The ability to analyze and interpret diverse fiction and nonfiction texts is the foundation of reading comprehension. As a student gets older, he or she should be able to effectively use reading comprehension skills and strategies on increasingly complex works. Because each student learns to comprehend in their own way at their own pace, keeping a class at the same level in English and Language Arts classes can be challenging. Working individually with students is necessary to ensure a successful class for everyone, but what are some methods you can use to increase reading comprehension among all of your students?
High Interest Topics
Your students will be eager to learn from materials that naturally interest them, making it easier to teach comprehension skills. This may mean giving different materials to different students, or letting the class vote on which texts interest them the most.
If you decide to let your students choose—or even if you make the decision on your own—be sure to consider theme and genre when selecting potential reading materials. It is important to choose works that provide clear opportunities to teach the following:
- Content area themes
- Predicting outcomes
- Drawing conclusions
- Identifying the main idea
Selected materials should give students an opportunity to practice vocabulary skills and learn new words.
Group and Independent Reading
With younger students, take turns reading out loud to ensure that everyone participates and pays attention. Couple group reading with worksheets to test comprehension skills—but be sure to practice the assignment together before asking your students to demonstrate their ability to comprehend the reading materials on their own.
Reading comprehension activities should always involve some independent reading. As students get older, they can have more quiet reading time and more reading assignments for homework, with their comprehension being tested in class. Similar to group reading, practice materials should be distributed before a new text is introduced.
Using markable interactive texts is an effective way to introduce students to the skills necessary to comprehend upcoming reading projects. These texts allow students to practice their comprehension skills on smaller chunks of reading, and receive immediate feedback. This leads to better learning, as students don’t have to wait to know how they are progressing, or where they need to improve.
EPS Instruction and Intervention has reading comprehension materials for every grade level:
- Making Connections for your readers in Grades 1-6
- MCI for struggling readers in Grades 6-12
- Starting Comprehension for students as young as Grades PreK-2
Each program will help you improve your students’ reading comprehension—and if your students need additional support in other areas, there is a wide selection of materials for individual students. Reading comprehension is important. Let EPS help make it easier to teach to students of any grade level and ability!