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2Teach2Learn 07-12-2011 11:07 AM

Hello all! I have a question for you all. I have had students in the past that were speed readers. They may have read with 99% accuracy, but did not comprehend material. What recommendations do you have for teaching kiddos to slow down? I have thought about having them tape record themselves, but other than that, I am not sure how else to help show them the importance of reading fluently (which doesn't mean being a speed reader!!).


5thGrdTeachTN 07-12-2011 11:14 AM

A strategy I have used is chunking. I teach students to stop at the end of a paragraph or page depending on the level of the text and the level of the reader. At each stopping point the student jots down the main idea of what s/he has read on a post it note. This forces them to stop and think about what they are reading rather than just reading the words. It is a process that has to be modeled, practiced and monitored (ad nauseum for some), but I have found the effort to be worth it:).

teach3rd 07-12-2011 11:15 AM

According to the 95% training that we received, a student who reads fast and accurate should be comprehending. If they are not comprehending then some sort of nonsense word fluency assessments should be done. It is possible that he/she has great site word recognition but not decoding. If the assessment shows that they need some sort of decoding then you would need to start there before you can work on slowing down or comprehension. If there isn't any decoding problems then you would possibly need to try working on reading with expression and comprehension strategies. I hope that helps. I am new to 95% so hope I didn't botch up what I learned.

luv2teachkids 07-12-2011 12:08 PM

I respect what teach3rd said, and s/he obviously has a lot of knowledge about teaching reading, but I disagree with using nonsense word assessments. (I know a lot of people use them, but I'm just generally opposed to them on principle.) I think you would get as much information about decoding ability by using leveled word lists and see how high kids can go. Noting how they decode multisyllabic words can tell you a lot about their decoding skills.

I also think you can get kids to highlight punctuation. Have them use a highlighter or colored pencil to mark periods and commas. This will remind them to slow down.

Also, students can partner read, much like 5thGrdTeach suggested, only instead of jotting thoughts down on a post it, the listening partner summarizes the reading. Every paragraph or page, the students switch who is the listener/summarizer and who is the reader. The person who reads can look back at the text to be sure the summary is accurate.

dshap66 07-12-2011 12:58 PM

Robot reading vs Real Reading
There is a great lesson in Tanny McGregor's book,"Comprehension Connections". She teaches about metacognition by making a reading salad. You only need a bowl and red and green pieces of paper. While you are reading something with the class - you put in a red piece of paper (to represent tomatoes and text) in the bowl; but everytime you stop and think about your reading you put in a green piece of paper (to represent lettuce). Soon the kids see that there is a lot of thinking while reading. You could have students physically make the salad while they are reading.

The book is great because it takes several comprehension strategies from the concrete to the abstract.

Also I would do lots of prompting for meaning. It takes time but eventually they start to make connections. In addition, they need to learn to pay attention to punctuation. That also helps with meaning.

acorngirl 07-12-2011 02:59 PM

I think I'm thinking of the right thing...but a good old fashioned metronome. the thing that pianists will use to help keep the beat. :) It helps them slow down their reading.

Mark Penning 07-13-2011 06:57 AM

MA Reading Specialist
Yes... over-emphasis of fluency drills can create this read-fast+accurate, but understand-retain-little phenomenon. The salad answer and summarize advice are getting close to your fix; however, more specific modeling/practice is needed: Google the following: How to Use Think-Alouds to Teach Reading Comprehension and How to Increase Reading Comprehension Using the SCRIP Comprehension Strategies. The former gives you the direction instruction piece; the latter gives you the modeling and instructional practice piece, including some cool internal monitoring bookmarks.

Think I had better write an article on this issue. Thanks for the inspiration! Check the Pennington Publishing Blog soon.

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