Learning to decode, is not devoid of comprehension skills.
In Hanson Reading, using its Phonics Chart System, children are taught how to read words by making a picture in their mind.
Making a picture in your mind the essence of comprehension!
The first step in reading comprehension is learning how to read words accurately. If a child misreads a word, it doesn’t matter what the word means; it’s the wrong word.
Children must learn how to decode accurately and quickly as the first step in learning how to read.
There are many practice exercises in Hanson Reading to practice a new decoding skill and expand vocabulary and comprehension.
1) Read and Find
Students are given exercises where they must find a hidden picture of a word they have read.
2) Read and Draw
Students draw pictures of words they have read.
3) Read and See Word Books
There is only one word per page. Students decode the word (READ) and try to visualize what it looks like.
Then they turn the page and (SEE) if their own picture is similar to the artist’s.
4) Matching Word Books
With the goal of practicing decoding words quickly, students decode 4 words as quickly as possible using the Hanson CODE song.
They turn the page and see the same words repeated with a picture opposite each word….but the pictures do not match the words.
To learn a test format, students must re-read each word and tell which picture it matches: picture a, picture b, picture c, and picture d.
5) Hanson storybooks have a “Read and See” format.
Visualizing is a major element in comprehension; making a movie in their mind as words are accurately decoded.
As a reading teacher, I was frustrated with children looking more at the pictures than the text and guessing what the words were rather analyzing the text and thinking about meaning.
My solution to children looking at pictures and guessing was to create decodable books in a Read and See format. They were designed and created with no picture on the first page, only text. The back page had the text repeated and the illustration appearing for the first time.
The READ Page:
Without the distraction of a picture, children then are able to focus on the text and think.
What are you picturing in your mind? What is the setting, the scenery, the characters, the action?
Comprehension is addressed AFTER the words are read correctly.
After the READ page with no illustration is completed, children turn the page over to the SEE page, where the illustrator’s picture is found, and the text is repeated.
After reading the READ page, the SEE page has many advantages. Now the children have questions answered:
1) The SEE page is an instant comprehension check. The student can check his or her imagined picture with the one the illustrator has depicted. No filling in blanks; an instant evaluation.
2) It serves as another opportunity to repeat the words read on the READ page. Repetitive reading helps develop fluency.
3) The SEE page is another opportunity to read with expression sometimes taking the part of the narrator or the speaker. Understanding direct quotations, indirect quotations and narration is an important part of comprehension.
4) From a child’s point of view, the SEE page is a reward after reading the READ page.
My reward is witnessing a child skillfully decoding with great comprehension.
My best to you,