Teacher Strategies for Improved Reading Comprehension
What are the secrets to helping your students to comprehend and correctly interpret what they are reading? Developing good reading skills can mean the difference between success and failure in many of their classes. Here are a few strategies to try out in your classroom to assess and improve student's reading comprehension.
Alternate Reading Material
Students need to be able to comprehend multiple forms of reading material. For this reason, it's important to alternate what students read. Improving reading skills can be achieved by using a wide range of reading materials. Have the children read text books, as well as newspapers, magazines, and novels. This will help students learn how to understand and learn from multiple sources of information.
Before students begin reading, discuss any new or difficult vocabulary in the text. Explain to the children what the words mean and how they can be used in sentences. Show the students how the words' spelling can change if the word is used in the past or present tense. Allow the students to use the words in sentences of their own. After the students have read the text, review the words once more. Then, have the students tell you where and how the words were used within the text.
Improving reading skills in children includes having the children ask themselves questions. After they have read a portion of a text, stop and have the children ask themselves questions about what was read. You can start by asking a general question, such as what the topic of the text is. Asking questions helps the students understand the information provided in the text. Students should get in the habit of asking themselves a certain set of questions every time they read. Good question for students to ask themselves are:
- Who? Who did what? Who is the good guy?
- What? What did they do? What actions were admirable?
- Why? Why did they do that?
- How? How did they get the idea for that? How will their actions affect the other characters in the story?
Students can improve their reading comprehension by making predictions during reading. A good strategy for children to acquire is the ability to predict what will happen in a story and summarize the results. Have the students read a story. Stop them periodically and have them write down a prediction about what's going to happen in the story. Once they have finished their stories, have them compare the actual events of the story with their predictions. Instruct them to note the similarities and the differences. See if the students are able to understand why the results came out the way they did.
What are some technqiues you use?