Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Topic: Teaching Comprehension

10-second review: Comprehension instruction should fall into three categories: pre-reading, during-reading, and post-reading.

Title: “The Comprehension Matrix: A Tool for Designing Comprehension Instruction.” SR Gill. Reading Teacher (October 2008), 106-113. A publication of the International Reading Association (IRA).

Summary: The author begins by summarizing the research on comprehension: “For years we have tested comprehension but rarely taught it.” She then suggests that teaching comprehension occurs before reading, during reading and after reading.

Comment: Useful for remembering that there are three parts to comprehension instruction. In my experience, it is the third category—after reading—that gets short shrift—especially in the secondary schools. Building background knowledge, pre-teaching unfamiliar vocabulary and setting purpose are often referred to as pre-reading activities. Reading to accomplish the purpose occurs during reading. But applying what has been learned from the reading does not seem to be emphasized in professional articles as often as pre-reading and during-reading. Especially missing are creative approaches to using the material gained from reading. RayS.

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