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Understanding Texts and Readers

Best selling author Jennifer Serravallo is already a rock star in the education community. Her previous books, “The Writing Strategies Book” and “The Reading Strategies Book”  have helped thousands of educators offer strategies for reading and writing.  Now, Serravallo is out with a new guide designed to help teachers make sense of reading comprehension.

“Understanding Texts & Readers” offers the tools for an educator to identify if a student is comprehending a book, even if an educator is not familiar with the book the student is reading.

Are They “Getting It”?

Serravallo says her goal is to make sense of something, that is sometimes hard to make sense of. There are many different viewpoints on what it even means to understand comprehension. Ranging from the Rosenblatt Reader Response Theory to a Proficient Reader Research, it can get murky for educators.

“Sometimes the classroom teacher is left thinking, what am I really looking for? What does comprehension look like?

Jennifer Serravallo

Serravallo says, “Sometimes the classroom teacher is left thinking, what am I really looking for? What does comprehension look like? What does it look like when a kid really gets it?”

With stories, charts, and examples, “Understanding Texts & Readers” quickly helps educators determine if their students are “getting it.”

In the book, Serravallo offers a qualities of response mechanism, so teachers can look at a students response and identify if the student needs some support.

“If we know that a plot in a “level R” text is likely to have a flashback, then if a child is reading a “level R” text then we ask them to retell. If they’re only telling us in sequence, we can know that they might be missing something in the text,” says Serravallo.

The ultimate goal is to make reading fun and create lifelong readers.

“If you are not comprehending, then what fun is reading? And I think a lot of disengagement with reading is rooted in a lack of understanding,” says Serravallo.

To hear our full discussion with Serravallo and get ideas for doing something similar in your school, listen to Episode 72 of the Class Dismissed Podcast on your favorite podcast app or iTunes.

Other Links in Episode 72

Chance the Rapper goes Undercover With Lyft

Are you a Visual or Auditory Learner? It Doesn’t Matter

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