I came across a great tweet this morning. Jennifer Britton said: Help students reveal their comprehension, not test it.
It sounds like she is at a conference (#TCRWP) and the keynote speaker is David Booth. I googled him and found all sorts of interesting resources. Time to go hunting for some of his jewels!
These little words were just what I needed as I read over my students Reading Response entries this morning. I got thinking about some of things we do as well as things we could be doing better in our classroom. It is definitely a work in progress.
Ways to reveal comprehension:
1. Improve Listening Comprehension
Children learn by listening and listening is a skill that can be improved. It would be interesting to research to see the advantages children who are read to a lot have over those who have not been read to.
I am working on reading aloud to my students. I wonder if we write down the main events of what we read as we go, if that would help. Perhaps some children would benefit from having the main ideas from reading ahead of time. Perhaps we will work on this by doing some blogging. I don't want it to be too cumbersome. Reading should be enjoyable - but if a student isn't absorbing anything we are reading, then perhaps these kinds of activities will help.
2. Talk about Texts
There are so many ways we can share understanding from reading. Book talks, storytelling, writing, creating art from stories, blogging, etc. We need to do this more! My students will compose an entry once a week to share something about what they've been reading this week. We read Open Court stories daily and discuss them. We also have a chapter book going all the time that is being read aloud.
3. Encourage parents to read WITH their children at home.
Many think that once their children can read independently they don't need to read with them. I argue that children continue to benefit from reading with parents. Please read with your child every day! Great discussions will come out of the books you read. It will strengthen your relationship as well. I promise.
4. Increase Vocabulary
If students don't understand common words or juicier words, they get lost in the story. We will start working on this by working on the thesaurus that the students have in their writing binders.