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Ann Arbor Comprehension is a fundamental purpose of reading From beginning readers who struggle to decode print to skilled readers with fluent skills, understanding the meaning motivates readers to Interpret and analyze the text. What Is comprehension? It includes making sense of words, connecting ideas between text and prior knowledge, constructing and negotiating meaning in discussions with others, and much more.

Comprehension in this context Is difficult to define because it involves so many aspects of thinking. According to Kinetics (1998), readers have two tasks. One is constructing a “text model” of the literal meaning of words as they read, and the other Is building a broader representation, or “situation model,” of the meaning implied by the text. Skilled readers learn to decode words automatically so they can devote time and thinking to these two kinds of constructive activities. Foundations for Comprehension How do children learn to comprehend text?

The answer is slowly during K-6 school years, with lots of practice reading a wide variety of texts, and with explicit teaching about comprehension (Adams, Trainman, & Presley, 998). Here are five important foundations. Children need familiarity with the topics they read and some understanding of the main concepts in narrative and expository texts.

Comprehension is easier when decoding is automatic so young readers must learn to recognize words quickly and accurately (Kuhn & Stash, 2003). Not recruit and apply strategies effectively (Greeter, Fuchs, Williams, & Baker, 2001) Assessment Reinforces Instruction Assessment is a natural complement to good instruction. Teachers can assess comprehension through informal observation and questions. The questions should be Explicit Instruction Hellenizing so that children construct implied and conceptual meaning as well as literal Research has shown that teachers who meaning.

Reasoning about text meaning model and explain effective comprehension and making text-based connections can be strategies help students become strategic observed in children’s retelling, summaries, readers (Alms’, 2003; Presley, 2002). The and writing in response to reading. These National Reading Panel (2000) identified informal observations can be used to diagnose many important strategies including: children’s developing comprehension monitoring comprehension, using graphic skills.

More formal measures of progress organizers, answering questions, generating can be obtained through periodic tests, questions, recognizing text structures, and but it is important to include summarizing. These can be multiple response formats, taught at every grade from such as multiple-choice tests, K-12. One key is for teachers constructed responses, and to demonstrate how to use the strategies as they read, that teachers who model writing. The goal of assessment is to encourage accurate perhaps by thinking aloud and explain effective comprehension and thorough and modeling them, or comprehension strategies learning (Paris, 2002). Reaps by asking students help students become to explain how they use strategic readers (Alms’, strategies. A second key is Conclusions 2003; preppies, 2002). To generate anticompetitive Reading comprehension requires discussions so students will complex thinking, specific talk about how they think strategies, and motivated and how they comprehend reading. Just like other reading text. These discussions can skills, comprehension takes years to become occur simultaneously with discussions of fluent and automatic. Teachers can assess the content in sessions of Ask the Author, children’s comprehension with questions,

Book Clubs, or Author’s Chair. Discussions tests, writing, and discussions to diagnose should promote connections between togetherness and weaknesses. Research has text, text-self, and text-world. A third key shown that when teachers provide instruction is to place more responsibility on students on specific strategies to monitor and repair to apply strategies independently through comprehension, it improves children’s reading scaffold teaching and coaching them achievement (Carlisle & Rice, 2002). Expert to be strategic readers.

Students need to teachers embed strategy instruction in guided know what strategies to use, how to apply hem, and why they are useful in order to about content so that students learn to become self-regulated learners (Paris, Waist, construct, analyze, and extend the meaning & Turner, 1991). Strategies are especially of texts whenever they read. Important for struggling readers who may Paris_symposiums 2_21 . Mind 2 12/21/05 3:56:54 PM Biography References Scott Paris is a Professor of Psychology and Education at the University of Michigan where he is currently the Chair of the Graduate Program in Psychology.

His reading research has focused on children’s strategic reading, metrification, self-regulated learning, and assessments of comprehension. He has created educational materials to help children acquire reading strategies and has worked extensively with teachers to design instruction and assessment that promote literacy learning.

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