I wanted to share a series of reading comprehension workbooks with you that I picked up while visiting family in the United States this past March. Below you’ll find out how I decide on the workbook level and how I teach my own children reading comprehension skills at home. I hope that this information can be of help if your children are still distance learning.
How I choose their grade level:
My children are bilingual and because they have mainly stay focused on their French writing skills, I decided to pick out workbooks in English that were below their current grade level. This gives us two benefits:
1) It allows me to go through the steps of reading and answering questions about these types of texts while using language and vocabulary that is easier for them to understand.
2) It also allows them to reach a level of understanding with more ease, thereby increasing their level of confidence.
Teacher tips on how to approach a reading comprehension exercise:
1. Read the title and study the images that accompany the text
2. Give your child the opportunity to talk about any previous knowledge that they may have (or have observed/heard about) on the subject
3. Read the questions and make sure that the child understands what they are asking
4. Circle any key words in the questions that they should probably look out for in the next
5. Read the text paragraph by paragraph.
6. Remind your child that the main idea of the paragraph is usually in the first sentence of that paragraph. Have them underline or circle the main idea.
7. Underline any important pieces of information and circle any key words.
8. Periodically look back at the questions. If you think that you’ve found an answer in the text, label it with star.
9. Once you are done reading you can begin answering the questions. Remind your child that they must be able to “prove” their answers by finding them in the text. Once they find an answer they can label it with the same number as the question it answers.
10. Explain that some questions might ask them for their opinion. This is a good time to discuss the difference between a fact and an opinion. To keep it simple, facts are things that you can prove (with evidence) while opinions are your personal feelings or point of view about things.
While this process takes time and patience to initially install, once they’ve become accustomed you should be able to see a huge difference in how they evaluate texts. After a short while they should become autonomous enough to complete most of the steps on their own.
Have a lovely day everyone!