We all know that reading is so much more than simply sounding out letters on a page. For many kids, understanding what they are reading and answering questions about it can be very difficult! Here are 5 things we can do to help improve reading comprehension skills!
1) Boost Confidence - Sometimes kids have so little confidence in themselves as readers, that they give up before they even try! Something I love to do is play a game of charades to show students that they are already good at using context clues! During the game, the students use clues to figure out what the person is trying to get them to say. It's the same thing while reading. They use the clues in the text to figure out things that aren't actually said.
2) Ask Questions - As they are reading, ask them questions to get them thinking about what they are reading. Some good examples would be, "Why do you think she did that?" "What would you have done?" "What do you think he was feeling?" "What do you think will happen next?"
3) Read Aloud - Having students read aloud to themselves is a great way to improve comprehension, especially for those who are auditory learners. In a classroom setting, try to have a space away from others where those who need it can go and read aloud without bothering other students. Another part of this is when you read aloud to them! Many people think that once kids are past early elementary that you don't need to read aloud to them anymore, but it is important to continue for many years after that so they can hear what fluent reading sounds like and learn new vocabulary.
4) Learn Vocabulary - When kids come across a word they don't know, many of them will just skip over it and keep reading, not bothering to think about what the word might mean. Incorporate vocabulary lessons into your day - especially specific words that you know are in the students' readings. Knowing what a few words mean can have a great impact on a student's comprehension!
5) Make it Fun - I believe kids can learn anything if you make it interesting and fun for them! Play games with vocabulary words, act out parts of a story, and let students read comic books and joke books instead of a chapter book sometimes.
One resource that I have created to help in this area is my Logic Puzzles Galore set! Logic puzzles are awesome for helping kids use context clues and deductive reasoning to come to conclusions!
There are 40 regular puzzles in this pack, plus 3 challenge puzzles to really get your kids thinking. You can check it out here!
For more help with students who are just beginning the reading process, see this post!