"Comprehension is understanding. It involves thinking and can be likened to a conversation between the reader and the text. It can be basic, as in understanding a general message, or deep, as in inferring and generalizing ideas."
Debbie Diller. Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All (Kindle Locations 639-640). Kindle Edition.
I love the idea of relating comprehension to a conversation between me as the reader and the book with it's words!
I like that Debbie uses the student talk…
"….reading is thinking and that I'll help them with their thinking as they read today."
Debbie Diller. Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All (Kindle Location 617). Kindle Edition.
I've actually made one of the retelling gloves like Figure 4.1, but have never really "used" it with a group….
I used sticky notes this year to have the kids create a "why" question or a "what" question from a chapter they read in a book. Then the kids had to ask the question in group and we would review the chapter together as we discussed their questions. This way the kids are questioning and explaining in small groups…guess this was a good technique according to Klinger, Vaughn, and Schumm 1998 :)
It was also good to learn that it's best to have small groups 'reading texts that they can decode with a very high level of accuracy to improve comprehension'.
and it was good to read that Ms. Diller's opinion is similar to mine…"I prefer to help kids think more deeply, rather than to keep pushing them through higher and higher reading levels once they are reading on grade level."
Debbie Diller. Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All (Kindle Locations 682-683). Kindle Edition.
Chapter Four has a list of possible focus for lessons to help build comprehension along with some suggested lessons to help present each focus...
*Understanding text structure
*Using schema/making use of prior knowledge
*Visualizing/using mental imagery
*Also helpful for increasing comprehension: monitoring, inference, graphic organizers, and deeper meaning…
I think it's important to remember this concept….
"I'm careful not to focus all my attention on comprehension. It is certainly very important and rather tempting at times. In fact, it's the goal of reading. But if kids can't decode, their comprehension will suffer. Reading fluency must also be considered, since this has been shown to increase comprehension. And vocabulary has a huge influence on students' comprehension."
Debbie Diller. Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All (Kindle Locations 1087-1089). Kindle Edition.
Also best to ask thick questions rather than thin questions…I've seen a ton of resources for question stems on the internet…
Wouldn't it be fun to put the question stems on large popsicle sticks. .. have kids pick a question stem and create a question to go with the story using the stem they chose.
There's also dice that you could throw and have them create/answer questions based on their throw.
How do you encourage comprehension in your small groups?
Check back for more shares on Ch. 5 and 6 this week. I'm off to enjoy more of Mamaw & Papaw's front yard garden. Here's the squirrel behind the vision for the newest math task coming soon!
Enjoy your day,