Strategic Reading Instruction to Improve Comprehension of Struggling Readers

Tuesday night, tutors from across the state participated in a virtual training to learn about Strategic Reading Instruction to Improve Comprehension of Struggling Readers. 

Below is a quick summary of the training from presenter, Iris Strunc, of Northwest Florida State College.

Iris Strunc

Iris Strunc

Comprehension is the fundamental reason for reading.  Reading without understanding is merely a futile exercise of readers running their eyes across a page of text.  Many struggling readers, therefore, indicate that comprehension is their most serious reading problem.  In order to understand the text that they are reading, readers must be able to identify the topic and what the author wants the reader to know about the topic (main idea).

One of the strategies demonstrated during this session was analyzing the paragraph for words that carry the meaning in each sentence (key words) and using these words to identify the topic and the author’s point about the topic.  The steps include the following:

  • Reading the first and last sentence of the paragraph
  • Identifying and circling the words (key words) that carry the meaning from the first sentence to the next
  • Identifying and circling the words (key words) that carry the meaning from the second sentence to the next
  • Identifying and circling the words (key words) that carry the meaning throughout the remainder of the paragraph
  • Using the circled keys words to look for patterns to identify the topic (subject) of the paragraph
  • Writing the topic at the top of a post-it-note
  • Determining what the author wants the reader to know about the topic of the paragraph
  • Writing that information under the topic on the post-it-note
  • Combining this information on the post-it-note to write the main idea sentence  of the  paragraph

Students who are directly taught this strategy usually are able to comprehend the text that they are reading without having to reread the text several times.

This training was a collaborative learning event brought to you by the Florida Adult Literacy Resource Center, a program of the Florida Literacy Coalition. This training was made possible through the support of the Florida Department of Education, Division of Career and Adult Education.

Did you participate in last night’s training?  Let us know your thoughts; leave your comments in the box below!

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4 thoughts on “Strategic Reading Instruction to Improve Comprehension of Struggling Readers

  1. Pingback: Virtual Tutor/Teacher Training: Reading Error Patterns « Florida Literacy Coalition's Blog

  2. Using the new ideas for helps is great. Hoping for something that will open the door to comprehension & retaining what has been read. Thank you!

  3. I really enjoyed the webinar! I loved the post-it-note idea!
    I will also use the key word idea as well. Comprehension is a struggle for my developmental ed. students..
    If I can do anything to make life easier for them, I am all for it!!! Thanks!!

  4. I really loved the idea of the post-it-note idea!! I know that I will be using this with my students. I also loved the circle key words. This helps in so many way
    Thanks!!

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