Learning in Two Languages : Using Comprehension Boxes to Monitor Understanding ( Usando 'cuadros de comprension' para monitorear entendimiento )

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Using Comprehension Boxes to Monitor Understanding ( Usando 'cuadros de comprension' para monitorear entendimiento )

Holding students accountable for their independent reading is a must in my classroom. While I meet with everyone one-on-one at least once a week for reading, I felt that I needed something else to make sure that they were not only reading but also understanding what they were reading. Even though I love graphic organizers, I wanted something smaller (something that would not take them more than 3-5 minutes to complete). That is where my 'Comprehension Boxes' originated - by the need to have my students respond to reading without sacrificing too much independent reading time. Each one of the sheets my students work on has 4 boxes, and each box targets different reading skills (character analysis, summarizing, making predictions, making inferences, comparing and contrasting and much more).

My students have been using these sheets for a few weeks now and they are doing really well - the boxes do not take long to complete, yet they (the boxes) give me a GREAT overview of what my students are understanding and most importantly who needs help ASAP! Below are a few photos of the boxes in action. One thing I am still working on is the battle between students responding in English or Spanish. The boxes will continue to be in Spanish, but their responses will vary depending on the books they are reading (if they are reading in English, then the response is expected to be in English and if the book they are reading is in Spanish, then they are expected to respond in Spanish). At the beginning was a mixture of everything, but now we are doing much better.

I color code the comprehension sheets so students can differentiate between fiction and non-fiction (since the sheets are different for each genre)

Students are asked to provide evidence for their answers

Non-fiction comprehension boxes were color coded yellow. Also, each student glues their comprehension boxes inside their reading journals (that way there aren't papers everywhere). It is all kept in one place.

So, how do you monitor comprehension in your classroom? I would love to hear.

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