Reading Comprehension

How to Improve Reading Comprehension

Key Point
Good reading means building frameworks for connecting words to thoughts
.

The Purpose of Reading
The purpose of reading is to connect the ideas on the page to what you already know. If you don’t know anything about a subject, then pouring words of text into your mind is like pouring water into your hand. You don’t retain much. For example, try reading these numbers:


7516324    This is hard to read and remember.
751-6324   This is easier because of chunking
123-4567   This is easy to read because of prior knowledge and structure.

Similarly, if you like sports’, then reading the sports page is easy. You have a framework in your mind for reading, understanding and storing information.

Improving Comprehension
Reading comprehension requires motivation, mental frameworks for holding
ideas, concentration and good study techniques. Here are some suggestions.

Develop a Broad Background
Broaden your background knowledge by reading newspapers, magazines and books. Become interested in world events. Know the structure of paragraphs. Good writers construct paragraphs that have a beginning, middle and end. Often, the first sentence will give an overview that helps provide a framework for adding details. Also, look for transitional words, phrases or paragraphs that change the topic.

Identify the Type of Reasoning
Does the author use cause and effect reasoning, hypothesis, model building, induction or deduction, systems thinking?

Anticipate And Predict
Really smart readers try to anticipate the author and predict future ideas and questions. If you’re right, this reinforces your understanding. If you’re wrong, you make adjustments quicker.

 

Look For The Method Of Organization
Is the material organized chronologically, serially, logically, functionally, spatially or hierarchical?

Create Motivation And Interest
Preview material, ask questions, and discuss ideas with classmates. The stronger your interest, the greater comprehension of it you will have.

 

Pay Attention to Supporting Cues

Study pictures, graphs and headings. Read the first and last paragraph in a chapter, or the first sentence in each section.

Highlight, Summarize and Review

Just reading a book once is not enough. To develop a deeper understanding, you have to highlight, summarize and review important ideas.

 

Build A Good Vocabulary
For most educated people, this is a lifetime project. The best way to improve your vocabulary is to use a dictionary regularly. You might carry around a pocket dictionary and use it to look up new words. Or, you can keep a list of words to look up at the end of the day.

 

Concentrate On Roots, Prefixes And Endings
Use a systematic reading technique like SQR3. Develop a systematic reading style, like the SQR3 method and make adjustments to it, depending on priorities and purpose. The SQR3 steps include Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review.

Monitor Effectiveness

Good readers monitor their attention, concentration and effectiveness. They quickly recognize if they’ve missed an idea and backup to reread it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next page---reading strategies$

 

 

Know your Strategies!

Strategy

Description

Visualize

I picture in my head the characters, setting, sequence, or a process from the selection.

Make Connections

Sometimes what I read reminds me of something in my own life or something I have read before.

Ask Questions

I ask questions to set a purpose for reading or because I want to learn more about what I am reading. Then, I check to see if my questions have been answered.

Predict

I try to figure out what happen next based on what I already know; then confirm as I read more.

Summarize

I briefly put the important ideas or main events I read into my own words. If I am not able to do this, then I know to go back and reread the parts I didn’t understand or remember.

Monitor & Adjust reading
Speed

I might have to change my reading rate to understand a story or different types of text.

Monitor & Clarify

I check my own understanding as I read. When I don’t understand and need to clarify I can: decode a word I do not know, use clues to understand the context, or reread.

Literature Response Ideas

Questions to Ask to Build Comprehension

Or Sentence Leads for Reading Response Journals

 

·        This (character, place, and event) reminds me of.... because...

·        I like/dislike this book because...

·        I like/dislike this part of the book because...

·        This situation reminds me of something that happened in my own life... (Tell story & make connection)

·        The character I (like, admire, dislike the most) is... because...

·        I like this part of the story because...

·        The setting of this story is important because...

·        This book makes me think about (an important social issue, problem) because...

·        A question that I have about this book is... because...

·        When I read this book, I felt...

·        If I were this character, I would...

·        (Character) reminds me of (myself, a friend, a family member) because...

·        If I could talk to one of the book characters I would (ask, say)...

·        I predict... because...

·        This (phrase, sentence, and paragraph) is an example of good writing...

·        This (person, place) reminds me of...

·        I admire (character) because...

·        I didn’t understand the part of the story when...

·        This book reminds me of another book I have read...

·        The most exciting part of the book was...

·        The big ideas in this book were...

·        Some important details that I noticed were... They were important because...

·        I think the author wrote this book to...

·        I found this book hard to follow when...

·        The author got me interested when...

·        The book is really about...

·        After the book ends, I predict...

·        I am like or different from (character)...

·        I learned...

·        This book makes me want to (action, further reading)

·        After reading the first (paragraph, page, and chapter) of this book, I felt...

·        The title of this book says to me...

·        If I could be any character in the book, I would be... because...

·        What I want to remember about this book is...

·        I’d like to read another book by this author because...

·        The most important (word, phrase, idea, illustration) in this book is...

·        My feelings about the (book, characters) changed when...

·        As compared to other books (by this author, on the same topic), I think this book is...

·        I thought this book was (realistic/unrealistic) because...

·        I question the accuracy of...

·        The genre of this book is... because it has (characteristics)

·        I (agreed, disagreed) with the author about...

·        I think the illustrations...

·        I noticed the author...

·        If I were the author, I would have changed the part of the story when...

·        The author is qualified to write this book because...

·        To summarize the text, I would say...

·        This book helped me to...

·        If a character in your book had a magic tree, what would grow on it?

·        Tell why....

·        Make awards for characters in your book and explain why they deserve them.

·        List 3 important actions from your story.

·        Describe one of the settings from your book.

·        Why did your character act this way?

·        Who was your favorite character? Tell why.

·        Was it right or wrong for your character to act this way?

·        Place your story in a new setting. How will ft change the story?

·        Evaluate a character’s behavior. Is it right or wrong? Why?

·        Write a letter to the author of your book.

·        What was the main problem in your story?

·        Make a dictionary of interesting words you learned from your book.

·        What is the lesson learned?

·        How can you see the lesson learned in your own life?

·        Describe a place a character from your story would like to visit. Why did you choose that place?

·        Imagine you are one of the main characters. Write a journal of your day’s activities.

·        Compare this story with another you have read.

·        What song do you know that reminds you of this book? Why?

·        Talk about cause and effect in your book. What made things happen? Why?

·        Tell a part of the story from another characters point of view.
If you had written this book, would you have changed it? How? Why?

·        What do you think is the most important part of the story? Why?

·        Make a time line for your story.

·        If you were the character, what would you have done differently? Why?

·        Write another chapter for the book.

·        What would a character in your story have in his or her backpack?

·        Compare and contrast characters from the story—how are they alike and different?

·        How did a character change from the beginning to the end of the story?

·        Think about the main character. What words would you use to tell about him or her? (Character traits i.e. kind, selfish foolish.)

·        Did your characters have conversations? What did they say or discuss?

·        Think about where the story takes place. This is called the setting. Describe the setting from you book. Do not name the place. Can someone guess?

·        Pick 3 events from the story and put them in the right order.

·        The part that was funniest was....

·        The part that was saddest was...

·        The part that was most unbelievable was...

·        The part I liked best was...

·        Write a sentence about the beginning, middle and end of the story.

·        Write about something you did not like about the book.

·        Think about your character and write how he (she acted from the beginning of the story and at the end of the story.

·        Could a story like this really happen?

·        Tell 3 reasons for your answer.

·        Write a new ending for your story.

·        Compare settings from the story.

·        Compare characters from the story.

·        Go back to your book and look for descriptive words and phrases. List 5 that you really like.

·        List your characters and write one word for each that describes them best.