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Topic: Elementary Reading Comp Question

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Subject: Elementary Reading Comp Question
Date Posted: 6/17/2010 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 7/9/2009
Posts: 186
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I'm a middle school reading teacher, but I will be tutoring a third grader in reading comprehension. I'm looking for some pointers because it's been awhile since I worked with such a young student.

Apparently, she's a pretty good reader - she's reading at grade level, if not higher - but her family is insisting on extra help.

So, what are some good ways to go about helping her? Any suggestions on activities, materials, concepts/topics to work on?

I'd so appreciate any advice. Thanks!

Date Posted: 6/17/2010 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,571
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Sarah, I would start by looking at the reading comprehension standards for her grade level.  I work with special needs students grades K-6, so I'm in a lot of gen. ed reading classrooms; the biggest problems I see in grades 3-6 are with making and understanding inferences, using information in a non-fiction selection to fill in a chart or any kind of graphic organizer, and using information from a literary selection to answer an extended response question.  Students,both gen. ed. and special ed. just don't want to be bothered going back through a selection to find answers.  Check her vocabulary as that is another weak spot for students.  She may be able to read the words, but does she truly understand what these words mean.  Think about the things you wish your middle school students knew and use that as your starting point.  Don't forget to ask her what she thinks her weak areas are.  :-)

Date Posted: 6/18/2010 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,835
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I homeschool my 7 year old grandson who has high functioning Autism. He's on grade level and going into 3rd grade.  We've worked intensively on standards based reading, writing and vocabulary. I second Sandy in assessing your students vocabulary. It's so easy for readers to read words in context and not really know what they mean. Sometimes students are not able to express what words mean and are not able to generalize what they've learned in different contexts.One suggestion is: I would find out what your students passion is and build from there. My personal philosophy is that students are your best resources. I'm sure you won't have too much time to assess her in depth, but sometimes children are your best guide. You'll have to judge for yourself if that's true in your situtaion. I also second using graphic organizers, inferences and expansion of ideas. I don't know if you've ever used Kidspiration, but I love it and it can be so much fun. I have a few workbooks on inferences if your interested in knowing the names. I think higher order thinking is the way to go. I'll just shoot out some ideas: you can use unit study on a particular subject and do whole language activities, you can make a "lapbook", which is fun, creative and educational. It also can be motivational. Kids love to create while they learn. Any project centered around subject matter, comprehension, vocabulary, etc. I'm sure would be welcomed. Something about summer: Kids want to enjoy their summer. School can be stressful. Try to use comic material, something light and airy and fun. One other thing. Find out what your students stregnths are. What is her favorite subject and why. You might find out a wealth of information.

You have a two fold job. One is your student, the other is the parents. If you can't please your parents your not going to go far. I would assess your parents and find out what their goals are for their child and why. What kind of personality and behavior your student has.

I know you'll do well,



Date Posted: 7/12/2010 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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I teach 4th grade and I would recommend that you look into QARS--Question and Answer Relationships.  Many third grade readers, while fine with basic recall questions, are not prepared for the questions that are hidden beneath the text.  QARS is a way to address that.   You can use graphic organizers and Thinking Maps with QARS skills.