Building interested and passionate readers through a reader's workshop.
What Is Reading Comprehension?
Do you remember the first time when you read a book? Unfortunately, my passion and love for reading came much later in life when I had already finished elementary. However, the guidance of a teacher can make a difference, and that is how I discovered a joy for reading. Reading is a beautiful experience that unfolds stories from all around the world. Books take us into magical words (this is for all the Harry Potter fanatics out there) and they also speak to our experiences. No matter the reason, books are empowering in many ways.
In our classrooms, the form of reading comes through reading comprehension. It is in these lessons that we create and share spaces for our students to become avid readers - one can truly hope - who stay up late reading under their bedsheets.
What exactly is reading comprehension? In reading comprehension, teachers aim to model how to read well and how to use different literacy elements and skills to understand the text. Our students would not be able to make sense of the text without a program that focuses on comprehension. Reading Rockets explains that a goal of reading comprehension "is to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and experiences they must have if they are to become competent and enthusiastic readers."
I believe one of the major pitfalls of teachers who implement a balanced literacy program is their push towards reaching reading levels rather than a focus on building joy and passion around reading. The Reading Zone is a wonderful book about building independent reading in our students. The author consistently mentions that we create these forums to ensure our students enjoy reading. Similarly, Strategies That Work focuses on active literacy where students learn how to read while also thinking when reading a book or text. As teachers, we have the responsibility to ensure our students enjoy reading and making reading a fun process. And, in fact, they actually enjoy reading. They just require a bit of support to figure out what works for them.