Summer book study for teachers to help increase reading comprehension in the classroom. Teaching students to read is first, comprehension is important too.

Welcome

Hello friends and welcome to our annual summer book study! Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard and I have been hosting a summer book study for educators for several years now and it’s been fantastic each and every year! As current, in-classroom teachers, it’s hard to fit reading professional development books into the regular school year and really take the time to digest the material. So focusing on a chapter a week, along with weekly blog posts and social media chats during the summer, allows me and others to get that professional development not only read, but mastered!!

This year we chose the book, Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding, Engagement, and Building Knowledge by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis. This book is intended for use with students in K-8 grades. Thank you for jumping in and being a part of it and welcome! (If you haven’t purchased the book yet, you can find it HERE)

Chapter 1 – Reading is Thinking

Summer book study for teachers to help increase reading comprehension in the classroom. Teaching students to read is first, comprehension is important too.

Chapter 1 focuses on what reading is and how we need to teach students not just decoding strategies, but comprehension strategies too. This will give them the tools to become active readers and learn how to interact with the text, as they read.

As I was reading this chapter, I kept thinking about my kindergarten students and how this reading information could help me better equip each of them.

I think it’s fair to say that most of us kindergarten teachers do a great job of teaching our students the ‘mechanics’ of reading, ie; sounding out, decoding, reading strategies, etc. But what about after that? Are we spending any time on helping them realize WHAT they just read? If I am honest with myself, I can say that I have been lacking in this comprehension area. Do I teach prediction, visualizing and retelling? Of course! But can I, as their teacher, help them to dig deeper and give them more tools/strategies for their reading comprehension toolbox? Absolutely!

Here are some concepts that I can teach my students, which will prepare them for the reading comprehension strategies to come.

Check out our classroom literacy station here.

Summer book study for teachers to help increase reading comprehension in the classroom. Teaching students to read is first, comprehension is important too.
“Reading out loud and showing how readers think when they read is central to the instruction we share in this book” chapter 1 – pg4

Chapter 2 – Reading is Strategic

Chapter 2 explains how comprehension is more than just answering teacher-posed questions or low-level ‘quiz’ questions at the end of a story. It explains in a simplistic way, where and how comprehension tends to break down in readers. It provides valuable information on tacit learners/readers (pg 14) {I wasn’t even aware of that word, nonetheless, what it even was}, and then gives the comprehension strategies that work. I am sharing them below, as well as how they relate to kindergarten and emergent readers.

Summer book study for teachers to help increase reading comprehension in the classroom. Teaching students to read is first, comprehension is important too.
Teaching comprehension strategies is so important! Do you teach these?

To wrap up chapters 1 & 2 of this book, it’s important for teachers to teach students that THEIR THINKING MATTERS and recognizing how and what they think as they read will aid them in comprehending what they read!

Did you have any awesome takeaways from these 2 chapters? I would love to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment on this blog post, or join me on Instagram or FB Live to share more thoughts and ideas!

Don’t forget to check out Greg’s post here and come back again next Monday for chapters 3-5!!

My students LOVE my Alphabet Soup series for literacy centers. You can check it out here.

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