A child may be able to read words perfectly and yet struggle to understand the meaning behind sentences and stories – in other words, they may struggle with reading comprehension. As you know, reading comprehension is a vital skill, so try following these five tips to help your students learn.
- Teach Connections
Children learn by example, so try showing students how to make connections. As you read, talk about your own recollections and answer some of your own questions. You’ll be teaching them how to make those crucial connections.
- Ask Questions
Reading comprehension is rooted in active reading – instead of simply letting the words flow through their minds, children need to actively understand what they’re reading. To prompt this process, try asking questions aloud as you read. You don’t always need to frame these as questions a child needs to answer – any kind of question will help underline the need to read actively and look for clues.
- Pick Key Points
If a student is having trouble with reading comprehension, it helps to have just one or two central points picked out before you start reading. For example, you might think about what a character is doing and why they are doing it. This helps focus a student’s attention and creates a foundation for future learning.
- Use the ‘Click and Clunk’ Method
When something ‘clicks’, it means your student understands it. When something ‘clunks’, it means they didn’t understand. As you read aloud, prompt your student to hold up their hand when something clunks and keep it down when things are clicking. It might sound a little silly, but it’s a great way to determine exactly where a child is losing the thread of things.
- Use Teaching Packs
It’s perfectly possible to use nothing more than the written text and your own teaching skills to teach reading comprehension, but that’s no reason to avoid additional resources. Several teaching packs are available to help younger students improve their reading comprehension, so why not take advantage?