• Integrating Comprehension Instruction Within the Middle School ELA Curriculum

      Giblin, Thomas R.; Udyak, Ulyana; The College at Brockport (2015-12-18)
      Reading comprehension, influenced by factors such as fluency and vocabulary, is a struggle among K-12 students, but especially middle school students. Since the implementation of the CCSS and a push for more rigorous reading material, the task of ensuring students comprehend complex texts is a challenging one for teachers. Due to the nature of reading comprehension, it’s a skill difficult to assess, leaving teachers unsure when and how to implement it into their already demanding curriculum. But reading comprehension is not a skill that necessarily needs to be taught, it’s one that has to be practiced independently by students. Therefore, the teachers’ role is to encourage and expect the use of comprehension strategies. The application portion of this essay models a mini-unit of strategies that students are introduced to, and a novel unit demonstrating how seamlessly these comprehension strategies can be incorporated into a typical novel unit. Throughout the month-long unit students are presented with many opportunities to independently use the comprehension strategies they were taught, self-monitoring their understanding of the text. The goal is to ensure students don’t view the comprehension strategies as just another portion of the curriculum, but as tools to refer to across subject areas and grade levels to guide them through the reading process.