Building Comprehension: A Behind the Scenes Look!

Teaching comprehension can be a finicky task.  It’s not black and white like math or science.  It’s a juggling act where every student needs something new and different.  How do you even begin to approach teaching reading comprehension to ensure that all students not only understand the skills and strategies you’re teaching but also make meaning of the text?  This is the reason why I designed the Building Comprehension formula.

This step-by-step formula helps to break down the approach to teaching comprehension skills and strategies to all students and sets them up for success.  For each of the skills we need to teach, I created jam-packed units to help teachers give rigorous, meaningful, and hands-on lessons in their classrooms.  Let’s take a closer look at all that’s included!

Building Comprehension behind the scenes blog header

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How are the units designed?

Each of the Building Comprehension units is designed using the Building Comprehension formula.  This is a 5-step formula that eases students into the skill or strategy and sets them up for success when applying the skill independently.  Each step is purposeful and the activity for that step is designed to uphold that purpose.  Here’s a quick reminder of the formula steps:

  • Expose – Without having students complete any steps of the thinking process, we need to show students how the skill/strategy works
  • Analyze – Students, now knowing what the skill looks like, are able to analyze the skill being completed.  They focus on the when, where, why, and how of the skill.
  • Evaluate – Now students are determining if a reading skill/strategy is being completed correctly.  How can it be improved or corrected?
  • Prepare – Students now get the chance to try the skill/strategy with scaffolding help
  • Apply – Finally, students are asked to apply the skill/strategy independently

These steps are completed in order and allow students to fully and completely know the skill.  Once through the 5 steps, the students should be able to apply the skill/strategy to their level of text.  If you want more information on the formula, make sure to head over and read about it!

What’s all included in the units?

One of the best parts about these units is they include everything a teacher could need or want to teach the skill during a week.  Not only does each unit include 5 days of full lesson plans with small group and whole group materials, but they also include the following:  Building Comprehension

  • Printable anchor chart
  • Bookmarks
  • Reading center with directions and materials
  • Graphic organizer(s)
  • Colorful reading craft
  • End of week assessment
  • Lesson exit tickets

Does it work?

In one word, YES!  Teachers who use these units see FAR more results and students moving further than using their regularly scheduled program.  Why?  The units are designed using the formula which takes a few steps backward in order to help students understand at a more foundational level.  Here’s what one teacher had to say with her results:

“We just did our MOY fluency testing. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY STUDENTS DIDN’T JUST GO UP, BUT WENT UP SIGNIFICANTLY!  For example, CD was reading on an early 1st-grade level, has an IEP, and loathed reading. We’ve been following your comprehension program and inserted a lot of your and other passages that monitor fluency. We talked a lot about how your brain works. We talked about how reading with expression and emphasizing words makes a difference. They LOVE their reading center time: there is always something in there that they love to do.
Building Comprehension I’m serious: EVERY student went up. (Ok. I have a few kids who are considered gifted or overachievers, but they also did an impressive jump. And I do have one student that I didn’t have any previous data on, but I’ve only had him for a week, so I didn’t count him.) It’s those students who were low, just below, or barely on grade level that ramped it up!”

Getting Started

I have over 15 different reading skills units ready to go and many more to come!  So where do you begin?   You can snag one unit from my store or jump all in and grab the bundle for an additional 20% off.  Check out your school’s pacing guide to see what you’re teaching next and snag that unit out to try!  You won’t regret it!  Grab your Building Comprehension Units today!

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I’m a wife, a mommy of 3, blogger, and a full time teacher author and presenter. I love to read, shop, and spend time with my family! My hands are always busy, but my heart is so full!

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