“He is such an excellent reader!” This has been stated by numerous teachers and parents and linked with the identity “top/high level reader”. In some cases, though, being a good reader does not mean the student understands what he read.
Comprehending what one has read is an important skill that students must master in order to succeed. Think about the amount of reading and the variety of texts a student is involved with every day while in school. The list includes not only fiction and non fiction that have been assigned in class but also textbooks, problem solving statements in math and science, and assessments that have written questions that need to be understood in order to select/write answers.
Teachers and Parents must engage students in situations that check their understanding of what they have read. I do not speak of written assessments that supposedly reveal what students have learned or group discussions which don’t include every student. Rather, I believe educators and parents must check a student’s comprehension one on one.
Below are some links to ideas and strategies for strengthening comprehension. The next time someone remarks “He is such an excellent reader!” I hope the statement means the student reads and understands.