Teaching students to think as they read improves comprehension

educationdive | March 13, 2019

As young readers, students often make mistakes that can impact what they understand. Helping them watch out for these tricky errors can help them better comprehend what they’re reading, Achieving Reading Founder Brooke MacKenzie writes for Edutopia.Students can use metacognition — thinking about how we think — which teaches them to pause as they read, consider how they’re feeling and what they’re picturing in their mind. Feelings of discomfort can indicate they may not be understanding the words before them.Reading specialist Brooke MacKenzie uses a chart with questions for students to ask themselves before moving forward, such as "Can I retell the story?" If students struggle with the questions, educators can have children slow down and read again. Reading is the door to learning in all subject areas. But reading a string of words without absorbing the idea behind them, is not really learning. Students need to be able to comprehend the concept behind what’s written to push their understanding. Teaching students to monitor their comprehension as they read benefits students even in math because students need to be able to understand the tasks they’re being asked to do and comprehend the instructions.

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Educational technologies. Developments in technology point to the possibility of new forms of learning relying on machines as “tutors” that use data tracking student progress to recursively improve the quality of the knowledge and assistance provided to students. There is evidence that new teaching techniques facilitated by these technologies, such as flipped classrooms and engaged learning, offer promise, but demand that the roles of students and faculty in the learning process change in fundamental ways. Such change is very difficult to enable and support.

Spotlight

Educational technologies. Developments in technology point to the possibility of new forms of learning relying on machines as “tutors” that use data tracking student progress to recursively improve the quality of the knowledge and assistance provided to students. There is evidence that new teaching techniques facilitated by these technologies, such as flipped classrooms and engaged learning, offer promise, but demand that the roles of students and faculty in the learning process change in fundamental ways. Such change is very difficult to enable and support.

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