For the purposes of our discussion here, comprehension strategies have been grouped into two categories.1. ACTIVE READING STRATEGIESThese occur at the time of reading and are fundamental to the concept of “digging around in the text for clues to make sure we have got the message right” emphasising the role of the reader as an active who is constructing meaning rather than a passive participant in the reading process. As they occur during the meaning making stage they are considered to be SENTENCE LEVEL COMPREHENSION STRATEGIES as they are occurring at the sentence level. These strategies are listed on the next page and are representative of the findings from current reading research on comprehension. In reality, as they occur in the head of the reader, they are all very interdependent and intertwined with each other. The approach suggested here is to explain, model and practice each one individually and then guide the student through integrating them and acknowledging their use through “thinking aloud” in a guided reading group. The speed that these strategies will be acquired will depend on the individual learner. Some students already do this very intuitively and pick up the metacognition very quickly. Other will take a considerable amount of time. The explicit instruction and practice of these 'Active Reading' strategies occurs during our Guided Silent Reading process and are the focus of Stages 3 and 4 of our training programme CSI ONLiNE. 2. BIG PICTURE STRATEGIES These occur after reading in the sense that they are reflective strategies aimed at constructing the big picture from the text and therefore are TEXT LEVEL COMPREHENSION STRATEGIES. To transfer information from short term memory it is important to do something with it, hence the notion of “use it or lose it”. IDENTIFYING TEXT STRUCTUREResearch tells us that good readers make use of text structure to organise and make sense out of ideas in text. Narrative TextThere are immediate comprehension gains for readers who are introduced to story webbing or story grammar. For further details on teaching text structure in narrative text see the “Short Stories” series by Handy Resources. Non Fiction—Information reportsThe text structure in transactional or non fiction text is not as evident as in narrative text where there is a plot to hang information on. The information reports in this resource are a good starting point because the text is factual and clearly divided into subtopics for each paragraph.The explicit instruction and practice of these 'Big Picture' strategies occurs during our Guided Silent Reading process and are the focus of Stage 5 of our training programme CSI ONLiNE. BLOOM’S TAXONOMY FOLLOW UP ACTIVITIES or READING RESPONSESThese are activities designed for students to work at independently after a reading session has been completed. The higher levels require indepth processing of the text and develop critical and creative thinking — important comprehension strategies.   

 

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