Comprehension Strategies Aid Understanding

Comprehension strategies help students understand what they read.

Research has identified six comprehension strategies proven  to raise students’ level of understanding.  

Prediction/Prior Knowledge– Thoughtful readers use relevant prior knowledge to predict when reading. Use of this strategy helps students: 

  • Bring knowledge from life experiences to their reading
  • Form predictions based on this prior knowledge
  • Engage more deeply with the text

Questions and Questioning – Fluent readers actively and strategically engage when reading by asking questions. Questioning allows students to: 

  • Focus their reading
  • Clarify meaning
  • Critically reflect on what they have read

Think-aloud – By recognizing and talking out loud about their metacognitive processes students learn to:

  • Monitor their own thinking processes
  • Adjust their thinking to achieve clearer comprehension
  • Clarify meaning as hey continue to read

Text Structure and Features – Students who consciously attend to text structures and features are able to:

  • Comprehend and recall texts more effectively
  • Analyze and synthesize written texts
  • Think critically about their reading

Visualizing –  The use of visualizing techniques and visual representations helps students:

  • Use mental imagery as a comprehension strategy
  • Focus on concepts, and relations between concepts, as they read
  • Learn how to view information critically and thoughtfully

Summarization – Summarization is an essential comprehension strategy that enables students to: 

  • Focus on major points in the text
  • Establish in their own minds what they think the text is saying
  • Deepen their knowledge of what they have read. 

I have often shared these strategies with parents and teachers throughout my career as an elementary principal.  These six comprehension strategies are easy to teach, easy to use and can be used across many subject areas. 

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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