Dr. Connie Hebert helps kids, parents, and teachers by helping them become experts at catching "the teachable minute" anytime, anywhere! My Teachable Minute Blog offers quick tips on how to engage with younger and older kids. Comments, questions, and reflections are always welcome . . . let's catch a million teachable minutes together!

Archive for May, 2010

Tips for Increasing Comprehension by Dr. Connie R. Hebert

Practical Tips for Increasing Reading Comprehension
November 11, 2009
Part two in a two-part series by Dr. Connie H. Hebert

What are some ways we can increase comprehension for readers who don’t seem to understand what they read?

* Always set a purpose for reading that is meaningful and engaging, as opposed to asking students to read up to a certain page. Falling readers comprehend better when they have a mission: something to read to find out, to figure out, to search for, or to be accountable for.
* Divide long pieces of text into small manageable “chunks” for students while ensuring they know what you want them to find out.
* Do not rely on “retelling” to be the sole determinant of comprehension. Falling readers need questioning strategies, graphic organizers, both oral and written ways of showing what they read, sticky notes to identify important points in the text, and open-ended questions as opposed to yes/no questions.
* Students who read ‘word by word’ are not reading fluently. Fluency is the act of putting words together as we talk. Model this for children by saying, “I’ll read a page, you read a page, or I’ll read a line, you read a line.” Through this practice, they will hear what fluent reading is and they will imitate you. We learn by watching others model for us!
* Allow students to select what THEY want to learn from the index of a non-fiction text. They don’t always need to start at the beginning of every book. Shake up routines!
* Teach falling readers how to go return to the book to search for evidence that supports their responses and understandings. Encourage them to do this often so they learn how to search, confirm, and self-monitor while reading.

With these practical tips, readers will be able to experience the success they need to make reading a lifelong, enjoyable experience!

Dr. Hebert is an author, professor of reading and nationally acclaimed teacher of teachers. She has taught and inspired parents and teachers in 47 states and 3 countries and presented at many literacy conferences around the country such as IRA, NAESP, RRCNA, & MRA. Her internet radio show, Help Your Child Succeed: Ready, Set, Read can be heard every Sunday evening at 8:00 PM. For more information, please visit: http://www.conniehebert.com or email her at dr.conniehebert@comcast.net.

Article with Tips for Teachers of Readers by Dr. Connie R. Hebert

Tips for Teachers and Parents of “Falling” Readers
Part one in a two-part series by Dr. Connie H. Hebert

Many of us teach or live with children who struggle with learning to read, write and think. A “falling” reader is a student who is not reading ON or ABOVE grade level, as defined by text readability levels. The first and most important thing we can do for any struggling reader is to help them feel successful.

Don Holdaway, founder of the big book and the practice of shared reading said, “If children could work on literature tasks most of the time, at a level of success, we would have solved the biggest problem in learning to read and write.” It is essential that we provide opportunities for falling readers to experience immediate and consistent success. There is no time to lose if we expect them to become proficient, independent readers.
What are some ways we can create success for readers who struggle?

* Back struggling readers to easier text levels where they feel successful and motivated. They need to read lots and lots of books at independent levels.
* Find a genre that “hooks” the student, such as fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, cookbooks, comic books, manuals, catalogs, menus, maps, dictionaries, driver’s education manuals, SAT practice books, etc. Structure a schedule that provides the child with DAILY opportunities to sit down and read without spending any time searching for something to read. They must read to get better at reading!
* Create frequent opportunities for falling readers to read to others: younger students, former teachers, the school principal, Grandparents, family members, etc.
* Flash sight phrases as opposed to isolated sight words in order to increase fluency, meaning, vocabulary, visual tracking and sight word automaticity.
* Provide audio-books for falling readers to listen and read along with, especially in the car.
* Send home five to seven independent, motivating texts EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, and instruct the student to read at least four books to someone.

With daily opportunities to experience success, falling readers can be taught and caught. Let’s catch them ALL!

Dr. Hebert is an author, professor of reading and nationally acclaimed teacher of teachers. She has taught and inspired parents and teachers in 47 states and presented at many literacy conferences around the country such as IRA, NAESP, RRCNA, MRA. For more information, please visit: http://www.conniehebert.com or email her at dr.conniehebert@gmail.com

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