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Journal > The Reading Teacher
What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Comprehension
by Laura S. Pardo
|Grades||K – 8|
This article presents a model of comprehension to support classroom teachers as they engage their students in making meaning from text. Four areas contribute to the comprehension process: the reader, the context, the text, and the transaction, which is described as the intersection of the reader and text situated within a specific context. This model is used to describe research-based, practical applications for teachers as they provide support for comprehension in grades K–6. Teachers support the reader by teaching decoding skills, helping children build fluency, building and activating students' background knowledge, teaching vocabulary skills, motivating students, and engaging students in personal response to text. Teachers support the text by teaching text structures, modeling appropriate text selection, and providing regular independent reading time. Teachers create and support a sociocultural context that values reading and writing, contains a wide variety of texts, allows students to take risks, and provides time for reading aloud independently. Teachers support transaction by providing explicit instruction of comprehension strategies, teaching children to monitor and repair, using multiple strategy approaches, scaffolding support, and making reading and writing connections visible to students.
Pardo, L.S. (2004). What every teacher needs to know about comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 58, 272-280.
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