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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Retelling a Story

We have been working on retelling a story or chapter of a story that we have read. Retelling is different from summarizing because in summarizing you tell only the most important points in a short statement or paragraph form while retelling is telling the entire story over again including the little details (especially the character's names). This is the best way to assess what a child at this age/developmental stage understands about a story. If they can retell it accurately and in sequence, then they understand it. If they get confused or tell it in a random order then they may have issues with their comprehension.

Reading consists of many components but all of these components lead to reading comprehension. We read to get the meaning of the piece of text we are reading. We try to incorporate comprehension instruction all along the way. We begin with decoding skills or word attack skills but we talk about the meaning of the story, too. We then move on to teaching fluency. Fluency is reading in a smooth manner with good expression. Fluent reading helps comprehension. If a child is reading with expression you can tell that he or she understands what they are reading. While students will continue to work on decoding skills and fluency throughout their school years, after first and second grade, reading instruction becomes mainly about comprehension.

We need to build a good foundation for your child's reading comprehension now. You can help by asking your child to retell the stories or a chapter of a story that he or she reads to you (make sure you have read the story, too, so you know if they are accurate). You can also retell stories that you read aloud together. Take turns retelling parts of the story that you just read together and make it fun. This practice will really helps develop your child's comprehension and vocabulary.

Read a good book or two.

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