|Classroom Environment||Lesson Structure||Assessment||Sample Comprehension Lessons|
We set clear expectations for the processes children follow in comprehension work, and it is reasonable to evaluate how children are using those processes in an ongoing way. One form this can take is a self-reflection sheet. The student marks with smiley faces or other symbols how well he or she has done in categories such as talking and listening to my partner, recording my thinking, or using my reading time well. The self-reflection helps children become more aware of the habits that help create strong readers, holds them accountable for using those habits, and usually reinforces them. Some teachers have children mark these reflections daily and then evaluate them, adding their own comments, at the end of the week.
Growth Over Time
Keeping portfolios of student responses helps us identify changes over time. These are useful for formative assessment and for meetings with parents, and can also be evaluated for grades.
We suggest throughout the Reading Comprehension modules that strategy instruction is most effective when it has a purpose beyond the specific day’s lesson. When strategies are taught to support students in learning about a science or social studies topic, or a particular genre or characteristics of literature, we can evaluate products students create to demonstrate what they’ve learned. These products are a step removed from evaluating students’ thinking, as many other factors go into creating them. They also help children understand that strategies are a means to an end, not ends in themselves. The goal is to use our strategic thinking to help us learn.
Reference: Harvey, S., Goudvis, A., & Schroden, A.B., (2011). Staff Development with the Comprehension Toolkits. Heinemann. p. 98.