What should content-area teachers know about comprehension instruction?
Page 10: Monitoring Comprehension
Monitoring comprehension is a process in which students determine whether they understand what they are reading. If they realize that they cannot articulate the main idea of the passage, they can take steps to repair their comprehension before continuing to read.
Most successful student readers intuitively monitor their comprehension. However, some who struggle with reading either might not recognize a breakdown in their comprehension or else might not know how to fix it when it does occur. When asked whether they read the material, these students might answer yes. Indeed, the students might have decoded every word, but they did not comprehend what they were reading. Even students who are typically competent readers may not self-monitor comprehension in subject areas they find challenging.
It is not effective to merely tell students to monitor their reading comprehension. Rather, students need to be taught how to monitor their comprehension. This requires explicit instruction with sufficient modeling and guided practice. Content-area teachers can demonstrate how to:
- Stop at the end of a paragraph, section, or page
- Think about whether the information presented has been understood (e.g., generate a main idea)
- Utilize various fix-up strategies, if necessary
|Examples of Fix-up Strategies|
Listen as Deborah Reed shares a story that highlights the importance of monitoring comprehension (time: 2:28).
For more information on monitoring reading comprehension, view the following IRIS Modules: