Elisha Campbell

What do you think: Reading for Meaning

My project was entitled “What Do You Think: Reading for Meaning.” The reason I chose this particular tool was based on the fact that year after year, for a variety of reasons, students come into my classroom as excellent word callers; however, they seem to really struggle with comprehension. Even more specifically, students seem unable to justify their reasoning based on evidence from the text.

So what does it mean to “read for meaning?” “Reading for meaning” means students focus on discussing and understanding what they are reading, not just pronouncing the words correctly. Teachers can help kids “read for meaning” by asking two main types of questions – literal and inferential.

I implemented this in my classroom during guided reading for several weeks. I had over 75% of my students below the 50th percentile in reading comprehension at the beginning of the year. Now, I can proudly say I have less than 25% below that percentile. This tool has forced my students to dig deeper into the text, justify their thinking, and collaborate with their peers. As a result, they have now become not only fluent readers but strategic readers as well.

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