Reading Comprehension Activities & Organization

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  • 0:00 The DRA and DRTA
  • 2:21 Shared Book Experience
  • 3:12 Graphic Organizers
  • 3:50 KWL
  • 4:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Watch this video lesson to learn about various activities and tools you can use to help increase your students' reading comprehension. Also, learn about a formal assessment you can use to test a particular student's reading comprehension level.

The DRA and DRTA

Reading comprehension is the ability to understand what one is reading, and it's crucial to a student's academic success in all subjects. Without a high enough level of reading comprehension, students will not be able to understand what they are being taught. And if students are not able to understand what they are reading, then they are more likely to fail standardized tests where they are required to read certain passages.

Because reading comprehension is such as important skill, educators have available to them an assessment called the DRA. This is an acronym that stands for the Developmental Reading Assessment. The DRA is an assessment that is given individually to students. It tests them on many topics, including rhyming, spelling, and vocabulary. The test gives a result from A1 through 80. The higher the number, the higher the level of the student's reading comprehension. Once a student has received their result, teachers and parents can then search for books at that particular reading level.

In addition to the DRA, educators can also incorporate the use of the DRTA in the classroom. DRTA stands for Directed Reading Thinking Activity. This activity helps students to think critically and then to use their reading material to either confirm or refute their thoughts. The DRTA has three steps, one for each of the first three letters, starting with 'D' for 'direct.' In this first part, teachers direct the students by asking them questions about the material they are about to read. Teachers ask the students to look at the pictures, headings, and subheadings in a text to guess or predict what is in the reading.

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