Improving Reading Comprehension in Elementary Students - Shannon Burton

Reading comprehension skills are an essential part of a growing reader’s repertoire. Early readers should start with picture books, and as they get older, it will help them understand chapter books, newspapers, textbooks, and other more challenging texts. The following tips will help your young reader master reading comprehension!

Reading Aloud

Reading aloud forces your child to read at a slower pace and gives them more time to process what they are reading. When they read aloud, they do not only see the words on the page, but they hear how they sound when spoken out loud.

Reading the Right Books

Your reader should recognize 90% of the words in the books they are reading without any help. Picking books on your reader’s reading level will help them gain confidence in understanding what they are reading and reading the information aloud. 

Talk to the Teacher

If your reader struggles with comprehension, you might need to employ other strategies to boost their confidence and get them to the right level. Reaching out to your child’s teacher for other ideas can be a great resource to help you figure out the next steps. 

Reread to Build Fluency

A quick way to build comprehension skills is to have your reader reread texts. Your child should be able to read the passages quickly and smoothly before moving on to the next passage. Rereading familiar books also helps them to decode words quicker. Remember, by third grade, and your student should be able to read 90 words a minute.

Talk About it

It’s important to ask your readers questions before, during, and after their done reading to comprehend. This form of verbal processing helps the reader understand and think through the different themes in the book. This is much easier for older students to understand, but it doesn’t hurt to start early! 

Supplemental Readings

If your reader is studying a particular theme in class, look for easy-to-read books or magazines on the classroom topic. Prior knowledge on the topic will help the student understand the more challenging classroom texts and understand the topic they are studying.