Comprehension and reading response includes how well students understand what they read and how they connect to or
represent their reactions, feelings, and thoughts about was read. Moreover, Biggam describes this component by writing,
"when readers comprehend they get meaning from text, but they also make their own meaning" (Biggam 143).
Comprehension strategies, background knowledge, knowledge about the text, and motivation/engagement all influence success
At third grade, these skills include:
fiction texts with beginning, main events, solutions, setting, and characters
nonfiction text with main ideas and supporting details
evidence from text to support responses
literal and inferential questions
author's craft, figurative language, and dialogue
Anticipation guides are statements (usually agree/disagree)
students read before reading the main text (usually nonfiction, but not always). Students read the statements
about the selected topic and select whether they agree or disagree (sometimes they select if they think the statements
are true or false). Then, students read the main text independently or as a whole class. After reading, students
revisit their anticipation guide and mark whether their initial thoughts were correct or incorrect. Finally, students
use examples from the text to support their final choices.
Anticipation guides provide teachers with two types of
valuable information. Students' initial answers provide insight into their background knowledge. If previewed
in advance of the lesson, teachers can adjust their content to the individual needs of their class. Students' final
answers assess whether or not they can accurately pull concepts out of text and support their ideas with information from
View a sample Anticipation Guide here.
To assess comprehension
and response, students write short summaries (usually a paragraph for third grade). These summaries assess whether students
are able to retell what they've read accurately in their own words. Summaries can be scored using a checklist or an
example (written in advance by the teacher). Summaries should include a topic sentence, supporting details from the text,
and a concluding sentence (all paraphrased).
When assessing summaries,
teachers should assess whether students' responses reflect excellent understanding of the text and include almost all
important information and main ideas.
View a sample reading summary checklist here.
it is tempting to think that as long as children can decode the text at hand, their comprehension of that text will automatically
follow. We know, however, that most children need both explicit instruction and supported practice in order to become better
at comprehending (Biggam 157). The following interventions can help students who struggled with comprehension and written
students who over rely on inaccurate or limited background knowledge instead of information in the text (as shown in
poor Anticipation Guide performance), intensive instruction on Question-Answer Relationships (QAR) is needed. The QAR
framework helps teachers and students think about the levels of questions and what kinds of thinking the questions require.
Using the QAR approach can help students be more purposeful readers by differentiating when to rely on answers "in their head"
and when to search the text for "in the book" answers.
It may be helpful to provide struggling students with this chart to remind them of
different types of Question-Answer Relationships.
grade students are approaching the age where the Read-Pause-Retell-Reread Technique can be utilized. In this technique,
the teacher models reading a section of text, pausing, and then retelling the "gist' of what was read. The teacher and
students then judge how well the retelling captures the main idea of the text. If the retelling is not complete, the
teacher models rereading and retelling a second time.
After modeling, the teacher has pairs
of students practice this technique. One partner is the Reteller and one partner is the Listener. Both partners
read the section. The Reteller provides a summary and the Listener decides if it is acceptable. Finally, partners
This approach is especially helpful
for struggling readers because they recognize the benefit of rereading for information and learn to use retelling as a self-monitoring