Each word that we read has a meaning, and when you read them most often enough, your brain links these words together and gives you an overall idea of what they mean as a group. However, for developing readers, this isn’t always the case. Or even experienced readers will often come across new words they don’t know.
Having a strategy to help kids improve their reading comprehension skills is the key to success.
What is Reading Comprehension?
Reading comprehension is how your brain decodes words and understands the meaning while you read. However, the practice of improving reading comprehension isn’t quite as easy as it seems.
Reading comprehension is a critical part of the reading and writing process. When someone reads, they engage in various cognitive processes that range from understanding phonemes and phonics and allows the reader to comprehend what the text says.
How Does Reading Comprehension Develop?
Reading comprehension is an incredibly complex skill. Readers take time and learn this skill over time. Yet, in the early years, it is something that needs to be taught over time by parents and teachers.
Throughout middle and high school, kids need to continue to develop their reading comprehension skills. As they read through more diverse materials, children will need to have stronger reading comprehension skills like textbooks, magazines, and newspapers.
The more text that your child reads within their reading level can help them improve their reading comprehension. Through increased vocabulary and other exercises, your child can boost their reading comprehension.
Why is Reading Comprehension So Important?
Without reading comprehension, it can be hard to understand current events summarize, or educational texts. It would almost be like reading a story that is written in another language. You might be able to decipher some of it. However, many of the words won’t make any sense. You’ll end up missing the entire point of the story.
Without reading comprehension, the reader will often feel confused or frustrated. Reading comprehension helps people not only understand what they read but can help them to articulate better. Reading comprehension also helps to improve vocabulary. It also helps to tell a story through context clues that you can figure out through reading comprehension.
Reading Comprehension Strategies for Kids
Good readers use strategies that have been examined by researchers. Each of these strategies has its own benefits and can help kids who learn differently still grow their reading comprehension skills.
Generate and Ask Questions
By having readers ask questions while they read will help to strengthen their comprehension of the text. Relevant questions can be valuable for pulling out extra information from context clues.
These questions can help them to integrate information, identify main ideas, and gives them skills to summarize information. Good questions promote readers to focus on problems through comprehension.
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Use Background Knowledge
Using background knowledge to improve comprehension requires readers to use what they already know about the topic to expand upon what they are currently reading.
This includes things like:
- Concepts of how written text works
- Print concepts
- Word identification
- Word meaning
- How text is organized
According to the schema theory, when people learn about a word, they develop a network of knowledge around it. Each of these schemas is connected with one another. These schemas will change over time as a person learns new information. All of that you can learn from reading.
Using this strategy requires the reader to draw a conclusion from what information the text offers. Authors don’t always provide complete descriptions—context clues within the text offer inside information about what’s going on within the pages.
When readers are taught how to make inferences, studies find that they have an improved ability to create meaning. Being able to make inferences is critical to improving your reading comprehension.
Are you ready to begin improving your child’s reading comprehension skills? Sage Reading can help.
Summarize the Story
Being able to summarize a story allows readers to gather information from the text to explain it in their own words. This is one easy way to boost a child’s reading comprehension. Summarizing text can help readers to recall what they read quickly easily.
Practical summarizing any narrative text involves being able to connect events within the storyline. This part of reading comprehension helps readers identify what motivates a character’s behavior.
This strategy has the reader obtain the meaning of a text by making a guess. This guess is what’s called an informed prediction character’s behavior.
Prolific readers use predicting to connect what they already know with new information to predict the meaning of reading. Before they begin reading, many readers already know roughly what content the author writes.
Using the knowledge, they can often predict some of the ideas that will be within the book. The title may bring up memories of similar content. All of these context clues allow your reading comprehension to predict the content.
Visualization is exceptionally valuable when it comes to narrative texts. This ability allows readers to conjure mental images of what you are reading into a visual way to play out these events.
Without reading comprehension, you wouldn’t understand what you are reading and wouldn’t be able to visualize it. Readers who can visualize often tend to enjoy reading more.
Visualizing can also help create an image that allows the reader to remember any abstract concept or critical details.
This ability allows the reader to know when they understand what they are reading and when they don’t understand. Comprehension monitoring is a form of metacognition. Readers with good reading comprehension are aware of the process while they are reading.
Some strategies that good readers use to improve their understanding by using repair strategies. Repair strategies like reading ahead, rereading, and clarifying words that you don’t know the definition of.
However, not all good readers use the same strategies. Each reader must find out what practices work for them. Good readers switch their strategies while they read.
The Last Word on Reading Comprehension
Reading comprehension is essential for kids to learn. Improving kids reading comprehension just takes a little bit of strategy and figuring out what works best for your kid.
Related: What are the benefits of tutoring?
Want to get a head start on your children’s learning? Sage Reading can help your child improve their reading comprehension skills.