As your child moves up through the grades, their classwork relies increasingly on supplemental reading materials for content areas in addition to explicit teaching and lecturing. Good reading comprehension skills are what it’s all about, yet teaching reading comprehension strategies continue to receive little attention in the majority of classrooms despite the past thirty-plus years of research that has provided proven strategies for students to improve their skills. Staten Island Letters implements these strategies to advance reading comprehension skills for children and adolescents, at all levels.
Research has revealed that activities that strengthen reading comprehension include:
Comprehension is the ultimate goal of literacy. It allows a child to predict outcomes, evaluate characters, deduce, and make connections between the text and real-world events. These skills can begin to develop even before becoming an independent reader. One way to do this is by reading to a child and discussing the story’s main idea, characters, and setting.
Explicit teaching, modeling, and guided practice of these skills are also crucial. This is especially true for students who lag behind their peers.
A student with good comprehension and reading skills can:
Yet, teaching reading comprehension strategies continue to receive little attention in the majority of classrooms. This is despite the past 30-plus years of research that has provided proven strategies for students to improve their skills. At Staten Island Letters, we implement these strategies to advance reading comprehension skills for children and adolescents, at all levels.
Comprehension plays an essential role in a child’s education. It begins as students learn and identify the initial meaning from previewing a text or source material and builds as he or she continues to read. Once reading is done, a deeper understanding of the text is achieved by reviewing, rereading portions of the material, discussion, and reflection. Throughout this process, the reader also relates new information to his or her own experiences or current knowledge. Improving one’s comprehension can be done through the following strategies:
Other activities and strategies that strengthen reading comprehension also include:
Children who have difficulties with comprehension will have trouble understanding the information they have just read. Visualizing and verbalizing help this process by teaching students to create pictures in their minds. Much like making a mini-movie of the text, they are reading to visualize the main idea. This is also known as concept imagery.
Visualizing and verbalizing require learners to apply their real-world experiences and knowledge to create meaning. By making text-to-self connections, it becomes easier for students to process, recall, and describe information using their own words. By drawing from the mental pictures they created, they can also respond to questions that need specific answers.
An example of a visualizing and verbalizing exercise would be to ask a student to describe an object or photo that is presented to them. Once the child has gained adequate mastery of this skill, he or she is then asked to describe an object familiar to them but is not in front of them. This may be their favorite toy, a piece of furniture in their room, or a pet. (Read more about concept imagery in the book Visualizing and Verbalizing: For Language Comprehension and Thinking available on Amazon.com)
For students to learn these comprehension strategies, modeling, practice, supervision, and feedback must be provided. At Staten Island Letters, visualizing and verbalizing is one of the many tools and methods we use to help strengthen your child’s comprehension abilities. We use these strategies and tailor them to your child’s individual needs. We want your child to not only understand what he or she is reading but to learn to love reading and appreciate the knowledge derived from it. Whether your child is young or an adolescent, we will take the appropriate steps to help him or she become a stronger and more confident reader.
Read more about Staten Island Letters’ reading comprehension and listening comprehension tutoring.
Find out more about our reading tutoring services and get to know our literacy specialists here!
At Staten Island Letters, our reading tutors make use of these strategies and tailor them to your child’s individual needs. We want your child to not only understand what he or she is reading but to learn to love reading and appreciate the knowledge derived from it. Regardless of your child’s age, we are dedicated to helping them improve their comprehension and reading skills.