8 Tips for Reading Comprehension

 

by Jessie Mewshaw, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist with Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

Engaging students with language disorders in literacy activities can be challenging. These students may struggle with the pace of reading, comprehending vocabulary, understanding figurative language and inferred story components, and maintaining attention to a task that they perceive to be very difficult.

Here are 8 strategies SLPs use to make the reading process more engaging for students with language delays and disorders:

  1. Discuss the book title and cover illustration – make inferences with the student about the story before reading.
  • Example: “The title of this book is Gabby Is Hungry. What do you think this story might be about?”
  1. Preview the book through a “picture walk” before you begin reading – this prepares the student for what they might encounter when reading the book and allows the student to make inferences based on illustrations.
  • Example: “I see in this picture that the little girl is wearing shorts and sandals. I wonder what season it is…”
  1. Pause frequently during reading to discuss illustrations, define new vocabulary, explore figurative language, and check in for understanding.
  • Example: “The boy ‘exclaimed.’ Huh, I wonder what that means. Let’s look at his face in this picture and figure out how he might be feeling.”
  1. Ask students to draw comparisons between the book and their own life experiences.
  • Example: “The dog seems really scared. Can you remember a time when you felt scared?”
  1. Don’t ask all the questions – encourage the student to ask questions, too.
  2. When a student struggles with decoding and/or reading fluency, comprehension of information is sacrificed – re-read what the student has read to give them a chance to comprehend the text without the added pressure of decoding and reading fluency.
  3. Make reading fun! Add character voices, make sound effects, use props, etc.
  4. Praise, praise, praise – students are more likely to try a difficult task when they are praised for their successes and hard work.
  • Example: “I love that you read that whole book with me! I can’t wait to read together again.”
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How Do I Monitor Progress?

MTSS/RTI Tier 2: How Do I Keep Data?

By Jordan Lupton and Ruth Morgan

When students are not making adequate progress receiving core instruction, teachers or support staff supplement the core instruction with additional interventions.  This level of additional support is considered MTSS Tier 2.  These interventions are delivered in a small group format, and progress monitoring data is used to make adjustments to instruction and intervention.  

But what does that progress monitoring data look like?  

In addition to academic data collection tools embedded within programs like mClass and AIMsweb, other data methods can be helpful in keeping track of student progress.  Additional sources of data include: running records, reading logs, journals, observations, topic tests, etc.  

You can also create your own Google form or document to keep track of student data. Ruth Morgan, SLP at Ephesus Elementary, wrote about how to create Google forms and spreadsheets on her blog, Chapel Hill Snippets.  Check out her step-by-step instructions here.

If low-tech forms are more your style, design your own Google document table.  To make data collection quick and user-friendly, create your form with choices that can be circled. Consider the following example of a weekly data form for a writing intervention for three students:

interventiontable

Whatever method of data collection you choose, make sure you are being mindful of exactly what data you will need to help your students achieve their goals.  The goal is not to create extra work for yourself, but to inform your instruction and identify positive changes in student performance

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