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Saturday, December 10, 2011

We want to invite all of your WHE Friend's and Family to our annual Scholastic Book Fair! There are lots of exciting things going on at the Book Fair this year. We have wonderful items for ALL ages....even adults! Stop by & see what the fun is all about. The Book Fair will be open this Thursday night, December 15, for Family Reading Night. *Our scheduled shopping time is setup for our "library time." Check with your child for more info on which day they go to the library! Please feel free to contact us with any questions. : )

Comprehension Skills for your Scholar!

In 4th grade reading we focus a lot on reading comprehension skills and strategies. Below is a list of skills and strategies along with their definitions that we will focus on this year. Please encourage your child to use and apply these whenever possible while reading.

1.       Setting – The setting is the time and place in which a story occurs. Characters actions are influenced by the setting. Readers use story details to visualize the setting.
2.      Sequence – Sequence refers to the story order or to the steps we follow to do something. Some examples of clues to look for in the story to determine the sequence are first, second, next, then, now, finally, and last.
3.      Compare/Contrast – Readers understand new ideas in text by thinking about how things are alike or different, thus deepening comprehension.
4.      Author’s Purpose – An author’s purpose is the author’s reason for writing something. Readers predict an author’s purpose to help them decide to read something slowly, carefully, or quickly for fun. Some purposes of writing include: to entertain, to inform, to express, to persuade, to instruct, to express oneself, to evaluate, and to describe. The reader should adjust their reading rate and voice to fit the content and purpose of the story being read.
5.      Character Profile – Readers learn about characters by observing what they think, do, and say. You can learn about characters by paying attention to how other characters in the story treat them. You can also learn about characters by observing what other characters say about them.
6.      Visualizing – When students listen to or read text, they can create pictures in their mind or make a mind movie. When readers visualize what is happening in the story, they remember more of what they read or hear. They should look for details that tell how things look, smell, sound, taste, and feel.
7.      Cause/Effect – Reader’s understand that in-text events happen (effects), along with the reason why they happen (causes). When students recognize this relationship, comprehension is increased.
8.      Text Structure – The way a piece of writing is organized. Stories can be organized in many ways including main idea and details, cause and effect, fact and opinion, and compare and contrast. Another way to organize writing is to put events in chronological order.
9.      Context Clues – Readers who come upon an unfamiliar word will use the words around the unfamiliar word to help figure out the meaning. Sometimes a synonym, a word with nearly the same meaning as another word, is used as a context clue.
10.   Evaluating – This means you need to think about and decide how to react toward people, situations, and ideas in stories and articles that you read. Use what you know and your experience as you make judgments. Ask yourself if the author is trying to influence you. Does the author support the ideas he or she presents in the text?
11.    Drawing Conclusions – A conclusion is a decision you reach that makes sense after you think about the details of facts that you have read. Readers use the details from the story and what they know to draw conclusions or figure out things about people or animals and what they do. Authors don’t always tell you everything. Instead, they may give you a few details about what happens or about characters.
12.    Generalizing – A broad statement or rule that applies to many examples. When you read, you are sometimes given ideas about several things or people. You can generalize or make a statement about all or most of them together. A valid generalization is supported by facts and your knowledge.
13.    Predicting – To predict, readers tell what they think will happen in the story; to confirm, readers find out whether their predictions were true, partially true, or way off.
14.    Paraphrasing – Explaining something in your own words. A paraphrase should keep the author’s meaning. Paraphrasing can help you check whether you understand what you read. A paraphrase should include all the author’s ideas, but should be easier to read than the original.
15.    Summarizing – A summary is a short statement, no more than a few sentences, that tells the main idea of a selection. A summary of an article should tell the main idea, leaving out unnecessary details. The story summary tells the goals of the characters, how they try to reach them, and whether they reach them.
16.    Plot – A series of events that center on a problem or a conflict. A plot consists of an exposition, rising action, climax, falling actions, and resolution.
17.    Graphic Sources – Readers should preview graphic sources before reading because it can help you predict what you will learn. Graphic sources can help you by organizing the information in a useful way. Some examples of graphic sources include: illustrations, charts, graphs, maps, lists, diagrams, tables, time lines, and scale drawings.
18.    Fact/Opinion – A statement of fact tells something that can be proven true or false. Opinions are words that express a person’s feelings, beliefs, or judgments.
19.    Main Idea and Supporting Details – The main idea is often stated in a single sentence within a paragraph or article. However, sometimes you have to figure out the main idea and put it in your own words. Supporting details are small pieces of information that tell more about the main idea.
20.   Text Connections – Readers often make connections to the text to help them understand what they are reading. Some examples of connection to make are: text to text, text to world, and text to self.
21.    Retell the Story – An accounting of a story’s key points, told in sequence. A retelling usually includes characters, setting, problems, and solution or the main ideas of the text. It involves telling what is important in the story without telling too much.
22.   Monitor and Fix-up strategies – Readers stop and think if what they are reading makes sense, whether they understand what is happening in the story, or what the selection is about. If meaning breaks down, the reader has strategies to go back and fix it. Readers must think while they are reading and constantly ask themselves, “Does this make sense?”
23.   Making Inferences – Readers figure out what the author is saying even though it might not be written down. Using their background knowledge, clues from the text, illustrations, and captions, the readers makes meaning of the selection.
24.   Back up and re-read – When meaning breaks down, going back and rereading again to understand the meaning of the selection.
25.   Ask Questions – Readers are actively involved in reading by asking themselves questions before, during, and after reading a selection, thus increasing their comprehension of the material.
26.  Synthesizing – Readers create original insights, perspectives and understandings by reflecting on text(s) and merging elements from text and existing schema. Readers must put the pieces together that they have read in order to see them in a new way.
27.  Activate Background Knowledge - Readers activate what they currently understand or misunderstand about the topic and use this knowledge before, during, and after reading to clarify misconceptions and understand the text. They use what they already know to help understand something new.