Reading Recipe: Comprehension

Comprehension

“Comprehension Achieved,” was the headlines from the Daily Reader. “Hmmm,” thought the detective. “I wonder if it’s finally true. After years, of developing the scaffolding for comprehension and the amount of vocabulary that went into this,” the detective said aloud. A passerby said, “Sure is, they were able to decipher the code and then they built Fluency.” Another voice chimed in, “Don’t forget the visualization that went into the project.” “Ah, yes,” said the detective. I thought as much. I’m just not convinced it’s true. The newsboy piped in, “Read all about it in today’s paper.” The detective paid the paperboy and started to read….

Comprehension

When a student understands the meaning of a text, that student has reached comprehension. Comprehension is a cumulative process for a reader. David Sousa (2006), defines comprehension as, “… a complex interactive process that begins with identifying words by using knowledge outside of the text, accessing word meaning in context, recognizing grammatical structures, drawing inferences, and monitoring oneself to ensure that the text is making sense” (p. 187). For a student to understand a text, several needs need to be met:

  • background knowledge to build upon the scaffolding
  • distinguish the meaning of words or phrases in different contexts using vocabulary skills
  • Print concepts to distinguish structures in text
  • sense of fluency (created from phonics and phonemic awareness)
  • skill of visualization.

All of these components build towards comprehension of text.

Sousa, D. (2006). How the brain learns: Third edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

A wide smile grew across the detective’s face as he finished. He neatly folding and tucked the newspaper under his arm as he walked away.

Artfully,

Mrs. Berry

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6 Million Dollar Reading Make over: Recipe for Reading

Parts of Reading

Greetings,

Gentlemen and ladies, we can rewrite it. We have the technology. We have the capability to write the world’s finest recipe for reading. Mrs. Berry will be that writer. Better than before. Better, longer, more in-depth.

Ok, it might not be the finest recipe; however, this is what I have discovered over the last three months. I started this series earlier in the semester and received feedback.  Let us just say, I needed to give it a bit more depth.  I will start to define what is reading, and then define each of the eight sections.  I am always learning, so if you have any feedback, please let me know.

Reading is a complex process that involves many different parts. These parts are: print concepts, background knowledge, vocabulary, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, and motivation. Print concepts are knowing the front of book, that print not pictures tell a story, what are letters and words, where first letters in a word are found, upper and lower case letters, and some punctuation marks (Clay 1998). Background knowledge is something in which new meaning are built upon Wilhelm (2004). Fountas and Pinnell (2006) describe vocabulary as, “Every language has a collection of words, a lexicon, that has particular meanings” (p. 21). Hall and Moats (2006) define phonemic awareness, “This term means that the child must be aware of the separate speech sounds in a word, not just be able to recognize letters” (p. 38). Phonics is a system of correspondence between grapheme-phoneme and linking the spelling of words to their pronunciations (Ehri 2001). Fountas and Pinnell (2006) describe fluent reading as, “…using smoothly integrated operations to process the meaning, language, and print” (p. 62). Comprehension is a process which starts with word identification and using background knowledge and ending with making the text make sense (Sousa, 2006, p. 187). Last in the list is motivation. Jensen (2005), discusses motivation, “Another way to think about motivation is that it consist of the willingness to be active (volition) combined with the actual behavior (meaningful participation)” (p. 102). A teacher needs to know which parts a student has or does not have mastery over through assessments. McGill-Franzen (2006) states, “To know where to start instruction you must know what the child can do. Effective teachers build on what children know” (p. 7).

Resources

Clay, M. (1989). The Reading Teacher. Research Library, 42(4), 268.

Ehri, C., Nunes, S., Stahl, S., Willows, D. (2001). Systematic phonics instruction helps students learn to read: Evidence from the national reading panel’s meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 71(3), 393-447.

Fountas, I., Pinnell, G. (2006). Teaching comprehending and fluency: Thinking, talking,and writing about reading, k-8. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Hall, S., Moats, L. (2006). Straight talk about reading: How parents can make a difference during the early years. New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Jenson, E. (2005). Teaching with the brain in mind: 2nd edition revised and updated. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

McGill-Franzen, A. (2006). Kindergarten literacy: Matching assessment and instruction in kindergarten. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc.

Wilhelm, J. (2004). Reading is seeing: Learning to visualize scenes, characters, ideas, and text worlds to improve comprehension and reflective reading. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc.

Artfully,

Mrs. Berry

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