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The difference between reading and comprehending

I read you loud and clear! Whether youre reading the newspaper, reading a map, reading between the lines, reading sign language, reading a recipe, or reading a person your purpose is the same: to understand, to comprehend to get it!" Can you read this: Did Alfred bran quirky when he plowed the phat? Sorry Youre not reading, youre word-calling. Sure, you can say all the words and even be expressive, but you cannot make sense out of them. Unfortunately, thats what some children do. They read an entire page without stumbling over a single word. Its perfect, but they have no idea what they read. So how do you know if your child is reading or just word-calling? Easy. Ask questions that promote understanding and listen for signs that your child comprehends. Trying to keep dry, Jamie huddled under the Spiderman umbrella as he waited for the bus to take him to his first day of Kindergarten. Is Jamie a boy or a girl? What is the weather? Where is Jamie going? The words boy, rainy, and school are not written but inferred. How old do you think Jamie is? What do you think Jamie will do in school? Open-ended questions (any reasonable answer) encourage children to predict, confirm prediction and give purpose to reading on. If you ask a yes\No question, follow it with Why do you think that?' Eventually self-questioning will become automatic, a part of the reading process, and your childs reading comprehension will increase. For children, reading aloud is like cold-reading to an actor no practice. But its an important tool in discovering the reading strategies being used. Do they self-correct, re-read to make sense, and use punctuation? We dont read one word at a time. We read ahead four or five words. Children who read cant instead of cannot or Dad instead father have read ahead, anticipated whats next, and used appropriate substitutions. Children who read ahead omit words they consider unimportant to the meaning in their hurry to comprehend the text. Words like bow, tear, and wind cause the reader to hesitate and think which pronunciation makes sense. Expression and fluency are important indicators of good readers, but not the final assessment. Remember, you are not listening for the perfect word caller, but you are listening for signs that your child is understanding, comprehending "getting it!"

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