Kindergarten thru Third Grade
IES Practice Guide
Improving Reading Comprehension in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade
This IES Practice Guide makes 5 recommendations for improving reading comprehension and provides strategies for implementing the recommendations.
Teach students how to use reading comprehension strategies.
Teach students how to use several research-based reading comprehension strategies.
Teach reading comprehension strategies individually or in combination.
Teach reading comprehension strategies by using a gradual release of responsibility.
Teach students to identify and use the text’s organizational structure to comprehend, learn, and remember content.
Explain how to identify and connect the parts of narrative texts.
Provide instruction on common structures of informational texts.
Guide students through focused, high-quality discussion on the meaning of text.
Structure the discussion to complement the text, the instructional purpose, and the readers’ ability and grade level.
Develop discussion questions that require students to think deeply about text.
Ask follow-up questions to encourage and facilitate discussion.
Have students lead structured small-group discussions.
Select texts purposefully to support comprehension development.
Teach reading comprehension with multiple genres of text.
Choose texts of high quality with richness and depth of ideas and information.
Choose texts with word recognition and comprehension difficulty appropriate for the students’ reading ability and the instructional activity.
Use texts that support the purpose of instruction.
Establish an engaging and motivating context in which to teach reading comprehension.
Help students discover the purpose and benefits of reading.
Create opportunities for students to see themselves as successful readers.
Give students reading choices.
Give students the opportunity to learn by collaborating with their peers.
IES Practice Guide
Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices
This IES Practice Guide makes 5 recommendations for improving adolescent literacy and provides strategies for implementing the recommendations.
Provide explicit vocabulary instruction.
Dedicate a portion of regular classroom lessons to explicit vocabulary instruction.
Provide repeated exposure to new words in multiple contexts, and allow sufficient practice sessions in vocabulary instruction.
Give sufficient opportunities to use new vocabulary in a variety of contexts through activities such as discussion, writing, and extended reading.
Provide students with strategies to make them independent vocabulary learners.
Provide direct and explicit comprehension strategy instruction.
Select carefully the text to use when beginning to teach a given strategy.
Show students how to apply the strategies they are learning to different texts.
Make sure that the text is appropriate for the reading level of students.
Use a direct and explicit instruction lesson plan for teaching students how to use comprehension strategies.
Provide the appropriate amount of guided practice depending on the difficulty level of the strategies that students are learning.
Talk about comprehension strategies while teaching them.
Provide opportunities for extended discussion of text meaning and interpretation.
Carefully prepare for the discussion by selecting engaging materials and developing stimulating questions.
Ask follow-up questions that help provide continuity and extend the discussion.
Provide a task or discussion format that students can follow when they discuss text in small groups.
Develop and practice the use of a specific “discussion protocol.”
Increase student motivation and engagement in literacy learning.
Establish meaningful and engaging content learning goals around the essential ideas of a discipline as well as around the specific learning processes used to access those ideas.
Provide a positive learning environment that promotes student autonomy in learning.
Make literacy experiences more relevant to student interests, everyday life, or important current events.
Build classroom conditions to promote higher reading engagement and conceptual learning through such strategies as goal setting, self-directed learning, and collaborative learning.
Make available intensive individualized interventions for struggling readers that can be provided by qualified specialists.
Use reliable screening assessments to identify students with reading difficulties and follow up with formal and informal assessments to pinpoint each student’s instructional needs.
Select an intervention that provides an explicit instructional focus to meet each student’s identified learning needs.
Provide interventions where intensiveness matches student needs: the greater the instructional need, the more intensive the intervention. Assuming a high level of instructional quality, the intensity of interventions is related most directly to the size of instructional groups and amount of instructional time.
Reading Next – A Vision for Action and Research in Middle and High School Literacy: A Report to the Carnegie Corporation of New York
This research synthesis describes fifteen elements of effective adolescent literacy programs:
direct, explicit comprehension instruction
effective instructional principles embedded in content
motivation and self-directed learning
text-based collaborative learning
a technology component
ongoing formative assessment of students
extended time for literacy
ongoing summative assessment of students and program
a comprehensive and coordinated literacy program
Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High School
This research synthesis emphasizes the need to integrate writing skill development into adolescent literacy instruction. The report details eleven key elements that can be combined in flexible ways to strengthen literacy development for middle and high school students.
Eleven Elements of Effective Adolescent Writing Instruction
Teaching writing strategies
Systematically teaching summarization
Employing collaborative writing instruction
Setting specific product goals
Using word processing and technology as instructional supports for writing
Teaching sentences combining and strategies for constructing more complex, sophisticated sentences
Using prewriting to generate and organize ideas
Engaging students in inquiry activities to analyze data and develop ideas
Incorporating a process writing approach
Studying models of good writing (mentor texts)
Using writing as a tool for learning content material
Writing to Read: Evidence of How Writing Can Improve Reading
Writing to Read builds on Writing Next by providing evidence for how writing can improve reading. It describes the ability to read, comprehend, and write— the ability to organize information into knowledge—as tantamount to a survival skill and recommends a cluster of closely related writing practices shown to be effective in improving students’ reading.
Have students write about the texts they read – Text comprehension is improved when students write about what they read.
Respond to a text in writing
Write text summaries
Write notes about a text
Answer questions about a text in writing, or create and answer written questions about a text
Teach students the writing skills and processes that go into creating text – Students’ reading skills and comprehension are improved by learning the skills and processes that go into creating text, specifically when teachers
Teach the process of writing, text structures for writing, paragraph or sentence construction
Teach spelling and sentence construction skills (improves reading fluency)
Teach spelling skills (improves word reading skills)
Increase how much students write – Students’ reading comprehension is improved by having them increase how often they produce their own texts.
Time to Act: An Agenda for Advancing Adolescent Literacy for College and Career Readiness.
ACT Reading Between the Lines
Understanding University Success