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Comprehension Troubles
Old 01-30-2020, 01:12 PM
 
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I have a 10 year old student who struggles with comprehension, both listening and reading. Some characteristics are:
* he can not follow multi-step verbal instructions beyond 1 step
* can do multi-step written instructions with verbal reminders and ques but often forgets what step he is on after 2nd step and needs to go back and start again
* silent reading comprehension is low according to testing and daily class performance
* reads everything out loud to himself
* thinks out loud while working, talks to himself verbalizing thoughts
* excells at math but has problems with multi-step word prblems mostly because he is not able to determine what the question is asking

I am at a loss to help him improve reading comprehension and problem solving skills. I read aloud with him daily but I am not seeing an improvement in his independent reading comp scores. We have been using graphic organizers with reading as well. His fluency is at grade level, comp level is at early 2nd grade. We read AR books at his tested level.

Any ideas?


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Old 01-30-2020, 01:39 PM
 
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My first thought is that it sound like a processing issue. How far behind grade level is he? The problem with the multi-step word problems, but excelling at math would support that. Have you brought him up for problem solving to get the ball rolling for testing and Sped?

I would also suggest visual cues when possible and maybe an if/when chart. I would also suggest keeping directions to simple one step directions or writing things on the board. I always write directions on the board for the kids.

IE: 1) Finish math-turn into bin #1
2) work on reading assignment
3) Silent read

This allows kids to go back and look so they don't have to remember. It helps kids like your students with processing issues, kids with memory issues and kids with anxiety who worry about forgetting something. It also helps me, because I have old teacher brain.
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When Reading Aloud To You
Old 01-30-2020, 02:45 PM
 
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When this boy is reading aloud to you, make him stop at the bottom of each page and tell you what happened on that page. Once he has practiced this with you over several days, see if he can do it on his own. This will (hopefully) improve his reading comprehension.

Right now, I would say he is calling the words but not making a movie in his head as he reads.

Last edited by ConnieWI; 01-31-2020 at 04:15 AM..
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:05 PM
 
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Thanks for responding and providing such good advice!

Quote:
Have you brought him up for problem solving to get the ball rolling for testing and Sped?
Yes, I have and was given Read Naturally as an intervention to work with in the classroom. I don't feel this is the right intervention for him but I'm doing it so I have the documentation. His fluency average is 98 on cold read, 110 on 3rd read with less than 3 errors on either read, often 0 errors on the hot read. Comp questions are all over the place and not consistently good or poor. None of his answers are even mediocre 4th grade quality even after reading the selection 3-4 times. Occasionally he will surprise us and write a really good answer but it is not consistent (not even 1 per selection). He has great difficulty writing his thoughts since he doesn't seem to be able to think and write at the same time. A verbal answer is usually much better but he has a habit of throwing out guesses hoping one will be right and we can move on. He does this all day every day and I am assuming it is to cover and accommodate his inability to focus on and think about what is happening in the classroom and doesn't want to be left out. More often than not his answers or comments do not even make sense or correlate with the question asked.

I do put similar directions on the board as you listed. He does use these but when he finishes step 2 he has to go back and make sure he has step 1 done. It is really a struggle if there are 4 items on our 'to do' list. It helps my old teacher brain too! Thanks for that!

We use the STAR assessments from Renaissance Place. His assessed reading level is 2.5-3.5 and has had no improvement over the course of the year. He does not read his AR books so that is not helping, I read with him daily to ensure he is getting some independent reading in, even though it is not really independent. His reading level is low, but not so low. It is the whole picture that causes my concern, especially with no improvement shown after all I am doing in the classroom. Maybe I am jumping to conclusions early but the longer we wait the harder it will be for him. He is a 4th grader. The SPED teachers response to these few and random successes with READ NATURALLY is that the intervention must be working so keep do it, even though it is not crossing over into his daily work.

Any ideas for other interventions so I can go in with strong documentation to help this kid be successful?
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:13 PM
 
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I started doing this with at the start of the school year. We had to go all the way back to retelling one sentence at a time because he could not remember anything. It has gotten better and we are now stopping for retell after half a page, but he is not consistent. Some days he can't retell a sentence again. I agree he is not making the 'mind movie' as he reads, he is just reading the words.

Unfortunately, I didn't document anything for SPED.


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Old 01-30-2020, 03:20 PM
 
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It could be an issue with working memory. Does this link describe him?

https://www.understood.org/en/school...emory-boosters

Even though the suggestions are for parents with their child, I think there are a few ideas that could help in the classroom, particularly multisensory instruction and the use of sticky notes or highlighting when reading.
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:14 PM
 
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A thought about following directions.

What would happen if he was given a numbered list of instructions and then marked them off one by one as he completed them? Perhaps he would be able to accomplish more since there would be no need to start rereading the instructions.
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