Bishop Hogan fourth graders have been working hard on their comprehension skills.

Questions that I ask myself as I work with the students include:

  • Are the children willing and able to embrace confusion when they read a passage?
  • can they monitor their own comprehension?
  • Do they know any fix-it strategies to assist them when their comprehension begins to falter?

With this lesson, I focused on the use of context clues when a student may not know the meaning of a word as they are reading. I chose a passage from Matilda by Roald Dahl. We began the lesson using an idea from Deeper Reading by Kelly Gallagher. He suggests that we do a first draft reading. This is the initial reading of a text. He describes it as getting used to the cool water in a swimming pool before beginning a rigorous workout.

Our second draft reading has the reader thinking about the following questions:

  • What does it say?
  • What does it mean?,
  • What does it matter?

When the students were rereading the passage, they found themselves face to face with words they didn’t know. We discussed that often, the meaning of a word can be found right in the text that we are reading.