DictionaryYou pick up a magazine and read an article, start to finish. You put the magazine down and realize you can’t recall anything about the article—not because you couldn't comprehend what you read, but simply because you didn't. This happens to even the most fluent readers. Comprehension may be the purpose of reading, but it’s never a guarantee.

Fortunately, there are well-established ways to boost the likelihood that your students will comprehend what they read. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) emphasize fostering the comprehension of informational text using strategies that align well with Read Naturally, such as using text-based evidence to answer questions. Vocabulary knowledge rating is another strategy that you may use to supplement your Read Naturally program for students who need extra comprehension and vocabulary support.

It is important to remember that applying the knowledge-rating strategy will not be appropriate for every Read Naturally student. Students’ fluency needs must be met before they can become more sophisticated with comprehension and vocabulary, so be cautious about providing supplemental activities beyond the Read Naturally strategy to students with deep fluency deficits.

If you wish to supplement your Read Naturally program with the knowledge-rating strategy, enter the key words and bold-faced vocabulary words from a Read Naturally story into a table like the one below.

Vocabulary Word Can I Define It Have I Seen/Heard It I Don't Know It

Before reading the story, students rate their knowledge of each word by marking an x in the appropriate column. They offer a short definition of the terms they know, which sets a framework for comprehension. Next, students find the vocabulary words in the story. After reading the story completely, students revisit the words and provide definitions. You may offer Read Naturally glossaries as a way for students to verify definitions.

Processing vocabulary in this way helps students understand what they read. Note that there are variations in how to implement this strategy. For example, some educators have students predict definitions and tweak those predictions as they read.

Do you have feedback or questions about Read Naturally and the Common Core State Standards? Feel free to contact us at 800.788.4085 or info@readnaturally.com. We’d love to hear from you!