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February 2008 Calendar

Month Topic



Reading comprehension has many facets for us to discuss, so this will take more than just one month to develop.  As is said, this is where the rubber meets the road.  Without solid reading comprehension skills, one can flounder in all of the content areas.  Understanding a doctor's written instructions, a teacher's note, an employer's memo - all can be frustrating if one can not put all of the reading skills together to comprehend the meaning.






Comprehension requres active, strategic thinking, but it also requres basic reading skills:  decoding (word identification), fluency, and vocabulary (knowledge of word menaing).  Unless decoding is automatic and reading is fluent, comprehension suffers.  So another way to understan the reading process is to see it as a hierarchy of skills Pressley, 2001) 

Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults:  First Steps for Teachers (McShane, 2005, p.73)


Principle 11

Adults who qualify for ABE have poor functional literacy comprehension achievement.  Although they may be able to perform simple comprehensions tasks such as recalling ideas from simple stories and locating a single piece of information in a simple text, they are often unable to combine (integrate and synthesize) information from longer or more complex texts.  (Gold, 1983; Kirsch, Jungeblut, Jenkinds, & Kolstad, 1993

Research-Based Principles for Adult Basic Education Reading Instruction (Krudenier, 2002, p.78)  


Because comprehension requires basic decoding skills and fluency, comprehension-strategy instruction is most often directed at mid-high level readers.  In fact, the research reviewed by the National Reading Panel was conducted with students in third grade and above.  However, even beginners need to engage in meaningful reading and therefore can benefit from learning to monitor their understanding and to apply some simple strategies as the read.

Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults:  First Steps for Teachers (McShane, 2005, p.75)



    • MT LINCS Pilot Project has been viable links for several curriculum areas.  Check it out!
  • Worksheets:  Check out another comparison of good and poor readers and some strategies to strengthen reading comprehension by clicking on the titles below.


    1. What kind of reading comprehension problems do your students have?
    2. What strategies do you use for teaching reading comprehension in the content areas?  Math?  Social Studies?  Science?


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