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Fluent reading, poor comprehension

(16 Posts)
Jjcrackers Thu 28-May-15 17:09:32

My DS (6) is can smash through reading a book but really struggles on the comprehension tests after.

We talk about the pages he has read and he seems to be able to answer my questions...tho I suspect I might be leading him.

But then when he is tested on it at school he performs poorly.

What can I do to help?

CtrlAltDelicious Thu 28-May-15 17:11:57

Talk really is key here. Lots of questioning as you read together.
"Why do we think X did that?"
"Look at that picture! How can we tell she's feeling angry?"
"That's a big word, what do you think it means?"
It gets them thinking and backing up their opinions.

CtrlAltDelicious Thu 28-May-15 17:12:31

And he shouldn't be "tested" on his reading books.

LynetteScavo Thu 28-May-15 17:16:48

Why do you say that, CtrlAltDelicious?

Lots of schools seem to be using "Accelerated Reader" which tests the child on each book read.

It seems my DDs school is the only one around here which isn't doing the scheme, and tbh, it's left me a bit envy

But back to the OP, I would have thought if the child isn't understanding the text, although they can de-code the words they are reading, they really need to be on a lower level book.

nilbyname Thu 28-May-15 17:25:12

There are 2 types of questions the right there comprehension ones- they are easy, like... How many people are in the family, what's the dogs name? Etc etc.

Then there are the higher Oder thinking skill type questions- the how's/why/if type ones.

Try asking these questions about lots of things in different contexts.

Things to spice up reading-
Read a variety of materials- instructions, signs, backs of boxes, recipes, books, comics, newspapers

Read for a purpose.
Write lots- read like a writer, write like a reader
Find synonyms and antonyms for new words
Clap out syllables for long words
Classify words- noun, verb, adjective.
Make real life links with reading books
Share reading, you read a bit, they read a bit
Do a TV style interview after you've read the book
Make a poster recommending and advertising the book
Write a short summary of the book.

Pastaface Thu 28-May-15 18:04:12

This is quite common - generally caused by children moving up book levels too quickly due to good decoding skills. When talking about the book/asking you child questions get them to show you in the text and/or the pictures where they are getting their answer from/what clues they can find to help them etc.

Pastaface Thu 28-May-15 18:04:46


Mandzi34 Fri 29-May-15 21:49:17

I had this with my DS. He is an August born baby and the youngest in the class. His reading pace was good but he just didn't understand the deeper meaning. This has improved as he's got older.

AnonyMusty Sat 30-May-15 15:34:03

Ask questions such as:
Why do you think that ...
How do we know that...
How can we tell that ...
What might...
Why might...
(All questions should relate to characters' feelings as well as to events).
I particularly lien to use these books with pupils who struggle with inference and deduction:

Mitzi50 Sat 30-May-15 15:58:36

Does he have any wider language deficits? There is some research which suggests that poor comprehenders have deficits in receptive vocabulary and semantic processing.

If you are "leading" him as you suggest, you may be masking any issues at home.

mrz Sat 30-May-15 16:33:04

As pastaface says it's not unusual for a child who is racing through a reading scheme to reach a point where their ability to read the words outstrips their understanding. Many children need to work on comprehension once they pass the stage if straight recall of the story.

ReallyTired Sun 31-May-15 15:20:17

I feel that reading books to children is a good way of improving comprehension. Often children use up so much mental energy in reading they simply do not have enough energy left to comprehend and enjoy the story.

mrz Sun 31-May-15 16:16:41

Reading to and chatting about what you've read is important. It's also important that you explain new vocabulary rather than assume they will know or work it out.
Pointing out features in the book ... Look how big the author's written BOOOO! ...they've used an exclamation mark and capital letters ... All those words start with the same sound ...can you hear the rhyme ...

mrz Sun 31-May-15 16:20:26

And keep reading to them long after they are capable of reading it themselves.

Stre55monster Sun 31-May-15 17:47:19

My DS was a brilliant reader in KS1 but by the end of Yr3 we realised he had a big problem with comprehension and his reading levels plateaued. If we'd picked it up sooner like you have, we could maybe have done something about it using some of the techniques mentioned above.

However, we didn't and school didn't have many ideas on how to tackle it so we decided to try this online programme called that I'd seen mentioned on the SN boards here. It's American and so some of the spellings are "incorrect" but it's amazing at teaching to read for understanding and also to teach comprehension test techniques e.g. how to look for info, how to draw inferences etc.

Not appropriate for your DS yet given his age but I'm posting in case it's of use to anyone else reading the thread with an older child - my DS jumped 3 sub-levels in a year using it - we were really pleased.

Stre55monster Sun 31-May-15 17:48:06

Link fail


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