Second Grade
Understanding


What Experts Say

Factors that lead to good comprehension skills:

We've had our share of lively debates in the field of reading, but not on this particular topic: background knowledge. There is a virtual consensus that background knowledge is essential for reading comprehension. Put simply, the more you know about a topic, the easier it is to read a text, understand it, and retain the information. Previous studies (Alexander, Kulikowich, & Schulze, 1994; Shapiro, 2004) have shown that background knowledge plays an enormous role in reading comprehension (Hirsch, 2003).

9 Steps to Comprehension
  1. When you read with your child, ask them questions as they move through the book: Why did Mr. Smith do that? How do you think Suzy feels?
  2. Help your child make text-to-self connections. Ask them how they feel about a situation in the book or what they would do if they were the character in the book.
  3. Help them make text-to-text connections. Ask them: What other stories have you read that talk about going on a trip?
  4. Make sure they are reading at their level. A book that is too hard frustrates a child. A book that's too easy doesn't challenge him.
  5. Set aside at least 20 minutes to read every day.
  6. Help your child find books that they enjoy. This keeps them motivated.
  7. Make reading more important than TV.
  8. Model reading yourself. Children need to see parents read for fun.
  9. Encourage writing. Have children write about what they have read or keep a daily journal.
Source: Carolyn Evans, Grand Rapids Public Schools

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