(PD Title No. ELA2411E)

Promoting Reading Comprehension Skills in Elementary School Classrooms

Proficiency Level: Mastery

Subject(s):Language Arts and Reading

Grade(s): 3,4,5

Hours: 30.00


Description: The purpose of reading is to comprehend what is being read, and yet research on comprehension has demonstrated that readers differ in how they approach reading and the meaning they take away. By studying good readers, researchers have identified the strategies good readers use to comprehend text. Instructional programs that explicitly teach these strategies have been successful in improving student’s comprehension. In this course, participants will examine teaching practices that help students in grades three through five develop concrete strategies for constructing meaning from both narrative and expository text. The goal for strategy instruction is to prepare students to become active and purposeful readers who think about their text before, during and after reading. Finally, participants will explore instructional procedures where students learn how to coordinate key comprehension strategies.


Pre-requisites: This is an introductory online course for teachers, technology specialists, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists, or other school personnel. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers, and proficiency with email and current web-browsers.


Objectives: This course will enable participants to:
• Identify comprehension strategies that are important to teach
• Explore how to explicitly teach comprehension strategies and guide students’ practice in applying them
• Help students build story schema (background knowledge about stories) by showing how narrative text has recurring elements (story grammar): characters, settings, conflicts, major events, resolutions, and themes
• Help students draw on their story schema to make predictions about events, and consequences
• Help students distinguish common text structures in informational text in order to better understand and recall the main ideas of the text
• Understand how analyzing question-answer relationships (QAR) can be a useful strategy for approaching comprehension questions