I use the following reading strategies with my students to help them become more involved with their reading. These can be used with the struggling reader to help increase her comprehension and to help her alleviate any frustration.
HOWEVER, the most important element to comprehending what one reads is background knowledge. Many students that I have tutored had been introduced to these strategies but they were still having trouble comprehending what they read. If this is happening with your child, then his background knowledge is probably not broad enough.
Reading strategies, once taught and mastered, does not need to be retaught over and over again. Often times many grammar textbooks will concentrate on the main idea, and the supporting sentences. This is okay when a student is seeking how to make meaning from print during reading. It is also necessary for students to know when they learn how to write paragraphs.
HOWEVER, once a student learns what a main idea is and what supporting sentences are, usually in about 6 lessons, there is no point in revisiting this topic. What is important is that they are able to relate this information to what is relevant in the reading and how the details will help answer the who, what and where.
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3. Students can read a passage in pairs. Have one student read; the other student will ask the questions. This can also be done with a parent or teacher asking the questions and the child doing the reading. Then switch so the parent/teacher is reading and the child is asking the questions about what was just read. This will help the student practice this part of the reading strategies out loud.
When the student is done reading, ask him to summarize what he just read. This can be at the end of a paragraph, at the end of a page or at the end of the chapter. In order to teach this skill, start with summarizing the paragraph and work up to summarizing the book.
The same strategies listed above will work with content reading. Content reading is reading textbooks. HOWEVER, here is an easy acronym, INFER, to help students remember what they need to do when they are "on their own."
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