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Reading Difficulties: Remediation Strategies and Techniques

(Session 2)Reading Comprehension

Faith Berens, HSLDA Special Needs Consultant/Reading Specialist

Possible Reasons for Comprehension Difficulties:

Poor decoding
Slow reading
Working memory deficits
Poor language skills
Receptive language processing difficulties
Language barrier
Low or limited vocabulary
Not making a gestalt or picture (movie in the mind)
May be a student who is very literal/does not know how to inference and draw
conclusions; may not be able to pick out big ideas

Reading Comprehension Strategies:

The main comprehension strategies readers use are:

1. Connecting
2. Picturing (using sensory images, making a movie in your mind)
3. Wondering/Questioning
4. Noticing the important parts
5. Synthesizing and Inferring (Figuring out)
6. Predicting and Guessing (part of inferring)
7. Monitoring (Noticing when you stop understanding)

Teach your child these strategies, explicitly and systematically.

Ways to Teach Comprehension:

Model the reading strategies you, as an adult reader, use. Do this during your
family read aloud time.
Ex. Think Aloud technique: I wonder what it going to happen next? I think
.is going to. This story reminds me of the time. By doing this you are
modeling making connections and predictions.
**Choose texts/books carefully for modeling strategies. Use picture books!

Use supervised Internet Workshop to provide your child with opportunities so

sharpen their critical thinking skills, motivate them, and give them an opportunity
to share their discoveries.

Steps to do Internet Workshop:

1. Locate a site(s) that are appropriate and connected to the content or unit of study,
set a bookmark for the location(s).
2. Develop an activity requiring your child to use the site(s), such as Find out 3
interesting facts about Greek civilization. (This is often called a WebQuest
think of it as a Treasure Hunt on the websites.)
3. Assign this activity to be completed during the week.
4. Have your child share his/her work and discoveries, questions he/she still has, and
new insights at the end of the week or on the weekend (over pizza on Family

Reciprocal Questioning Strategy (ReQuest) developed by Manzo

1. Parent/teacher and child read.
2. Student/child questions teacher.
3. Parent/teacher questions students.
4. Student/child predicts the storys outcome.
5. Parent/teacher and child finish reading to check predictions.

Reciprocal Teachingparent and child read a passage together. Parent

models and guides child in summarizing, discussing parts that were not
clear/not understood, tricky vocabulary, etc. Parent and child share
questions and predictions. The goal of this technique is to help readers
internalize these steps so that they can then apply them independently
during silent reading.
1. Summarize
2. Clarify
3. Question
4. Predict

Teach sequence relationships and sequence signal words such as, before,
after, finally, first, initially, following, earlier, afterward, next, later
Teach Cause and Effect relationships and signal words and phrases such
as, because, so, therefore, hence, thus, since, as a result, consequently, on
account of, accordingly

Directed-Reading-Thinking Activity (DRTA)

1. PredictingTell me what you think the story/book will be about? Where might it
take place? Who do you think will be in the story?
2. ReadingHave child read silently to a predetermined point, at which time the
childs earlier predictions should be checked.
3. ProvingAsk child to draw conclusion and explain his/her reasoning. Ask child
to evaluate the evidence in relation to their predictions. (Was your guess correct?
Why or why not? What do you think now? Why? Why do you think X
happened? What do you predict will happen next?
Read aloud a passage, poem, part of a story. Then pause, and ask the child to sketch what
he/she is imagining in his/her head. Who is in the movie in his/her mind? Where does
the story happen? What is happening?

Use Graphic Organizers, such as story maps, flow charts, webs, venn diagrams,

Books and Resources:

7 Keys to Comprehension: How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get It by Susan Zimmerman and Chryse
Constructing Meaning by Nancy Boyles **Comes with reproducibles on cd
Subjects Matter: Every Teachers Guide to Content Area Reading by Harvey Daniels and Steven
Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction by Isabel L. Beck
Strategies that Work by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis
Improving Comprehension with Think-Aloud Strategies by Jeffrey Wilhelm, PH.D.
Make It Real by Linda Hoyt

When the comprehension problem is:

lack of background determining importance of making connections,

knowledge, limited information, sequence, comparison/contrast,
vocabulary, or unfamiliar details, elements of plot, cause/effect, drawing
genre, text features or locating information conclusions or summarizing
concepts of print
Strategies Strategies Strategies

picture walk/preview think-aloud think-aloud

strategy graphic organizers text connections
think-aloud story mapping graphic organizers
K-W-L story boards Reciprocal Teaching
story mapping Read, Cover, one sentence summary
shared reading to model Remember, Retell Text Talk (Beck)
concepts of print two-column notes QAR
teach common text cloze SQ3R
features Text Talk (Beck) literature circles
exposure to variety of QAR coding
genres marginal notes
wide reading SW3R
selective highlighting
Text Talk (Beck)
Resources Resources Resources

Mosaic of Thought Mosaic of Thought Mosaic of Thought

Strategies that Work Strategies that Work Strategies that Work
Questioning the Author Questioning the Author Questioning the Author
Guiding Readers and Guiding Readers and Guiding Readers and
Writers Writers Writers
Guided Reading Guided Reading Guided Reading
Improving I Read It, but I Dont Get
The Power of Retelling Comprehension with It
Think-Aloud Strategies Improving
Comprehension with
The Power of Retelling Think-Aloud Strategies

When Kids Cant Read:

What Teachers Can Do,

Developed collaboratively by the Reading and Language Arts Department, Exceptional Student
Education, School Psychological Services, and the ESOL Department, Volusia County Schools,
Florida. January, 2005