At the end of the school year, I started hearing about The Comprehension Experience. Several coaches had been given it as one of their summer PD books to read. I didn't know much about the book except I like the title. I want to think deeper about how to instruct my students to think beyond what they already know. This was my mantra the last trimester of school. I tackled the issue, but my tool box is shallow and needs reinforced. Enter The Comprehension Experience Chapter 1:
· READING is active, meaning-seeking process, equates reading with thinking and points out that meaning cues helps readers recognize and process words.
· READERS must give more attention to certain words and less attention to others.
· TEXT provides information; the readers, interacting with the text, generate meaning.
· STUDENTS use background knowledge + vocabulary + purpose
· PREDICT with narrative text and HYPOTHESIE with fictional text
· COLLABORATIVE construction of understanding
· EXPECTATIONS are critical
· LEARNERS’ purpose and expectation are critical elements of comprehension which are influenced by intentions and mind-sets
Chapter 1 is about the history of comprehension. I am pretty sure I would have skipped this chapter in the past as recent as a few years ago; however I am now intrigued about how and why students learn. In 26 years of teaching, I have observed huge changes in the way my students learn. The idea of being entertained, some having the lack of desire to push through hard learning, and finally very busy lives.
This first chapter made me realize that I am a part of the problem. I tend to give too much away at the beginning of my mini lesson. I ask for background knowledge and even if it isn't relevant to the lesson, we discuss it. The key points above are so important for me as I begin teaching deeper about ways to reinforce my comprehension toolbox.