own.
     
  7. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Jul 13, 2010

    Or, could it be that he lives in FL and has no idea about winter? :) Seriously, everyone has given to you great advice. I would also add that sometimes I have asked 1st graders comprehension type of questions about shows/movies they have watched as a gauge of comprehension and as an opener to expanding and modeling comprehension. Having taught in FL, the seasons can be very problematic for the younger students who have no exposure or frame of reference. Sometimes I have found that children with comprehension issues may also have an exposure gap in other areas. Other times I have had students lacking confidence in their abilities to such a degree that they just don't answer simple questions. Thus, modeling will help.
     

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