Stage 3: Constructing Meaning - Description
"A Systematic Approach to Comprehension Strategy Instruction"
For readers who have developed some fluency with decoding now is the time to learn how to dig into text to construct meaning and think critically. Rather than tackle the "Comprehension Smorgasbord" with a little bit of this and a little bit of that, we provide you with our tried and proven developmental comprehension progression, Stages 3 through 6, which provides systematic coverage of increasingly complex strategies. You will be amazed at what you learn about the way your readers are processing text.
Stage 3: "Unpacking Sentences" (Constructing Meaning)
The launching pad for Comprehension Strategy Instruction is Stage 3. Whether your readers are working at text with a reading age of 15+ years or 7 years, this is their starting point. Our simple routine (which we think is quite unique) shifts the locus of control from the teacher to the students, providing them with the opportunity to truly habitualise independent comprehension skills that transfer into everyday reading.
Stage 3 Start-Up Workshop
Our start-up workshop is an ideal way to get going. Teachers appreciate the opportunity for face-to-face interaction as we outline the research and the pedagogy behind our approach to reading instruction. The workshop is very practical. At the end of the day you should walk out feeling very confident about implementing our routines in your classroom the very next day.
Built into your workshop fee is 12 months access to Stage 3 ONLiNE which provides you with all the support you need to become TRULY fluent as a SharpReading teacher.
WORKSHOP COST: NZ $195+GST (includes 12 months access to Stage 3 ONLiNE - value NZ $99+GST)
Stage 3 ONLiNE
As we have said, 12 months access to Stage 3 ONLiNE is an integral part of your workshop fee. If you don't have access to one of our Start-Up Workshops, you can still purchase a 1 User Licence for the ONLiNE training. - everything you need to be a successful Stage 3 teacher is there waiting for you; an in-depth explanation of the theory and practice, video modelling of the routines, practical activities to develop the skills you need, lots of resources and templates.
Stage 3 ONLiNE COST: NZ $99+GST for a 1 User Licence
When are students ready to start Stage 3?
Students are ready to start Stage 3 when they are 'fluent decoders'.
Decoding and Comprehension compete for available short term memory and decoding will always trump comprehension. Therefore it is important that a certain level of decoding fluency is achieved (the decoding process is sufficiently automated to leave space in the head for other things) before asking the reader to focus their cognitive energy on some heavy duty constructing of meaning.
The criteria for moving on to Stage 3
1. The reader must demonstrate reasonable fluency at a reading age of 7 or above. That means a good flow as they are reading, not hesitant word by word decoding.
2. The reader must have an efficient word attack strategy so they can sound out and chunk unfamiliar / multisyllabic words which start appearing in the text they are reading at around a reading age of 7 years.
3. The reader must be monitoring their reading and self correcting miscues especially visual clues ("That doesn't look right!").
4. The reader must be able to hold onto the gist of the sentence - they are using the new found space in their heads to ‘hold onto meaning’ not necessarily construct it for themselves.
Students in Junior Classrooms
The usual expectation is that students in the first two years of school will be working on Stages 1&2 (Developing Decoding Strategies). Towards the end of the second year some may be meeting the criteria above and could be ready for Comprehension Strategy Instruction.
Students in Middle and Upper Primary Classrooms
In the middle and upper school (7-13 year olds) most students will be reading at or above their chronological age and will meet the criteria above.Whether they have a reading age of 7 or 15+,all students must work their way through Stage 3 as this is the foundation which Stages 4-6 are built upon.
CLICK HERE for our 'SharpReading Scope and Sequence' for schools where SharpReading has been implemented over a number of years.
In every middle and upper primary classroom there will be a number of student who still have decoding issues (1 or 2 years behind their chronological age is a useful marker) and will probably not benefit from the challenges of Stage 3.
For advice on what to do with these students, click on the link to "The Struggling Older Reader".