Earlier Post: More about Reading Comprehension
True reading comprehension means understanding the meanings of words and then being able to integrate and use those word meanings to understand a sentence, a paragraph, or an entire text.
Classroom instruction should include:
(1) teaching letter sounds—not phonics. Students must learn effective decoding and encoding skills. Memorization does not work. I use vowel clustering.
(2) teaching vocabulary and word meanings. Teachers must teach the meanings of single words
(3) teaching the meaning of word(s) in a sentence. Students learn the definitions of the word, and then how to use the word in a sentence
Earlier Post: Four Steps to Learn a Word
(4) teaching students to evaluate what they are reading while they are reading. Students should be taught to ask questions in their head as they read: What is this story about? Who is the main character?
Training the brain to monitor what you’re reading as you’re reading is a learned skill, and if we will follow these four simple steps in teaching reading comprehension, we can improve the way students read and comprehend.
As shown at the top of the page, I use hands-on learning techniques. One of the best ways to help children practice comprehension is by following step-by-step directions to make a project. The children must read, understand what they read, and then apply such comprehension in order to complete the project.
Earlier Post: How Does Creative Art Therapy Help to Teach Reading?
Vocabulary and definitions of words are essential to effective reading and successful comprehension. If students do not know the meanings of words, they cannot comprehend.