A significant part of reading comprehension is responding to the material. As teachers, it’s our job to ensure students understand what they’re reading and explain their thoughts in writing. This can be challenging for some students, especially if they lack the basic skills to form meaningful responses. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can use to help your students improve their reading responses and become better readers overall.
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Tip #1: Find the Answer in the Text
One of the most essential elements of responding to a text is finding evidence that supports the answer within the text itself. This helps children practice close reading skills and encourages them to look at each part of a passage individually. You can model this behavior by asking questions before having them read. Then have them go back into the text after reading to find evidence supporting their answer.
Guiding questions like these can help students know what to look for while reading.
These questions act as a guide for students to be able to find the answer in the text like this:
Tip #2: Cite Text Evidence in Reading Responses
Once they have found an answer within the text, students need to cite where they found it. This will help them track their thinking and ensure that they provide accurate answers while showing that they have read and understood what they have read. You can start by having them include just one sentence from the text as evidence.
Tip #3: Restate the Question
After providing an answer and citing evidence, students need to restate or rephrase the question. This lets readers know which question is being answered. Encourage your students to begin answering questions by restating them so that readers know exactly what is being answered without confusion.
Tips #4: Model Good Reading Responses
Lastly, modeling good responses can help your students understand how they should write their responses while giving examples of what a well-written response looks like. Use examples from published texts or create your own based on questions you create yourself so that your students have something tangible they can refer back to when constructing their responses.
Improving student reading responses doesn’t have to be difficult with these four tips! Encouraging your students to find answers within texts, cite text evidence, and restate questions, are all great ways for teachers to help their young readers become better responders overall when working with texts in class. By implementing these strategies into your lessons, you’ll soon see increased student engagement when responding and engaging with texts – and their reading responses will improve!
These reading resources are perfect for teaching students to respond to reading:
The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.Robert John Meehan
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