Friday, July 6, 2012

Today in reading comprehension...

My oldest son struggles with reading comprehension. He taught himself to read at 3 years old, which prompted us to question him greatly, and was always a very fluent and expressive reader. The problem is, he has no idea what he is reading. That comprehension aspect is a major issue for him.

This past year, his reading teacher tried to teach so many strategies to help him, and I really don't think a single one took. He will still look at you with a completely blank expression, or go back and re-read and still not be able to pick out the answer when it is written in black and white.

My concern was, that in the whole year he was in school, he is no better at comprehension than when he started. This is certainly not the school's fault. He was in tutoring, CEI, and I read with him every single day. But if he can't answer very basic questions where the answers are explicitly stated in the passage, then how is he going to be able to infer??? Inference is a huge skill...

So we are experimenting with graphic organizers and other methods to help him improve his comprehension. Today's lesson involved pictures drawn on the whiteboard.

We did an overview of the board, read a book, reviewed the board, and then answered the questions. I wouldn't say he was great at it, but I am really encouraging to mentally ask himself questions as he reads. My hope is that instead of reading and entire passage and then answering questions, that he can read one paragraph at a time, then look at the questions to see if that one paragraph had the answer in it. He simply cannot handle a multi-paragraph passage followed by 10 questions.

It makes me nervous for next year, especially since everyone in his ARD committee is new. My positive thought on this is that because this will be their first year, they will be very motivated to utilize all of his modifications on a daily basis. The power of positive thinking! New principal, new counselor, new speech therapist, new special ed teacher, new special ed aide, and three new teachers. I have been praying all summer!

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