Wednesday, January 7, 2009
As students progress from Levels A through E (pre emergent to emergent reading), it is important to check for comprehension of the text. Asking questions before, during, and after reading is a great indicator for monitoring understanding of a story. In addition to verbally asking questions, we are teaching the students how to take a written comprehension test. For the next few months, we will be gradually teaching the children some beginning test taking strategies. Starting with simple lessons on how to find the best answer, how to bubble in an answer, and how to go back and highlight the answer are this month's goals. For example, questions such as "Where did this story take place?" or "What is the problem in the story" may be asked. We use mini stories (about a paragraph long) to start these exercises. We also use stories in our new reading series by Houghlin Mifflin to teach and expand these test taking skills. These stories are wonderful exercises in teaching the students how to read the story and then be able to go back in the text and prove their answers. Using a highlighter also helps in the excitement of locating the answer and then having the satisfaction of knowing that the answer is correct. By doing these exercises, students are learning basic test taking strategies that will help them in their school career and the bonus of having fun at the same time! No test taking anxiety around here!!