Home › Forums › Linguistics for Teachers of Emergent Bilinguals Course Forum › Session 5 Developing Comprehension in Close Reading – Lesson Planning › Reflecting on Close Reading for comprehension
Tagged: Edison Burgos
July 8, 2021 at 8:28 pm #2108
What has your Close Reading instruction looked like, until now?
Based on your readings of Eberhardt and Schleppegrell and our Session 5 lecture, what newfound awareness have you gained around the role of syntax (as well as vocabulary) in reading comprehension? Name 3 things that you may want to try in your classroom to support students comprehension (before analysis) of text.
July 26, 2021 at 10:42 pm #2142Koren StanislausParticipant
In the past, while I taught ELA, Close Reading consisted of read aloud to students, reviewing /discussing words flagged as maybe difficult for some students, which were sometimes designated vocabulary words, stopping periodically to check for understanding of content during read aloud, and whole class discussion to review what was read, thereby supporting students’ comprehension. However, as I am writing my response to your prompts, I can honestly say my approach to Close Reading was not like what I learned in Session #5 even though there were elements of support for students’ understanding. In my mind, I thought developing comprehension in students would require a flexible approach because support for each my class vary, depending on the time of the day and students’ level of reading. Now having completed Session 5, my approach to Close Reading to students in the classroom will certainly be adjusted to support all students on varied comprehension/reading level.
With my newfound awareness, I would want to try and master breaking down the language of text, so students would be able to better understand its meaning and build vocabulary knowledge. The first thing I would want to implement during Close Reading would be to review the vocabulary words and the meanings with students, while creating more complex vocabulary-building opportunities by identifying synonyms, antonyms, morphemes (prefixes, suffixes) to increase text comprehension; these exercises would also help to strengthen students’ written vocabulary. Second, during the reading of the text, I would weave in the “Wh” questions to students to support a literal understanding of the reading. Third, to support students in establishing meaning of the text, as a whole class, we would write a sentence summarizing the content of the text. For those needing a differentiated approach, I could include sentence starters or have the students choose verbs and nouns from a word bank to aid in the whole class sentence writing activity. To quote from the article by Eberhardt, “If a reader cannot derive meaning from individual sentences that make up a text, that is going to be a major obstacle in text-level comprehension.”
July 27, 2021 at 6:21 pm #2156
Interesting insights Koren. Of course, students with more advanced skills will more quickly and accurately comprehend text than others. Those students can and should do more. But for so many, basic comprehension is underdeveloped. When we build a solid foundation for comprehension through the Who, what, why, where, etc., we take them so much closer to being able to do more advanced analysis.
August 10, 2021 at 11:20 am #2182Savannah McEntireParticipant
One key takeaway I had from the reading by Eberhardt was the significance of teaching methods in regards to syntax and vocabulary when it comes to effectiveness. Many of us remember old school grammar instruction with sentence diagraming which may not have seemed to have purpose outside of that isolated activity. However understanding the concepts of grammar are important to reading comprehension, so we can’t just abandon this content altogether. Having more authentic methods for teaching vocabulary and grammar improve the effectiveness of instruction, as well as giving purpose to students.
When I had taught close reading in the past, we did not include a syntax and grammar portion. While this eliminated the use of “busy work” activities like sentence diagraming, it also left students with misconceptions. Previously, a close reading lesson would consist of a read aloud of the text, with stopping points for discussion and comprehension checks, while students annotate their copies of the text, and then an opportunity for students in writing to respond either to a question about the text’s main idea or about author’s craft. There was a heavy emphasis on comprehension in this format, but I did notice gaps, particularly for emergent bilingual learners, in comprehension because of gaps in vocabulary and syntax knowledge.
After reading about the effective strategies for syntax instruction in the readings, there are a few ways that I would shift or adjust these lessons to make them more effective for all learners but especially emergent bilingual learners. Using the reciprocal version of sentence expansion questions to break down and understand the content of a complex sentence is one way that I think I could add authentic instruction of grammar into a close reading lesson. I would begin by choosing a sentence that has complex grammar in a text that may cause misconceptions for students. On a chart, I would list the unpacking questions (who or what is doing it? what are they doing? How, where, which, etc.?) then as a class we can unpack the sentence and following this I can ask a comprehension question about the content of the sentence to make sure that students understand. This connects structure and meaning in an authentic way to keep learners engaged, purposeful in their learning, and not skip that important grammar instruction.
Another strategy I would like to try is to find a purposeful way to do sentence diagramming. Diagramming random sentences seemed to lack purpose for me when I was a student, but at the same time, looking back I can see that the practice also solidified my understanding of parts of speech and other grammatical constructs. Perhaps pairing this practice with the practice I mentioned previously would give the activity the purpose it was lacking when I did it as a student. Taking that sentence that we had broken down and asked those questions about, and then creating a diagram to represent all those different pieces of the sentence before asking the comprehension question would be one step further in solidifying that grammatical understanding.
Thirdly, I like the idea of finding the topic of a text by following the “thread” of subjects that are referring to the same thing in a text (including pronouns). This helps students to understand the variety of ways we can refer to something, and also assists students in understanding the main idea of a text, because they are able to track the topic throughout each sentence. Main idea identification is often a main focus of close reading lessons, especially the first time reading a new text. Using this strategy can help students more accurately identify the main idea.
August 17, 2021 at 12:51 pm #2215
I like where you’re going with this Savannah, especially when having to work with the TC curriculum. With your young learners, I would use sentence deconstruction (Who/what is/is doing what?) to build comprehension and vocabulary. Start with having students identify the subject and predicate. THEN they can work on additional clauses/phrases (when? where? how?).
Start orally, then create short worksheet for them to begin writing simple sentences. Those students ready to expand into where? when?, etc. can, while those who are still grasping simple sentences can stick to that for the time being. For your grade level, I’m a big believer in shared writing. You prompt them, they tell you what to write. Together you go through sentence for grammaticality, capitalization, punctuation, spelling. This process of shared writing is very powerful, especially for young learners.
August 28, 2021 at 6:24 pm #2244Victor BarrientosParticipant
After I watched the video about close reading comprehension it came to my mind that Vocabulary instruction is one of the area that has received considerable attention. As a teacher I know that successful readers must carefully learn the meanings of the words they read and that reading builds strong vocabularies. Based on the reading of Eberhardt and Schleppegrell my newfound awareness that I have gained around the role of syntax (as well as vocabulary) in reading comprehension are as follows:That the sentence-level skills are very important in comprehension of reading text ,because sentence skills allow readers to acquire vocabulary knowledge by understand-ing the meaning of words in the context of sentences. In addition, the comprehension of extended text is often a matter of understanding the meaning of each sentence in a text. This is a very good statement that help me to understand the process of what do we need to know to help students in the text comprehension, especially emergency students that most of the time they have problems reading in their native language.
After reading about the effective strategies of syntax and vocabulary I would like to try the following in my classroom
First: “Exploring Language and Meaning in Complex Texts” Mary Schleppegrell explores how educators and students can strategically focus on text meaning via careful analysis of the language of text. She discusses language from the perspective of systemic functional linguistics, a theory that explains how language form is used to express meaning and, reciprocally, how language meaning is derived from language form and context. The instructional strategies described in Schleppegrell’s article include identifying agency by asking who or what is doing this action, focusing on the meaning of conjunctions by asking what is the relationship between the ideas in this sentence, and identifying chains of reference by tracking how ideas and characters are introduced and developed in a text. This one of the strategies that I would like takeaway with me and implement in my classroom every day for the well being of my students.
The second strategy that I really want to implement in my classroom to support students comprehension In light of the CCSS requirement that students read increasingly complex text as they advance through grade levels, Schleppegrell relates instructional strategies for elementary and secondary instruction because now a day with all requirement of the CCSS students should be learning and prepare for college and career reading.
My third strategy that I also want to implement in my classroom is one that . Eberhardt state that by providing syntax and grammar instruction and focuses on the benefits of literacy instruction that emphasizes how the arrangement of words conveys meaning is one way that students Comprehension can increase drastically.
Finally:Explicit instruction that includes teacher modeling, teacher feedback and class participation can help increase students’ ability to write well-formed, elaborated sentences and increase the foundations for the development of Syntax and Grammar .
August 31, 2021 at 10:54 am #2256
Let’s look at this word problem for 10th grade math:
Robin leaves $ 1,245,500 behind. According to his wish, the money is to be divided between his son and daughter in the ratio 3 : 2. Find the sum received by his son.
How are we going to “Close Read” for math? Students need to understand that “leave behind” means that Robin died and left money to his children. Next, students need to understand “According to”. There are 2 passive constructions here: the money is to be divided (meaning, someone will divide the money) and “the sum received by his son” (his son received the sum”.
Students need to understand the prepositions ‘between’ – between who? The money will be divided between 2 people. And ‘by’ – who received the money? The son.
The students need to understand that most importantly – the money WILL NOT be divided equally!! Finally, students need to identify the command “find” – that is the word that is telling them what to do.
August 31, 2021 at 6:09 pm #2264Victor BarrientosParticipant
On this word problem I start for reading out loud, by modeling the problem. Then I ask the students to read the problem using close reading and questions they may have about the problem. As I read out loud I will as some specific questions about the problems to see what prior knowledge they have about the new vocabulary to be learning on this word problem.I will ask them to underline the words they do not know the meaning. one I explain the most important vocabulary used on the underlined words for the understanding of this problem, then I make them read again until they have clear understanding about what we looking for in the solution of this problem.I will start for telling them that Ratios are an alternative way of expressing fractions. I also explain to them that since Robin’s wishes was divide the money in the ratios 3:2, I will explain that the person mention first was his son , meaning that he represent the number 3 and his daughter represent the number 2. Since we dealing with fraction we need to find out a common denominator , that on this specific case will be the sum of 3 + 2 and then we need to divide both number by the sum of 3+2 =5, in order to know how much money each of them will have.
Now that every vocabulary words was discussed and questions and vocabulary was discussed, now we proceed to solve the problem.
3/5(1,245)= $ 747 belong to his son and 2/5(1,245)= $ 498. I will let then know by inquiry that the amount of money that his son will have is $ 747 because he was mention first on the problem and his daughter will get $498 because was mention as a second person. Several question will be ask to the students and I will encourage them to create their own similar problems.
October 16, 2021 at 10:55 am #2389Edison BurgosParticipant
Enerhardt’s and Schleppegrel’s articles are illustrative of how to teach syntax and vocabulary in reading comprehension. By studying syntax, students learn the structure of sentences, the meaning of the speech part, the role of each part and the order of words. Vocabulary is basic because children cannot understand texts without knowing the meaning of the words in the texts. In short, awareness of syntax and vocabulary helps students understand complex texts.
Mary J. Schleppergrell’s article, “Exploring Language and Meaning in Complex Texts,” attributes success to understand complex texts and helping students to learn more about language to using three strategies: identifying action and actors, conjunctions, and tracking the language through characters and concepts. These strategies are effective and worth incorporating them into my classroom in mathematics. Scheleppergrell also cites systemic functional linguistics (SFL), a language theory that uses language in different contexts, level of teaching and academic content that helps teachers and students differently. I can deal with complex texts orally, morphologically, and syntactically. As we all know mathematics and other sciences incorporate Latin, Greek, and Anglo-Saxon terms in its content and understanding the structure of each part of the words and phrases used in the real-world help students to apply the concepts and skills related to the concept in solving math real-word problems. Moreover, SFL helps my students, especially Els, develop language awareness through explicit instruction.
In Nancy C. Eberhardt’s article, “Syntax: Somewhere between Words and Text,” present factors that affect impact reading comprehension. Eberhardt’s views seem to agree with Schleppegrell in some ways. Likewise, Schleppegrell, Eberharsdt focuses on syntax and function. Explicit Grammar teaching plays a key role. I share that view. Children should be able to understand sentences. Understanding sentences in mathematics is crucial to solving the problems of words mathematics, especially those associated with real-world situations. We recognize that the lexicon has several meanings and functions at the sentence level. Clarifying the meaning and function helps my students to make sense of math word problems. Combining both authors’ strategies help my current and future students to grow in understanding complex texts exponentially.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.