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Improving Reading Comprehension in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade


Summary

Students who read with understanding at an early age gain access to a broader range of texts, knowledge, and educational opportunities, making early reading comprehension instruction particularly critical. This guide recommends five specific steps that teachers, reading coaches, and principals can take to successfully improve reading comprehension for young readers.

Recommendations

  Recommendation Level of Evidence
1.

Teach students how to use reading comprehension strategies.

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Recommendation 1 (5.3 MB)
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(5:27 minutes)

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Transcript (127 KB)
Strong
2.

Teach students to identify and use the text’s organizational structure to comprehend, learn, and remember content.

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Recommendation 2 (5.3 MB)
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(5:42 minutes)

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Transcript (134 KB)
Moderate
3.

Guide students through focused, high-quality discussion on the meaning of text.

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Recommendation 3 (5.3 MB)
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(5:40 minutes)

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Transcript (109 KB)
Minimal
4.

Select texts purposefully to support comprehension development.

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Recommendation 4 (5.3 MB)
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(5:13 minutes)

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Transcript (135 KB)
Minimal
5.

Establish an engaging and motivating context in which to teach reading comprehension.

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Recommendation 5 (5.3 MB)
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(5:39 minutes)

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Transcript (142 KB)
Moderate
This practice guide was prepared for the WWC by Mathematica Policy Research under contract
ED-07-CO-0062.


The following research staff contributed to the guide: Virginia Knechtel, Emily Sama-Miller, Samina Sattar, and Sarah Wissel.

These videos were prepared by WestEd under the Doing What Works Contract (ED-PEP-11-C-0068).
All videos are based on recommendations from the WWC practice guides and are designed to complement the guides.