Instruction in The Comprehension Toolkit centers on six strategy books organized around research based comprehension strategies. Based on the gradual release of responsibility instructional framework, Toolkit lessons help students use these strategies flexibly across a variety of texts, topics, and subject areas. Select this for a chart of lesson titles an lesson texts. Click here for a strategy book flyer.STRATEGY BOOK 1: MONITOR COMPREHENSION
When readers monitor their comprehension, they keep track of their thinking while reading. They listen to the voice in their head that speaks to them as the read. They notice when the text makes sense or when it doesn't. We teach readers to "fix up" their comprehension by using a variety of strategies including stopping to refocus thinking, rereading, and reading on. All of the comprehension instruction suggested in the Toolkit supports readers to monitor and use strategies to maintain understanding and repair comprehension when it breaks down.
Lesson 2: Notice When You Lose Your Way: Monitor your inner voice to focus your thinking
Lesson 3: Read, Write, and Talk: Think your way through the textSTRATEGY BOOK 2: ACTIVATE AND CONNECT
The background knowledge we bring to our reading colors every aspect of our learning and understanding. Whether we are questioning, inferring, or synthesizing, our background knowledge is the foundation of our thinking. You simply can't understand what you read without thinking about what you already know. Readers must connect the new to the known. Sometimes, however, our prior knowledge consists of misconceptions that get in the way of new learning. So we have to prepare kids not only to think about what they already know, but also to change their thinking when they encounter new and more accurate information.
Lesson 5: Merge Your Thinking with New Learning: Read and think about new information
Lesson 6: Connect the New to the Known: Activate and build background knowledgeSTRATEGY BOOK 3: ASK QUESTIONS
Questions are at the heart of teaching and learning. They open the doors to understanding the world. Posing questions allows us to seek out information, solve problems, and extend our understanding. As we try to answer our questions, we discover new information and gain new knowledge. The best questions spark more questions and spur further research and inquiry. When we read nonfiction, our questions abound. Our questions help us to clarify confusion when we meet unfamiliar information, concepts and vocabulary. They propel us to read on and do further research. Questions nudge curious minds to investigate.
Lesson 7: Question the Text: Learn to ask questions as you read
Lesson 8: Read to Discover Answers: Ask questions to gain information
Lesson 9: Ask Questions to Expand Thinking: Wonder about the text to understand big ideasSTRATEGY BOOK 4: INFER MEANING
Inferring is the bedrock of understanding. Inferring involves drawing a conclusion or making an interpretation about information that is not explicitly stated in the text. Typically, skillful writers do not spill information on to the page for all to plainly see. They leak the information slowly, one idea at a time, enabling the reader to make reasonable inferences. Inferential thinking allows readers to make predictions, surface themes, and draw conclusions. When reading nonfiction, readers may have to crack open language word by word to get at the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts. Often answers to questions must be inferred.
Lesson 10: pInfer the Meaning of Unfamiliar Words: Use context clues to unpack vocabularyp
Lesson 11: Infer With Text Clues: Draw conclusions from text evidencep
Lesson 12: Tackle the Meaning of Language: Infer beyond
Lesson 13: Crack Open Features: Infer the meaning of subheads and titles
Lesson 14: Read With a Question in Mind: Infer to answer your questions
Lesson 15: Wrap Your Mind Around the Big Ideas: Use text evidence to infer themesSTRATEGY BOOK 5: DETERMINE IMPORTANCE
What we determine to be important in text depends on our purpose for reading it. When we read nonfiction, we are reading to learn and remember information. We can't possibly remember every isolated fact, nor should we. We need to focus on important information and merge it with what we already know to expand our understanding of a topic. We sort and sift rich details from important information to answer questions and arrive at main ideas. We identify details that support larger concepts. We teach kids a way to use information to develop a line of thinking as they read, surfacing and focusing their attention on important ideas in the text.
Lesson 16: Spotlight New Thinking: Learn to use a Fact/Question/Response chart
Lesson 17: Record Important Ideas: Create an FQR with historical fiction
Lesson 18: Target Key Information: Code the text to hold thinking
Lesson 19: Determine What to Remember: Separate interesting details from important ideas
Lesson 20: Distinguish Your Thinking From the Author's: Contrast what you think with the author's perspective
Lesson 21: Construct Main Ideas from Supporting Details: Create a Topic/Detail/Response chartSTRATEGY BOOK 6: SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE
Synthesizing information nudges readers to see the bigger picture as they read. It's not enough for readers to simply recall or restate the facts. Thoughtful readers integrate the new information with their existing knowledge to come to a more complete understanding of the text. As readers encounter new information, their thinking evolves. They merge the new information with what they already know and construct meaning as they go. As they distill nonfiction text into a few important ideas, they may develop a new perspective or an original insight.
Lesson 22: Read, Think, and React: Paraphrase and respond to information
Lesson 23: Think Beyond the Text: Move from facts to ideas
Lesson 24: Read to Get the Gist: Synthesize your thinking as you go
Lesson 25: Reread and Rethink: Rethink misconceptions and tie opinions to the text
Lesson 26: Read, Write, and Reflect: Create a summary response to extend thinking