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December 31, 2013

What is Comprehension?

Comprehension is the understanding and interpretation of text meaning. While reading entails a hierarchy of skills, comprehension is the ultimate objective. Readers do not understand text if they cannot read words fluently. The cognitive capacity of humans is limited. If students must allocate excessive thought to word analysis, little is left for comprehension. Thus, the first step toward developing comprehension skills is to teach students to decode well. Additionally, fluency and comprehension are improved when students have extensive vocabularies or if they receive direct vocabulary instruction for the words in the selection prior to reading.

What it feels like to me:   A child’s perspective

When a child has a difficulty or frustration, they are usually unable to express what is causing this feeling.  Instead they may say, “I hate this!”, “It’sstupid!”, or they may avoid the task all together. Those few children who are able to express themselves often tell me:

What I see at home: A parent’s perspective

Here are some clues for parents that a child may be having reading difficulties as a result of his or her comprehension:

What I see in the classroom: A teacher’s perspective

Here are some clues for teachers that a student may have difficulties as a result of his or her comprehension:

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