Reading - 2nd-8th grade skills, comprehension

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
Poohbee
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Reading - 2nd-8th grade skills, comprehension

Unread post by Poohbee » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:10 pm

Reading Teacher Out There?
schoolmom2 wrote:Is there a reading teacher out there?

My 4th grade son just took the CTBS test, and needs to work on Reading: Evaluate and Extend Meaning. The subcategories are: author/point of view, predict/hypothesize, extend/apply meaning, and critical assessment. I have been staring at those words for two days now, and I still hear the Charlie Brown mom's voice, "Wah wah wah, wah wah."

I need help to first translate that into normal-speak, then figure out how to practically help him with that in the coming year. Thanks,
Beth
Hi Beth!
I am a lover of children's literature, and I have a Master's degree in reading. I don't know if either of those qualify me to help you out, but I thought I'd just throw out a few ideas that came to mind as I read your message.

Author/point of view can mean: Who is the author writing for? What is the author's purpose for writing? To entertain, inform, persuade, etc.? Is the story written in 1st person ("I" am telling the story--the narrator is also a character in the story), 2nd person ("you" are telling the story, like Choose Your Own Adventure stories), or 3rd person (a narrator is telling the story and the characters are all "he" or "she"). Your son should consider these things as he is reading.

Predict/hypothesize: Ask your son to look through a story/book before reading and predict ("guess") what is going to happen in the story. After reading a chapter or two, ask him, "What do you think is going to happen next?" He should use information or "clues" found in the story/article to help him make his prediction or hypothesis. You can practice this with him using a short story or a novel. Have him stop reading and you ask him to predict what he thinks will happen next. Perhaps write his predictions down so that you can revisit them later to see whether or not his predictions were accurate.

Extend/apply meaning: Take what has been learned in reading a story/article, and apply it to new situations. I can't really think of a practical example of this right now.

Critical assessment: When reading, your son should use his prior knowledge or background knowledge, anything he already knows about the subject, to help him make sense of what he is reading. He can use that prior knowledge to help him understand inferences in the story. In other words, he can make an educated guess about what is going to happen in the story based upon both his prior knowledge about the topic and the information he finds in the story.

I hope that helps a little. If you look up the subcategory topics on the internet, you may find some things that could help you as you help your son work on these reading skills. I'll try to pop back in if I think of more practical ways you could use this information.
Jen
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
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cbollin

Re: Reading Teacher Out There?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:39 pm

enjoying Jen's answer and wanted to share my own flavor on the topic


I’m a reading teacher. to my children at least... but it's not my degree or background... so filter as needed.

I’m a mom who has to deal with lingo with professionals though. And someone who watches kids take tests and then have to tell someone – don’t worry about it. Any number of factors could go into missing a question in categories.
The material on the test was misunderstood or the child was overthinking the questions and answers.
Or child was “underthinking” it
Or bad test moment.


Point of view:
Who is telling the story? (which character, or is it just an outside voice) That will be dealt with in Writing Strands if you use it.

Predicting – taking an educated guess at what you think will happen, or why you think it will happen. A hypothesize is just an educated guess instead of a random guess. Information might not be in the story itself.

Extend apply meaning (goes hand in hand with the next one as well as what Jen said..)

Critical assessment – fancy word for “thinking about thinking”. It is a way of deciding if something is true or false when it may not be obvious from the text.


You might consider during narration of read alouds to ask “What do you think might happen next in the story?” or “Why do you think so and so said that to her?”
As well as suggesting Writing Strands level 3 where some of it gets discussed.
Go to the links below and click on the resources, then literary analysis sections for passage and questions.
Watch how your son approaches the passages and questions to see if that gives you any insight into why that subtest was low.
http://www.indianastandardsresources.or ... Standard=3
and
http://www.indianastandardsresources.or ... Standard=2

and possibly any kind of cheap grade level reading comprehension booklet at a teacher supply store that is linked to standard test could be helpful.

But I would start with simple narration with more “critical thinking” or critical assessment style of questions.
Why do you think that happened?
Why did they say that?
What do you think might happen next and why?


Here is a crazy story segment with one critical assessment question. thought I'd do this and see if it is right.

Crystal bit into the 88% cocoa square and said “My children won’t eat all of this. It is too bitter for their taste. It’s all mine even if I offer it and leave it on the counter.” She watched as her youngest tried a sample and then the kind child offered it to her sisters. Yum, this is good they said.

Question in the predicting/extend/critical:
Why does Crystal think her children would not eat much of her 88% cocoa?

Pick from best answer:
1. They don’t like chocolate.
2. Crystal did not offer or share her chocolate
3. It did not have enough sugar in it.
4. They tasted it and ate it anyway.


Well, when a child is learning those skills that your son shows he needs to work more on, you go over those kinds of answers with him asking him to explain why it might be a good answer, but might not.
Does the story mention they don’t like chocolate? (Not really. The mom seems to be sure they’ll want something.
Did Crystal offer the chocolate – well we don’t know, but I think she left it on the counter in plain sight and it mentions the child eating it.
What about #3? If something doesn’t have enough sugar will it taste bitter? (that's the answer I'm going for.)
What about number 4 – It does not explain Crystal’s thoughts on the matter even if it tells an event from the story and therefore doesn't answer the question. (some children might answer #4 because it happened in the story, but didn't really answer the question of Crystal's thought)


and Don’t worry. I got my chocolate too.They didn't eat all of it. But I’m going back to 72% or lower.


-crystal

Poohbee
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Re: Reading Teacher Out There?

Unread post by Poohbee » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:52 am

I just wanted to pop back in to say a few more things.

Loved Crystal's post. Crystal always has such great practical, real-life examples to offer. :-) And, as she said, we're all reading teachers as we teach our children to read. :-)

As I was thinking more about this topic last night, I was thinking, too, that even though you are likely to worry about an area your child has done poorly on in testing, try not to worry about it. In my opinion, the main things in reading at this stage...Does your child like to read? Does he read for pleasure? Does he understand what he reads? Make sure your child reads every day (with maybe a day or two off each week). If he doesn't like to read, be sure he is able to choose a book he would enjoy, even a graphic novel or comic book, with your approval, of course.

My dd, who just finished 4th grade, is, I would say, a reluctant reader, which breaks this mama's heart, since I LOVE to read! However, this past year, I tried to expose her to different genres of literature with the books that I would choose for her to read "during school." She also must have a book of her choice, with my approval, that she is reading. Recently, she has been loving mystery books, especially Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, and choose your own adventure type books, especially American Girl books of this nature. She is required to read every day, but some days she does it without me even asking, and that is big progress for us. It is because she has found books and authors that she really enjoys, and she wants to read more. Prior to this summer, she would not read for pleasure by choice. So, to me, that is the first step...getting your child to want to read as an activity. I have had to limit her "electronics" time, and then, when she is left with not much else to do, she will pick up her book and read.

If your child does like to read but is just having trouble with those areas outlined on the test, as Crystal mentioned, the practice you give him can come in the form of questioning, as you question him about what he has read. Also, as Crystal mentioned you can get a book for his age level that deals with reading comprehension. Even if you don't want him to sit and do the exercises in the book, it can give you some ideas for how to question him about the book he is reading. Also, yes, Writing Strands is helpful because it definitely deals with author/point of view/audience, and perhaps other areas, as well. Writing and reading go hand in hand, so knowing more about one helps with the other. Also, when you start using Progeny Press guides in a few years, those will help him with his reading analysis, as well.

Well, I've babbled enough for this morning. I hope something here is helpful. Try not to worry about it too much. I know...easier said than done. My dd's weak area on her standardized test this year was math computation, so that's the area I'm trying not to worry about, and yet, I want to help her improve and do better in that area. So, I know where you're coming from. :-)
Jen
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Dusenkids
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Re: Reading Teacher Out There?

Unread post by Dusenkids » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:39 am

Haven't had time to read through all the responses yet. Youngest wants attention now. But I wanted to give you a quick resource I used a lot while teaching reading. fcrr.org has a lot of free reading activities you put together yourself. Fair warning, the books are large pdf, not recommended for dial-up connection. I have used many of the yourger books, not much out of the 4-5 as I taught K-3. Hopefully I'll get back to this thread!
Martie
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Julie in MN
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Re: Reading Teacher Out There?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:46 pm

schoolmom2 wrote:Evaluate and Extend Meaning. The subcategories are: author/point of view, predict/hypothesize, extend/apply meaning, and critical assessment.
Hi Beth,
I just want to add one thought to the good resources you have received.

Sometimes this whole thing means... nothing. You know your child best. Is he able to understand what he reads? Does he narrate back pretty well? It's like the preschool eval that said my ds wasn't coordinated because he couldn't hop... when he'd never heard that word before. I just asked him to jump with one foot up, he did, and we moved on :~ On one Iowa Basics test, it always asks kids a question about "the interstate" -- but Minnesotans don't use that word; we call them "freeways." Here is something I typed up about testing questions after I helped with a testing session:
  • I just sat in with a group of 2nd grade Iowa testers & the social studies questions were very general. And they can sometimes be misleading for kids. For instance, "Which globe has an arrow pointing south?" But in the answer choices, the arrow pointing south is actually *located* in the north of the globe, so it's unnecessarily misleading.

    There were also several pages where you looked at a map (of a few city blocks with buildings, or an indian village, etc.). Then you answered questions. I could see many of the kids had never had a need to figure out "How many blocks from the fire dept. to the store?" I mean in today's world, we don't just send our 2nd graders out on their own!
So the test itself might be part of the problem. Testing is an imperfect art. I know a couple of gals who have worked in the standardized testing field (some big companies are located in our area), and on anything that isn't fill-in-the-blank, they require a consensus of two testers because even the test evaluators don't agree!



However, if you as the teacher do notice that your ds is not getting some points (such as when my ds read 100 Dresses in 3rd grade and thought it was a story about making fun of kids), then maybe he's ready for a bit of conversation about stories that's a tiny bit deeper than just "events." Boys especially can be, well, not such deep thinkers sometimes !! And kids in general don't always expect an author to have a nice story that includes a particular aspect that "isn't right."

The program where I've tutored for a long time has this one story about three families who live on different floors of an apartment building. The gist is that one family is lying, or at least jumping to conclusions & spreading rumors. I find this story makes it really clear how kids just don't expect an author to have such a subtle but "bad" thing going on. I mean, they know about these things. I often ask if their mom has ever thought they did something wrong when they didn't -- of course they understand that. And, they have seen these things in books & TV. But it's usually so "obvious" and now it's becoming more realistic, more subtle.

So in other words, if you see your son lagging when you discuss literature at home, it may just be that he's at the brink of a new level of reading/understanding & you can probably discuss it with him in short order.

Whew, sometimes it takes me a lot of words to try to say something simple ;)
Julie
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Dusenkids
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Re: Reading Teacher Out There?

Unread post by Dusenkids » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:31 pm

A lot of great ideas on here already! You really don’t need more but I thought I would chime in again. As Julie said, it can mean a whole lot of nothing. I had wonderful reading student who barely “passed” those tests. They were bad test takers. They would get all worked up. They didn’t feel good that day. They were distracted by something at home. They worried what would happen if they got a bad score… (I was one of those kids at first, nothing ever happened.) “They” are looking for growth, compare one year to the next. Also, keep it in perspective as far as other students who took the test. Was he below, above, average compared to national and area averages? I haven’t worked with all of the tests but most, if not all, have material on them that is above grade level. And sometimes “their” expectations are a bit higher than age would allow. Of course, you know your child best. If he is lacking, use some of the great ideas already here. Talk out some of the stories you are working with. Maybe practice some testing skills (cross out bad answers, finding the answer in the text) if you think that might be the problem. But I wouldn’t worry too much. It is a snapshot of what he could do on that day. It is a tool but it shouldn’t control what you teach. Life isn’t all bubble tests thank goodness. Just keep working through your tm, hit on the skills as it fits into your lessons.
Martie
Married to Nathan 15 years
Mom to 8 boys ages 12 to newborn
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Poohbee
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Re: Reading Teacher Out There?

Unread post by Poohbee » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:27 pm

I just read the introduction to a book called The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child, by Donalyn Miller. It looks like a fabulous book! Miller is a 6th grade teacher who realized it just isn't working to require the students in her classroom to all read the same book at the same time. Apparently, she lets them choose what books they read based on their own interests, and they each read 40 books during their 6th grade year. Typically, her students score very well on their standardized tests each year. Now, of course, as homeschoolers, many of us already do this...allow our students to choose the books they read (with parent approval). However, I was thinking that it would be interesting to see how that plays out in a public school classroom. I'm also interested in how increased independent reading time plus student-chosen books equals increased test scores. In any case, I thought it might be an interesting book for you to look at. Maybe it would have some suggestions for you to help your son enjoy reading and score well on his tests in the process. Just wanted to throw that out as an idea.
Jen
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MelissaM
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Question about independent reading...

Unread post by MelissaM » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:56 pm

HapyMama wrote:Hi! I'm wondering at what point do most kids start reading silently to themselves vs. reading out loud to you? My 3rd-grader says he much prefers reading silently to himself, mostly because it's faster. I'm wondering if he's skipping words, lol. But when he has read to himself and I ask him about what he's read, he's perfectly able to tell me all sorts of things about what he read. So maybe this is a good thing....you know, with helping him be more independent and all that. Thoughts?
Oh my daughter was doing almost all of her reading silently by 3rd grade. (I mean, there are still a lot of things that I read out loud to her, but if it was her own book, she read it silently, rather than to me.) Once a week or so, I would have her read something to me, so I could make sure she was "getting it" - I still do have her read to me sometimes, but mostly reading her own stuff to her own self. :)

HTH.
:)
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NJCheryl
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Re: Question about independent reading...

Unread post by NJCheryl » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:59 pm

I definitely think it depends on each child and their ability. My son is in 3rd and he has been doing most of his reading in his head since 2nd grade. He was reading chapter books fluently in 1st grade. I check his comprehension and remind him if he is unsure of a word that he comes to ask me. I also have our kids do some of the reading for other subjects such as Bible and history so this is another check of his reading skills.

Cheryl

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Re: Question about independent reading...

Unread post by Mexmarr » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:04 pm

My almost 8 year old does most of her reading to herself, too. I have her read to me sometimes, just to see how she is doing. If the material is important to learn, I quiz her and would have her read again if needed, but it usually isn't. I still read much of the school stuff outloud to them.
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TriciaMR
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Is this normal reading for 2nd grade?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:14 pm

Canoearoo wrote:my daughter is in 2nd grade and does well with reading. However when she is reading she skips or guesses the small words; the ones she should be reading by kindergarten. Words like at, it, is, the, or bee. She can sound out words just fine and reads long words no problem. She reads the lessons out of the bible in adventure great, but skips or guesses the little words. Thinking they just need to be memorized I made flash cards for her to memorize them all and she knows them. But when reading she misses them up. So I make her sound them out and she gets mad at me, she would rather I just say them for her. So today i told her if she gets them wrong she needs to reread the sentence till its right. Any advice?
Skipping small words *can* be a sign of dyslexia (and both my dyslexics did/do that), but it isn't always. Sometimes it's that they think they said it, but they didn't. Sometimes it's that they're focusing so much on the larger words, that they skip the smaller ones.

I've done several things to "fix" this...

1. Go back and re-read the sentences. This often brought frustration and tears.
2. I run my finger along under the words as they're reading (I hold the book, too), and if they skip a small word, I'll tap my finger under it - that usually forces them to go back and start from that word. This is usually less frustrating.
3. After a sentence where they've skipped a word (or words), stop them and say exactly what they said with the skip and all and ask them if it makes "sense." This works well especially if they are skipping those short verbs (be, is), nouns, or are reversing words. Might not work so well when they skip a/the words. Then go back and read the sentence together. This is okay, but really slows things down for mom.

I guess I would ask her if she thinks she said the words she's skipping. If she says she didn't even see them, then I think she is probably just focusing really hard on the big words, and then do #2 or #3 above for a while.

-Trish
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Julie in MN
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Re: Is this normal reading for 2nd grade?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:53 pm

If you rule out dyslexia and other issues, it could just be the way that a good reader reads to herself.

I've written about this before and hope I won't repeat myself, but when I tutored I had to listen to many kids read aloud. I found it fascinating how quickly the brain can switch words, absorb skipped words, or even rework the grammar to make up for errors. In fact, yesterday I was reading something aloud to my high schooler and my brain subbed in a completely different name, something like "Robert" instead of "William." When I went back to correct myself, my son was amazed that I had read such a completely different word and had to check whether there was even a similar name somewhere else on the page, but there wasn't. My brain just grabbed a name that must have been "handy" and threw it in seamlessly.

When reading to yourself, the goal is comprehension and the brain is often able to comprehend without working out the exact details. (The exception I've seen is kids whose first language was not English, who need to reinforce their "proper English grammar" even when reading to themselves, hearing every sentence correctly, every time.)

When reading aloud, though, the goal is for the *listener* to comprehend. The reader cannot rush ahead because he "knows what's going on" -- the listener is then left in the dust. The listener needs to hear every word, in its correct form. Therefore, sometimes the kids I had who were best at reading to themselves (and comprehending quickly) were not good at reading aloud. Kids who plodded along more slowly when reading to themselves might make a smoother transition to reading aloud. (Kids who were natural performers also often read aloud well.)

Reading to yourself and reading aloud are both important skills. But needing work on one doesn't necessarily mean they need work on the other -- a fact which can be encouraging to kids :)

Julie
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cbollin

Re: Is this normal reading for 2nd grade?

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:41 pm

I do a lot of the things that Trish mentioned. Not dealing with dyslexia, but dealing with general speech issues.

I do the finger along and tap if a word is missed. I also try to help with the rate of speech on words - this is a big thing with my youngest. That way it isn't reading the whole sentence again.

can you record the student and let her listen to herself on audio after she reads. Did she miss a word? and can catch her own mistake?

and agreeing with Julie - emphasize to the reader that it is about helping the listener.

She's probably focusing on the other words. It is ok to model a word for a student and have them repeat it. I sometimes help my middle gal that way --

"oh, mom, what's this word?"
"it's _____" and as I say it, I show her where the syllable breaks are and how to put it together
then we just move along.

keep it low key and try to think how you'd want someone to gently let you know that you said something out loud the wrong way. I am finding myself telling my teenager "I think I misheard that. Did you say ____?"

she's convinced poor mommy needs hearing tested..... she might be right. LOL LOL

back to making more sugar cookies... youngest really loves to bake. she softened the butter and well... gotta run fast!

-crystal

Renee413
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Re: Is this normal reading for 2nd grade?

Unread post by Renee413 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:58 pm

Well, I don't have any advice but we are in the same boat in our house! My 2nd grader does the exact same thing! He reads at a much higher level than a second grader-- can decode words that are extremely difficult but like your child, misses or changes some of the easiest of words-- mostly when he's reading his bible.

I find that he does much better when he uses his finger to follow along.
~Renee
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jer2911mom
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Re: Is this normal reading for 2nd grade?

Unread post by jer2911mom » Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:16 pm

I am relieved to read this thread because my first grader is doing the same thing. She read Henry Huggins on her own this summer, but either substitutes the little words or just skips them when she reads aloud to me. I've been assuming it is because she is trying to get to harder words, and this thread is kind of confirming that might be what is happening. I usually repeat the phrase she messed up on in a mildly questioning voice, and she knows to go back and say it correctly. I think most of the time she realizes what she missed.

I just wanted to reassure you that the same thing is happening here!

Kathy

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Re: Is this normal reading for 2nd grade?

Unread post by Canoearoo » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:51 pm

:-) thank you all very much for your help!
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Yodergoat
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Re: Is this normal reading for 2nd grade?

Unread post by Yodergoat » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:05 pm

I was always a very fast reader, quite advanced for my age when young (lengthy novels like Watership Down and such by 2nd grade), and I also tended to skip small words when reading aloud. Still do, actually! I usually read so quickly that if I am reading to myself (silently), I just fill in the gaps. When reading aloud I must make a very VERY determined effort to slow down and read every word. I remember being asked by my 4th grade public school teacher to read aloud from The Trumpet of the Swan to the class after lunch each day. She said she chose me because I was a "good reader." What a miserable experience that was! I would be reading along at my normal pace, skippity skipitty quickitty, only to come to the end of a paragraph and look out at my listeners with their confused faces. I have a feeling I may have been leaving out many of the small words which my mind deemed "unimportant" to the story. Somehow I made it through the book, but for some reason Mrs. Thompson didn't ask me to read another. :~ She told me that I was a very good silent reader.

It may not be what your daughter is doing, exactly, but it was my experience and seems to fit with some of the others' here.

I don't have any solutions for it, though... I just had to learn to slow down... way, way down... and look at every... single... word. Even the little ones!
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Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Is this normal reading for 2nd grade?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:22 pm

Julie in MN wrote:it could just be the way that a good reader reads to herself.

I've written about this before and hope I won't repeat myself
I'm so glad Julie chimed in and did repeat herself! Her input really helped me a few years ago. My dd has always been a really advanced reader, but reading aloud did not come naturally to her! She still reads too fast sometimes, but it's gotten much better in the last year or two. I explained that she needs to really pronounce each word so that I can understand what she is saying like when she is on stage, and one thing that really helped was having her read to her stuffed animals. She does it in an overly dramatic way as if they are preK or something, and that has helped slow her down when she reads aloud to me. It's a good skill to master -- especially for reading the Bible aloud in a Bible study or church setting.
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cbollin

Reading Comprehension?

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:56 am

gratitude wrote:I want to better understand how we are teaching reading comprehension with MFW. The model I have in my head of course is timed tests, skim reading, and answering a series of questions. The other model would be filling in reading work books. The last would be a series of questions after my ds has finished the book he is reading.

I completely understand the three parts to reading in ADV: reading aloud (books in deluxe package), giving the student opportunity to explore and read books on their own (book basket), and having him read aloud to me 10 - 15 minutes a day.

So where does silent reading comprehension come in? Do I need to do more to teach it? How does a student learn to comprehend what they read? My oldest reads the most and he seems to comprehend well, but how do I really know?

Thank you! :-)
Here are some discussion starters on this topic...

on page. 36 on the current catalog
http://www.mfwbooks.com/inc/catalog/view.html#/page/37

young elementary:
Narration - after the child reads out loud to you... use narration skills. Do you need/would you like some basics on how to "do narration?"
Also, in the PLL and ILL - there are comprehension lessons in there. Some are out loud. some are written.

In 7th and 8th grade, MFW recommends Progeny Press study guides to help students further develop skills in critical thinking, comprehension, literary analysis, and Christian application while reading quality literature

Although MFW doesn't say this about its programs, as a customer and user of their stuff, I think parts of Writing Strands helps with "reading comprehension" skills. The more formal terms of it all (plot, climax, character, point of view, etc... ) are introduced as students write creative stories. We have found that after learning those terms in WS, we begin to use them in our informal narrations.


On the other hand... some people prefer to use a structured program. With my youngest, I use more structure (i.e. narration skills are on a worksheet and done in speech therapy too). But the funny thing is? All of those kinds of questions on those worksheets -- can be done out loud. It's your basics WH questions and whether or not you like the book, and what you dont' like. Do you understand the plot? Could you guess what was going to happen? Were you surprised at the ending? After knowing the ending, do you see any clues from the story?
Which character did you like?


-crystal

erin.kate
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:38 am

Re: Reading Comprehension?

Unread post by erin.kate » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:33 am

Hi Carin ~

My girls are always reading independently from a book that I've pre-read, i.e., Rachel Yoder, Patricia St John, Betsy Tacy, Cobble Street, etc. I ask them to tell me all about so and so, or what happened when, or what did their house look like, or why do you think so and so felt that way ... questions to spark their thinking about the text in progressively higher order ways. I don't use the word "narrate" during these informal conversations so they don't truly associate them with me checking their learning, rather, I'm showing them that I am quite interested in what they're reading and thinking about. I realize that it will be hard for me to pre-read books for four kids all along the way, but it will need to be less and less once I feel confident that they're mastering layered comprehension. I also do think that PLL and ILL will build this skill beautifully and naturally.
♥Count it all joy ~
Mae 11, Viola 9, Jude 7, & Jack 6
2015: RTR
2014: CTG
2011: Adventures
2010: MFW First Grade
2009: MFW K♥

cbollin

Re: Reading Comprehension?

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:43 am

erin.kate wrote:I don't use the word "narrate" during these informal conversations so they don't truly associate them with me checking their learning, rather, I'm showing them that I am quite interested in what they're reading and thinking about.
bingo.. that's what I'm getting at. I just ask them to tell me about the book and talk a bit. Even my high schooler will just talk and talk about her free reading time... It's just taking an interest in it. makes great conversation over lunch/dinner... being in the van....

-crystal

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Reading Comprehension?

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:48 am

cbollin wrote: Do you need/would you like some basics on how to "do narration?"
I DO! :-)
We did narration of course in MFW1, but I never really felt like I fully understood it or had a good grasp of what it is or what I was really doing. So I know I haven't used it as much as I might. ;)

I have not wanted to use the traditional text book approach for home schooling. It is a funny thing though how it sometimes sneaks up on me.. all those many years of filling out work sheets myself... and makes me wonder if I will cover it all for areas like reading comprehension without them. 8| We haven't done a lot of PLL yet, but the little I have done I absolutely love. I like the approach that it takes to learning. I found myself last night though looking at A Beka timed reading comprehension tests wondering, "Do they need to do that?" :~ When I look at A Bekas 2nd grade LA fill in the blank sheets though I realize that we already have it covered without a work sheet. :-) Funny thing that public school education of mine...

I don't want to base the 'success' of our home school on a standardized test. Yet, I know if we do well on those crazy tests that it will somehow validate my efforts for me. All those years of training and being told that the standardized tests were the end all. We have to test in our state starting the spring they are 8, so this year will be our first spring for it. My personal goals for our home school though can not even be found on a standardized test. A strange push and pull I experience sometimes as a home school mom.

Rambling a bit...

Thank you Crystal for the Writing Strands insights as well. We have another 1 1/2 years until 4th grade for that book. I can see how at the point of 4th grade that type of information would make sense to my children. Progeny Press information was helpful as well. It helps answer the question of, "How am I ever going to teach Junior High literature study?"

You are always an encouragement to me. :) And yes I would love to know what I am doing in the area of narration. ;)

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Reading Comprehension?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:07 am

gratitude wrote:I completely understand the three parts to reading in ADV: reading aloud (books in deluxe package), giving the student opportunity to explore and read books on their own (book basket), and having him read aloud to me 10 - 15 minutes a day.
We didn't do Adventures (sadly, it wasn't out then :( ), but at my house, the third part of reading didn't involve reading aloud to me daily. Sometimes I'd have my son read aloud but it might be part of the Bible reading or the science reading. The third part of "English reading" was just having him read to himself for 30 minutes a day (3rd grade to 8th grade).

And the comprehension part of his reading to himself was just talking to me about the book. I found that a simple conversation would reveal a lot more than some questions. For instance, I always think of the book 100 Dresses, where my son totally missed the point. He told me it was "about" kids making fun of a girl. He totally missed that it was "about" how the kids learned from that. He's a boy... who doesn't like to read...

I think that if he'd answered dozens of questions about details from that story, he still would have missed the whole point of the story. I found the same thing with my tutoring students when they read the book Sadako and the 1,000 Paper Cranes, for example -- missing the main points, or drawing wrong conclusions, would happen regularly, even when all comprehension questions were answered pretty correctly.

So we chatted. Even if I hadn't read the book, I had a sense of it by the title, maybe the blurb on the back, and just from my adult knowledge of characters and events in books. To give some variety to our discussions, I sometimes used a Pizza Hut Book-It form to have my son rate books on a scale, and then I'd ask him why he gave it that rating. As the year progressed, I adapted a form I had from my older dd, from a High School Form-U-La book, and had him rate books for specific traits (historical value, moral value, etc.), and then the important thing was our conversation about *why* he gave it a particular rating. We did enjoy this method because it gave my son something to say and gave me a particular insight into a particular growing little boy :) but chatting was really the main method, the most valuable method.

And I don't want to make this too much longer, but I do think answering direct questions after a reading will eventually have a little value just in test prep and high school prep and such. You'll get that along the way, in PLL/ILL/WS (as the others already mentioned), in ECC's science book, in 1850MOD's Activity Book for SOTW, 7-8th grade Progeny Press guides, etc.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Reading Comprehension?

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:36 am

Julie in MN wrote:And the comprehension part of his reading to himself was just talking to me about the book. I found that a simple conversation would reveal a lot more than some questions. For instance, I always think of the book 100 Dresses, where my son totally missed the point. He told me it was "about" kids making fun of a girl. He totally missed that it was "about" how the kids learned from that. He's a boy... who doesn't like to read...

I think that if he'd answered dozens of questions about details from that story, he still would have missed the whole point of the story. I found the same thing with my tutoring students when they read the book Sadako and the 1,000 Paper Cranes, for example -- missing the main points, or drawing wrong conclusions, would happen regularly, even when all comprehension questions were answered pretty correctly.
Thank you Julie. This is really helpful. He made that transition to reading long chapter books on his own about a year ago, and I didn't follow it with discussion. Marie does suggest having them continue reading to me, and I have done it marginally. Usually with Bible or English, similar to your own.

I am seeing a theme with all of the answers though and that is discussion and questions. Me leading the discussion and questions about a book. 8O He will tell me from time to time about something he has read silently, but it isn't every book and I haven't followed them up with questions or led discussion. Well... time to go out of my comfort zone. I LOVE discussion & I love to read, but I came to hate book discussions in honors English and have never shaken the impression. I haven't discussed a book since; except for the Bible. It is clearly time to shake my negative impression of book discussion. Thank you everyone for the encouragement...
Last edited by gratitude on Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Reading Comprehension?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:57 am

gratitude wrote:He will tell me from time to time about something he has read silently, but it isn't every book and I haven't followed them up with questions or led discussion. Well... time to go out of my comfort zone. I LOVE discussion & I love to read, but I came to hate book discussions in honors English and have never shaken the impression. I haven't discussed a book since. It is clearly time to shake my negative impression of book discussion. Thank you everyone for the encouragement...
Have no fear, it doesn't need to be honors English level.

Some of us get a routine going by using a tool. On this board, I've read about "narration cubes" and about using the "W" questions of who, what, etc. Maybe if you find a little tool, or make one, then it won't require any effort at all? It could be as simple as an index card with a few prompts listed, or a running notebook page where you list the books and write a sentence about his reaction to them. Just something that reminds you to check his comprehension in some little way, at least "some of the time."

Here's the current Pizza Hut Book-It form. I don't like it as much as the one we used because it's too blank & vague -- my ds would not get along with that :~ I remember the one we used had shorter answers, like, "Would you recommend this book to a friend?" -- a one-word answer that started some interesting conversations about what he "thought" his friends would like to read :) Anyways, their little rating chart at the very bottom of the page is one simple tool to start the conversation -- e.g. "You rated the ending as bad -- why?":
http://www.bookitprogram.com/Teachers/r ... eview2.pdf

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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