Learning Reading Comprehension Skills Online

Learning Reading Comprehension Skills Online
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Time4Learning teaches reading comprehension as part of an overall language arts program for enrichment, remediation, summer use, or homeschooling. The key reading comprehension skills, interacting with the text versus just decoding it, is taught by Time4Learning as part of an integrated language arts program delivered online including phonics, vocabulary, fluency, writing, grammar, and critical thinking.

“My child reads but she doesn’t seem to understand what she reads. What can I do?”

When teaching a young reader the basics, it’s easy to forget that “learning to read” is not the same as “reading comprehension.” By “learning to read”, most parents mean that their child is decoding words. “Reading comprehension” requires understanding, which comes after learning how to interact with the text.

Time4Learning teaches young readers how to do more than decode. They learn to interact with the text from animated characters that engage and challenge them, building a solid foundation for reading comprehension

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How Can Reading Comprehension be Taught?

If you are like most parents, you have forgotten that you had to develop reading comprehension skill. Much like learning to drive, reading comprehension becomes automatic and skilled readers forget that they had to develop their reading comprehension skill. The key to teaching reading comprehension is developing the habit of “interacting” with the text and monitoring one’s understanding.

By “learning to read”, most parents mean that the child is decoding words. But understanding what you read, “reading comprehension,” comes from developing a set of skills distinct from phonics “word decoding” skills. In fact, children should start building comprehension skills when they are still having others read to them.

Learning reading comprehension requires a strategy where lesson plans progressively develop and reinforce reading comprehension skill.

Today, the standardized high-stakes tests, such as the Florida FCAT, the Texas TAKS, the Ohio OGT, and the California Stanford 9 and SABE/2, to name a few, have focused attention by parents and educators on systematic mastering of reading skills. And learning to read online using animated, engaging, and student-paced programs like Time4Learning has proven effective for thousands of families.

What is reading comprehension?

Reading comprehension skills separates the “passive” unskilled reader from the “active” readers.Skilled readers don’t just read, they interact with the text. To help a beginning reader understand this concept, you might make them privy to the dialogue readers have with themselves while reading.

Skilled readers, for instance:

  1. Predict what will happen next in a story using clues presented in text
  2. Create questions about the main idea, message, or plot of the text
  3. Monitor understanding of the sequence, context, or characters
  4. Clarify parts of the text which have confused them
  5. Connect the events in the text to prior knowledge or experience

Time4Learning’s Strategy for Teaching Reading Comprehension Skills

With Time4Learning, these comprehension skills are taught and reinforced in a number of ways. A few examples:

When approaching a text, skilled readers are already reading the title and building ideas about what the text will say. There are Time4Learning online reading lessons that explain this and help students develop this habit. Time4Learning teaches students the important habit of evoking their prior knowledge and information on a subject when they read to enhance comprehension.

Once a student has started reading a text, the reader should confirm, modify, or refine their idea about the main idea. They should identify the main idea. Time4Learning teaches and provides significant practice in distinguishing the main idea in a paragraph or essay from supporting detail or other components.

The meaning of certain vocabulary terms and expressions in context can aid or impede reading comprehension. Time4Learning teaches students to note confusing terms, make assumptions about their meaning, and monitor whether their assumptions lead to better understanding or confusion. A variety of strategies are taught on line for dealing with vocabulary while reading.

Time4Learning teaches the vital skill for readers of monitoring their understanding as they proceed through the text. All readers occasionally fail to grasp the meaning of certain passages. Skilled readers quickly note their need to review what they’ve read and return to problematic passages to gain understanding.

There are online reading comprehension exercises that help students understand the strategy used by skilled readers to approach, read, and interpret text. The software introduces a theme by having an interactive and animated exercise teach the vocabulary and subject matter. Then the comprehension software will present a story. For the younger children, it is read to them as they follow the text. As they advance, their reading is supported by having each word, when clicked, read to them. By third grade, only key vocabulary words will have hotlinks for support. Register now.

The Importance of Learning Reading Comprehension Skills

Reading comprehension skills increase the pleasure and effectiveness of reading. Strong reading comprehension skills help in all the other subjects and in the personal and professional lives. The high stake tests that control advancement through elementary, middle, and high school and that determine entrance to college are in large parts, a measure of reading comprehension skills. And while there are test preparation courses which will provide a few short-cuts to improve test-taking strategies, these standardized tests tend to be very effective in measuring a readers reading comprehension skills. In short, building reading comprehension skills requires a long term strategy in which all the reading skills areas (phonics, fluency, vocabulary) will contribute to success. Register Now to get started.

Learn to read software and on-line reading compression programs provide great opportunities for children to follow along in the text as the program reads aloud and for timed readings. Here is an example of a read-along story used by Time4Learning to help teach reading comprehension skills. With Time4Learning, these comprehension skills are taught and reinforced through animated lessons, printable worksheets, interactive activities, and assessments. Start a membership today.

To Learn More about Learning Reading Comprehension Skills

The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) provides some of the most useful online information for understanding the reading process. The Reading Skills Pyramid illustrates that there are many steps to becoming a proficient reader. There are five key areas in learning to read: phonemic awareness, phonics, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and reading fluency.



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