Over the next few weeks we’re going to be doing a mini-series all about reading comprehension and critical thinking. Let’s start by talking about three steps for differentiating comprehension:

  1. Make sure that your kids don’t have a reading issue! Kids will no doubt struggle with comprehension if they don’t know how to decode words or read multisyllabic words.
  1. Make sure your kids have basic comprehension skills – without them, they won’t be able to get fancier in their thinking. There are FIVE fundamental skills to improve and assess reading comprehension:
    • Recall: can they remember what approximately happened 
    • Retell: can they retell the story in their own words
    • Summarizing: can they write about what they read
    • Note-taking: can they take notes while read to enhance their understanding
    • Analysis: can they think about the reading and make connections, draw conclusions, and connect to their lives

If kids do not know how to do these five things, you must explicitly teach these skills to improve comprehension. 

  1. Look at your content. Kids will comprehend and critically think about content specifically. If you see that some kids can think deeply about history content but they’re struggling in science, that is a content related issue.You need to spend more time on your content, teaching the skills to understand that specific content.

For more help and tips on how to help break down the steps of comprehension for your students please order the following book:

Books can be found at amazon.com jackson-consulting.com/buy-stuff/