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Improving reading comprehension of severely struggling readers or nonreaders


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Title: Improving reading comprehension of severely struggling readers or nonreaders

Improving reading comprehension of severely
struggling readers or non-readers
  • Presenters from Winthrop University
  • Dr. Elke Schneider (Ph.D.)
  • Ashley Costley
  • Shannon Clayton
  • Pam Wade

Presentation Outline
  • What is reading comprehension?
  • What causes non-reading or severe struggles with
  • What strategies can we use that integrate
    balanced literacy and respect age and cognition
  • Literature references
  • Questions?

What is reading comprehension?
  • According to (Maria, 1990 Blachowicz Ogle,
  • Ability to draw meaning/information from written
    text and its surrounding cues to
  • Draw inferences about implications, consequences,
    future events (science, social studies, ELA,
  • Find solutions to stated problems (math, science,
  • Learn information to retrieve for different types
    of tests (social studies, sciences, math)
  • Memorize for oral performance (theater)

What causes non-reading and severe reading
  • Uncorrected or -able vision problems
  • Birth defects, genetically based
  • Cognitive overall deficits due to
  • Birth defects, disease, accident,
    psycho-emotional traumata (abuse), MR as part of
    other disability (e.g., spina biphida)
  • Cognitive deficits in the left hemisphere due to
  • Genetically based disability (e.g., dyslexia)
  • Environmentally induced (e.g., Fetal Alcohol

CausesBasic brain hemisphere responsibilities
for reading
  • Details of letter/word shapes
  • Details of meaning
  • Details of sentence structures
  • Abstract meanings
  • and concepts
  • Global pictures
  • pictures
  • Main ideas, general flow of arguments
  • General layout of a text
  • Indirect messages when supported by
  • Direct, concrete meanings, hands-on, processes

What are effective remediation strategies?
  • General considerations
  • Tap into strong learning channels (generally
    R-side) to accommodate weaker learning channels
    (generally L-side)
  • Practice attention to detail of letter patterns/
    word patterns through detail on pictures
  • Using non-text picture books first, move to short
    text picture books - increasingly more text with
    pictures - newspaper with picture support -
    texts/chapters w/o pictures

What are effective remediation strategies?
  • General considerations cont.
  • Moving from easy to more complex tasks so that
    student experiences the I can do it!
  • Picture interpretation orally
  • Picture interpretation fluency orally
  • Reading picture books with brief large print text
    (McClelland-Tiedt, 2000)
  • Reading Fluency practice with attention to
    punctuation of dialog-like text with picture cues

What are effective remediation strategies?
  • General considerations cont.
  • Moving from self-composed text to other
    author-composed text (kinesthetic-tactile
  • Writing progresses from phrases/keywords to
    complete sentences to advanced complex sentences
    on the premise that what I can write I can
    understand when I read it
  • Materials used are laminated sentence strips
    dry erase markers, post-it notes pencils,
  • Text for advertisement pictures
    compare/contrast activ.
  • Text for pictures in picture books (post-it
  • Text for newspaper pictures - headlines

Strategies Part 1
  • Students predict content of ad-picture.
  • Students then see product.
  • Students write their ad for the product
  • Students compare their ad with the one from the
    magazine authentic reading interest
  • Teacher must prepare any non-phonetic, unusual
    vocabulary in the magazine ad to assure success
    for struggling reader (see Henry, M. (2003)
    Unlocking literacy for prep. Ideas)
  • Teacher highlights 1 reading strategy that was
    effective other than predicting based on ad
    picture (which often is misleading in advertising
    on purpose)

Strategies Part 2
  • UTILIZE INTEREST in natural speech dramatic
  • Students see pictures of a book that has text BUT
    it is kept from them.
  • They first give it a try to create a dialogue for
    each scene.
  • The teacher assists in this stage with spelling
    and essential punctuation to mark intonation (not
    .. yet)
  • 2 students work together and practice the
    dialogue until they can perform it with natural

Strategies Part 2
  • In this stage, the teacher provides the picture
    cues for each stage on OH so that entire class
    can follow
  • After reading performance, students provide a
    reason for their dialogue content per scene
    (interpretation of non-verbal messages in
  • Later, they compare it with the versions of their
    peers reading different peers passages
  • Once teacher has collected all the different
    versions for each of the dialog scenes, the
    students read/listen to the original book version

Strategies Part 2
  • the task is then to compare that version with
    their version. Did they interpret the gestures
    differently? Did they use more complex language?
    How did that show?
  • Next comes the task to change their dialogue into
    different registers/ styles based on the dialogue
  • first colloquial (same age partners),
  • Then respectful of a person older than them
    (grandparent of a friend, person in neighborhood,
    a mentor, a coach),
  • then professionally formal (for a job interview
    with vocabulary and expressions essential for
    success in this setting)

Strategies Part 3
  • Students use 6-8 pictures and place them in a
    sequence that makes sense to them.
  • Based on that sequence, they give the story first
    oral, then written text using sentence strips of
    post-it notes.
  • Students retell story to different classmates and
    modify story based on feedback
  • Teacher encourages increasingly more complex
    sentence structures.

Strategies Part 3
  • Students read their story to individual peers
  • Student then compares and contrasts his/her story
    with that in the actual book by designing a VENN
    diagram analysis.
  • This is first reflected on orally, then in
    writing in simple statements. The student reads
    his/her findings repeatedly to different
    classmates as they all compare their different
    analyses with the original authors version.
  • Use of computer program Inspiration is motivating
    and encourages reading

Strategies Part 4
  • Excellent resources advertisement pictures,
    pictures from National Geographic magazines, and
    non-text books from authors like David Wiesner
  • Students learn that multiple interpretations of
    pictures are possible and that these can be
    expressed first in simple and then in
    increasingly more expanded ways.

Strategies Part 4
  • While good readers and writers are responsible
    for the text interpretation and writing of the
    entire book, struggling readers are responsible
    only for 1-2 pages. They turn out a story to read
    based on those 1-2 pages.
  • The drafting of ideas progresses from
  • using post it notes with phrases to
  • Using post t it notes with simple sentences
  • Using sentence strips to expand simple sentences
    to more complex ones that are attached with
    sticky tack to the book page or with transparency
  • Digital photos can document the process.
  • Flip charts can be used to work out each stage as
    well to document for students how they moved from
    one stage to the next.

Strategies Part 4
  • Another practice with picture books for
    non-readers is to make them comfortable with
    specific types of sentences with specific
    structures by
  • Writing them for each picture and then having to
    read them out to peers in an attempt to compare
    and contrast all possible kinds of sentences for
    a set of pictures.
  • The structure elements of the sentence to be
    practiced is being highlighted through color
  • EXAMPLES QUESTIONS (playing detective) Why is
    the whale so close to shore? What is the black
    thing swimming on the surface there? When did it
    show up first? Under what circumstances?
  • STATEMENTS in one sentence, in 2-part sentences
    with 1 conjunction (and, or but, yet) or 1
    conjunction that shows one part as a dependent of
    the other (because, while) Because the black
    thing showed up, the whale came close to the
    then are to be emphasized during reading. One
    hour ago, the black thing showed up on the
    surface. Then, the whale appeared.

Strategies Part 4
  • COMPARISON PATTERNS asas, .-er than, -est of
    all, most. of all, more. than any.
  • looks as if.., appear like a.,
  • IDIOMS acted like a bull in a china shop, had a
    sweet tooth
  • CLEFT SENTENCE It is/was this. that.
  • IF CLAUSE SENTENCES If , would .
  • WHEN CLAUSE When., ..
  • AFTER/BEFORE CLAUSE After/before ,
  • BECAUSE CLAUSE Because ., ..
  • PREPOSITION CLAUSE Under these circumstances, .
  • On these conditions,
  • For these reasons, .
  • In this case,
  • According to this author,
  • According to these pictures/this information,

Literature References
  • A. Picture Books with no or few words
  • publications by Laura
    Appleton-Smith with picture cards for story
    telling and writing
  • Lindsay Barrett George (2004). Inside Mouse,
    outside mouse. New York, NY Greenwillow
    Books/Harper Collins.also as paperback
  • Dog Carl- series wordless Day , Alexandra
    (1997). Good Dog, Carl. New York, NY Alladin
  • Du Quette Keith (2002). They call me woolly. What
    animal names can tell us. New York, NY Putnam
  • Freyman, Saxton Elffers, Joost (1999). How are
    you peeling? Foods with moods. New York, NY
  • Raschka, Chris (1993). Yo! Yes? New York, NY
    Orchards Paperbacks.
  • Wiesner, D. (2006). Flotsam.New York, NY
    Clarion Books.

Literature References
  • Picture Books with no or few words cont.
  • Wiesner, D. (1999). Sector 7.Houghton Mifflin.
  • Wiesner, D. (1991). Tuesday. New York, NY
    Clarion, 1991) ISBN 0-395-55113-7
  • Wiesner, D. (1988). Free Fall, Lothrop, Lee
    Shepard Books. ISBN 0-688-05583-4
  • Lehman, B. (2004). The red book.Houghton Mifflin
    ISBN 0-618-42858-5
  • Abstract Alphabet (Chronicle, 2001) Illus. by
    Paul Cox. ISBN 0-8118-2940-5
  • Anno's Journey (Philomel, 1978) Illus. by Anno.
    ISBN 0-399-20762-7
  • Anno's Spain (Philomel, 2004) Illus. by Anno.
    ISBN 0-399-24238-4

Literature References
  • A. Picture Books with no or few words cont.
  • The Boy, The Bear, The Baron, The Bard (Roaring
    Brook, 2004) Illus. by Gregory Rogers. ISBN
  • Changes, Changes (Macmillan, 1971) Illus. by Pat
    Hutchins. ISBN 0-02-745870-9
  • Clementina's Cactus (Viking, 1999) Illus. by Ezra
    Jack Keats. ISBN 0-670-88545-2
  • Clown (Holt, 1996) Illus. by Quentin Blake. ISBN
  • A Day, A Dog (Front Street, 2000) Illus. by
    Gabrielle Vincent. ISBN 1-886910-51-0
  • Deep in the Forest (Dutton, 1976) Illus. by
    Brinton Turkle. ISBN 0-525-28617-9
  • Dinosaur! (HarperCollins, 2000)Illus. by Peter
    Sís. ISBN 0-688-17049-8

Literature References
  • A. Picture Books with no or few words cont.
  • Do You Want to be My Friend? (Philomel, 1988)
    Illus. by Eric Carle. ISBN 0-399-21598-0
  • Follow Carl! (Farrar, Straus Giroux, 1998)
    Illus. by Alexandra Day. ISBN 0-374-34380-2
  • The Forty-Six Little Men (HarperCollins, 1991)
    Illus. by Jan Mogensen. ISBN 0-688-09283-7
  • Four Hungry Kittens (Dial, 1996) Illus. by Emily
    Arnold McCully. ISBN 0-8037-2505-1
  • Freight Train (Morrow, 1978) Illus. by Donald
    Crews. ISBN 0-688-80165-X
  • Good Night, Garden Gnome (Dial, 2001) Illus. by
    Jamichael Henterly. ISBN 0-8037-2531-0
  • The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher (Simon
    Schuster, 1980) Illus. by Molly Bang. ISBN

Literature References
  • A. Picture Books with no or few words cont.
  • Home (Greenwillow, 2004)Illus. by Jeannie Baker
    ISBN 0-06-623935-4
  • Island Dog (Two Dog Press, 1999) Illus. by
    Rebecca Goodale. ISBN 1-89109-003-8
  • Little Star (Hyperion, 2003)Illus. by Antonin
    Louchard. ISBN 0-7868-1939-1
  • Magpie Magic A Tale of Colorful Mischief
    (Putnam, 1999) Illus. by April Wilson. ISBN
  • Midnight Adventures of Kelly, Dot, and Esmeralda
    (McElderry, 1999) Illus. by John S. Goodall. ISBN
  • Mysteries of Harris Burdick (Houghton Mifflin,
    1984) Illus. by Chris Van Allsburg
  • An Ocean World (HarperCollins, 1992) Illus. by
    Peter Sis. ISBN 0-688-09067-2

Literature References
  • A. Picture Books with no or few words cont.
  • Oh! (Abrams, 2000) Illus. by Josse Goffin. ISBN
  • Pancakes for Breakfast (Harcourt Brace, 1990)
    Illus. by Tomie de Paola. ISBN 0-15-259455-8
  • Peep! (Peachtree, 2003) Illus. by Kevin Luthardt.
    ISBN 1-56145-046-4
  • Rain (Doubleday, 1982) Illus. by Peter Spier.
    ISBN 0-385-15484-4
  • Re-Zoom (Viking, 1995) Illus. by Istvan Banyai.
    ISBN 0-670-86392-0
  • The Red Balloon.
  • The Ring (HarperCollins, 1996) Illus. by Lisa
    Maizlish. ISBN 0-688-14217-6
  • Silent Night (Antheneum, 2001) Illus. by Sandy
    Turner. ISBN 0-689-84156-6

Literature References
  • A. Picture Books with no or few words cont.
  • Sidewalk Circus (Candlewick Press, 2004)
    Presented by Paul Fleischman and Kevin Hawkes.
    ISBN 0-7636-1107-7
  • A Small Miracle (Random House, 1997) Illus. by
    Peter Collington. ISBN 0-679-88725-3
  • The Snowman (Random House, 1986) Illus. by
    Raymond Briggs. ISBN 0-394-93973-5
  • Tabby A Story in Pictures (HarperCollins, 1995)
    Illus. by Aliki. ISBN 0-06-024915-3
  • Time Flies (Random House, 1994) Illus. by Eric
    Rohmann. ISBN 0-517-59598-2
  • The Tooth Fairy (Alfred A (Knopf, 1995) Illus. by
    Peter Collington. ISBN 0-679-97168-8
  • Tuba Lessons (Creative Editions, 1997) Illus. by
    Monique Felix. ISBN 0-152-01643-0

Literature References
  • A. Picture Books with no or few words cont.
  • Window (Greenwillow, 1991)Illus. by by Jeannie
    Baker. ISBN 0-688-08918-6
  • Why? (North-South, 1996)Illus. by Nikolai Popov.
    ISBN 1-55858-534-6
  • The Yellow Balloon (Front Street, 2003) Illus. by
    Charlotte Dematons. ISBN 1-932425-01-2
  • Yellow Umbrella (Kane/Miller, 2002)Illus. by
    Jae-Soo Lui. ISBN 1-929132-36-0
  • Zoom (Viking, 1995) Illus. by Istvan Banyai. ISBN
  • TANA HOBAN BOOKS on shapes, colors, numbers good
    for compare-contrast language support orally in
    reading and in writing completely textless
    originally for K-3 BUT pictures can be used for
    challenging text patterns

Literature References
  • B. Simple-word powerful Poetry
  • Shel Silverstein poems or Jack Prelutzky poems
  • (2004)Secrets of serenity by Running Press any other short poems
    about life philosophical ideas)
  • Poetry by Mattie J. T. Stepanek
  • (2002). Journey through heartsongs. New York, NY
    Hyperion Books.
  • (2001). Heartsongs. New York, NY Hyperion
    Books.Any of
  • C. Picture Books for Middle School reference
  • McClellan Tiedt, I. (2000). Teaching with picture
    books in middle school. Newark, DE
    International Reading Association.

Literature References
  • D. Selected Research Support
  • Blachowitcz, C. Ogle, D. (2001). Reading
    Comprehension. Strategies for independent
    learners.New York, NY Guildford Press.
  • Culham, R. (2004). Using picture books to teach
    writing wirh the traits. An annotated
    bibliography of more than 200 titles with teacher
    tested lessons. New York, NY Scholastic.
  • Maria, K. (1991). Reading Comprehension
    Instruction. Issues and Strategies. Parkton, MD
    York Press (now ProEd)
  • Sheppard, R. Ruebel, K, Sheppard, K., Stratton,
    B. Zigo, D. (2004). Using Literature to connect
    young adolescent concerns through the
    curriculum.Westerville, OH National Middle
    School Association.