Jennifer Serravallo, a renowned best-selling author in the education world, has left a profound mark with her previous works, “The Writing Strategies Book” and “The Reading Strategies Book,” which have provided invaluable guidance to countless educators seeking compelling reading and writing strategies. In Episode 250 of Class Dismissed, Serravallo discusses another of her great works, “Understanding Texts & Readers,” aimed at helping teachers unravel the mysteries of reading comprehension.
In this book, Serravallo equips educators with the tools to assess a student’s grasp of a book, even if the educator is unfamiliar with the specific text the student is immersed in.
The Question of “Getting It”
Serravallo’s mission is to demystify the often perplexing concept of comprehension. The world of comprehension is vast, with various theories, such as the Rosenblatt Reader Response Theory and Proficient Reader Research, perplexing some educators.
She poses the critical questions educators grapple with: What am I looking for? What does comprehension indeed entail? What are the telltale signs that a child has truly grasped the essence of a text?
With an engaging blend of stories, illuminating charts, and practical examples, “Understanding Texts & Readers” swiftly guides educators in assessing whether their students are truly “getting it.”
Within the pages of this book, Serravallo introduces remarkable qualities of the response mechanism. This mechanism empowers teachers to examine students’ responses and discern if the student requires additional support.
For instance, if a “level R” text is known to contain a flashback, teachers can employ this insight when assessing comprehension. Serravallo explains, “If a child reading a ‘level R’ text is asked to retell the story but narrates events solely in sequence, it may indicate they are missing crucial elements within the text.”
Ultimately, the goal is to infuse joy into reading and cultivate lifelong readers.
Serravallo eloquently sums it up: “If comprehension is lacking, then where is the delight in reading? I believe that a significant portion of disengagement with reading stems from a lack of understanding.”
To delve deeper into Serravallo’s insights and discover strategies for implementing similar approaches in your school, tune in to Episode 250 of the Class Dismissed Podcast, available on your preferred podcast platform or the Apple Podcasts App.