Many struggling readers don't know what to do when their comprehension gets off track. For some, not properly processing the text is simply the norm. Others may be aware when they are not understanding what they read, but may not have the skillset necessary to go back and fix it.
Including a number of "Fix-Up" comprehension strategies into your First Three Weeks of instruction can be a great way to begin the process of shaping your students into conscientious and attentive readers.
What I Teach Them: "When you are reading and you find yourselves confused or not paying attention to what you read, stop, refocus, and reread using some of the following tricks."
Read out loud.
Picture what you are reading in your heads like your Drawing a picture, Watching a movie, or Living inside the story.
Try and make a connection between something your reading and something you already know.
Make a prediction about what is going to come next.
Pick out important events or key details, like characters, settings, or important facts.
Change your speed, reading smoother or slower as needed.
Ask yourself a question.
Review text features like chapter headings, subtitles, pictures, and captions.
Make sure you are pausing at commas, periods, and paragraph breaks.
Note: This is just a sample list, add or subtract as needed. For younger and/or lower students you may want to pick only a few.
How I Teach It:
Print out copies of your "Fix-Up" tips, laminate them and place them inside your students' independent reading group folders.
Conduct a lesson about the two voices of reading: one that reads the words and one that thinks about them.
Review a couple of the strategies each day while conducting brief read-a-louds with some of the READ 180 independent library books. This introduces and builds interest on some of the titles while laying the groundwork for the comprehension skills.
Throughout the year, review the strategies with your students and encourage them to let you know when they have used them. It will take continued emphasis for them to get your students to actually use them.