The cry of students of all ages throughout the decades: “Why do
I have to learn this? I don’t understand it!”
Comprehension isn’t elusive. The following list will shed light on
strategies for improving it.
Consider all the things that impact comprehension:
familiar adage, “practice makes perfect” isn’t completely
Reading is a procedure which improves with practice.
Skill: The more
phonics is mastered, the more the brain can be feed up to focus on
Prior Knowledge: If a
student has a lot of experience with a topic being studied, that
child will have an easier time understanding the material.
Style: A student that is a global learner
focuses on the big picture. That child will have an easier time
comprehending the main idea or plot. Whereas, a student who is an
analytical learner may get caught up in the details and miss the
overall point of the story. It would help an analytical learner if
you present a brief overview of the story before s/he reads it.
students tend to lose focus while reading. We’ve all experienced
our brain wandering. Rereading is necessary. For students who
experience this on a regular basis, reciprocal questioning is a
great strategy. Have the student come up with questions to ask the
adult. As the student reads a story, s/he thinks of questions –
stopping to dictate each question to the adult. At the end of the
story (or the end of a passage) the adult reads each question and
provides an answer. The student tells the adult if the answer was
correct of not. This improves attention and increases
Development: When reading for content areas
such as math or science, comprehension is impacted by vocabulary
words. Those vocabulary words represent concepts which can be
represented by a picture. Even silly stick pictures work. The
graphic representation provides a mnemonic – a way to understand
and remember the concept.
Comprehension will come quicker when memory strategies are used.
Use drama: Role play a story or act out scientific concept (such as
what happens to molecules when heated). Create simple and tangible
models to represent something (such as using clay to demonstrate
different types of columns or cotton to demonstrate different
clouds). Put it to music or make a rap. Use simple household or
office materials to demonstrate a concept.
challenging for your child to learn?