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Topic: Looking to help my daughter

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Subject: Looking to help my daughter
Date Posted: 1/29/2008 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2007
Posts: 1,610
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My daughters are in grades 5 and 2. They can read like crazy but they don't understand a single thing they read. Is there a book out there that I can read to help my daughters learn to comprehend?


Thanks so much


Date Posted: 1/30/2008 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,581
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If you google "learning to read for comprehension"  you'll find loads of books on the subject, but I can't recommend any particular one.  Many will likely be dry, academic reading for you. 

Some ways to help your daughters with their comprehension would be to have them make predictions about the book or story, prior to reading. Pick up a picture book, one they haven't read, and ask them to describe the picture, as well as read the title.  What do they think the story is going to be about based on those clues?  Have them write their predictions down.  This will help them to focus on the story and put some thought into the reading. 

Have them read aloud and ask questions about the story as they read.  Simple things, like what is the main character's name?  Where are they?  Ask these simple questions at the end of every two pages or so, to keep them focused on what they are reading and paying attention to detail.

After reading, have them retell the story, with details and events in proper sequence.  Also, look at the predictions they made before reading and discuss how their predictions were the same or different than the story.

Ask harder questions about the story, then allow them to go back through the book to find the answer.  This is a great test taking skill, as well.  Students are usually allowed to go back through the text on standardized tests to help locate answers and if they don't comprehend well, knowing how to find the information is a huge help.

Compare and contrast characters and events in stories.  How is this character like/unlike another.  Make them give specific details from the stories. 

If you want paper and pencil type activities, Learning Page has a neat series for kids called Tommy Tales.  They're written at a second/third grade level and come with all kinds of pencil and paper activities covering comprehension and other skills.  I use this series with my special ed 3rd graders and they absolutely  love them. You have to join the site, but it's free to join and there's a wealth of information there to play with. I have also written several book tests to go with this series based on the Ohio Achievement Test format to help my students with test prep as well as comprehension and I'd be happy to share copies with you, if you'd like.

Learning Page (the Tommy Tales series is under "books") http://learningpage.com/

If I can help in any other way, feel free to PM me.


Date Posted: 1/31/2008 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 30
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A couple more suggestions that I would make is to utilize bookadventure.org. Book Adventure is a FREE reading motivation program for children in grades K-8. Children create their own book lists from over 7,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they've read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes. In addition, watch this guided reading lesson: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7234435355880823218&q=guided+reading&total=90&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=1

It gives an excellent example of how to teach comprehension monitoring skills for reading. I'm assuming that you homeschool. Hope this helps!

Date Posted: 2/1/2008 6:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 5,297
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You can also try things teachers do like reading guides (questions they have to answer about the story as they read), vocabulary games, character outlines....anything to get them to look deeper into the book. They may be reading to quickly and that is why they are missing the point. Try to get them to stop at the end of the story or chapter and recall what they just read. If they can't, go over it again. Chances are, they do know what happened, they just don't know they do.

Date Posted: 2/2/2008 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 612
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Use books by Chris Tovani - an absolute expert on reading strategies.  One great one is I Read It But I Don't Get It. Her books should help!

Date Posted: 2/4/2008 12:15 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2007
Posts: 1,610
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Thanks all so much...

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 2:45 AM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
Posts: 1,728
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i have some homeschool reading books for 2nd grade and 4th grade. they have short stories with questions at the end. http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/topic.php?t=105454

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 11:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/29/2007
Posts: 1,820
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This is from a high school English teacher... But the buzzword for what I use is "think-along" -- I stop my students after every couple of paragraphs and ask pointed questions about what we read. Not factual questions, but inferencing, making predictions, consolidating information, etc.

Read with them every night,  but make them stop regularly and explain what they've read. Unfortunately, we're putting so much emphasis on fluency that I'm getting 11th readers who can read fast out loud, but don't comprehend a word of it!


Date Posted: 2/24/2008 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2007
Posts: 236
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I want to echo what the last person said.  Every page or so, ask them questions about what they have read, and what they think will happen next.  If they can't do those two things, go back and have them re-read the page or read it to them.  It should help a lot.  I read but I don't get it is an excellent resource for you:)  Keep tyring, they'll pick it up.