Reading comprehension is a phrase you think about daily in the classroom. It may seem like you are stuck doing the same thing repeatedly. Your students read a text and answer questions to check their understanding. Sound familiar? While this strategy is a great way to see how students are doing with their comprehension, there many other strategies that can be used to get students to where they need to be.
Below are five simple ways to increase reading comprehension with your students. Share these strategies with your students so they can start using them daily with their reading!
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Previewing the Text
When given a text, it is essential for students to take a quick look at the passage before diving deeper. I like to give my students a graphic organizer that helps them know what to look for. I always suggest students notice the headings, subheadings, bold words, charts, photos, etc.
Previewing the text will allow students to gain a deeper understanding of what they are about to read.
Repeated reading is another way for students to increase their reading comprehension and build fluency. When students are given the same text to read over several days, it is fascinating to see the new information they will pull out, the unique questions they will come up with, the new connections they will make, etc. This is especially helpful with struggling readers.
My Spiral Reading Homework is perfect for this reason because students are asked to reread the same passage each night and answer questions for that day. When students spend more time with the same passage, they are able to gain a deeper understanding of the text as a whole.
Summary sentences are sentences used to summarize different sections, or parts, of a passage. These sentences are a great way for students to gain an understanding of the different parts of a text, which will lead to an increase in their comprehension of the text as a whole. Students go through each section of the text and write a sentence to summarize that section.
Check out my blog post “How to Use Summary Sentences to Increase Reading Comprehension” to learn more about Summary Sentences:
Taking note of new vocabulary words that students come across in a text is crucial when it comes to their comprehension. It is essential for students to be able to identify the words that are new to them and work through different strategies to help them better understand those words. Students need to realize that each vocabulary word has an important meaning to the text.
To identify these vocabulary words, students can merely underline or highlight the word. I also like to use one of my Reading Comprehension Graphic Organizers to aid students in reviewing new vocabulary.
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Talk it Out
Give students the opportunity to talk about a passage with their peers. Students can discuss questions they have about the text, the connections they made, the things they noticed, and so much more. Each student will naturally take away something a little different from the text. This strategy lets them share that with their peers. As a result, students gain a deeper understanding of the passage and think about things they may not have thought of without the input of their peers.
Want more tips for teaching reading? Check out my post on “How to Make Guided Reading Stress-Free”.
There are LOTS of reading comprehension strategies that will help students grow as readers. If you are looking for some great resources to help reinforce reading skills, check out my Fiction and Nonfiction Graphic Organizers.
You may also like my Daily Reading Review resources!