Third grade reading comprehension is the key component of third grade reading. In this series, we are covering all of the components of third grade reading. In previous posts, we have talked about fluency and teaching a new reading strategy or skill. Today, we are focusing on comprehension and how you help your students become better readers through reading comprehension practice.
Constant Practice of Reading Comprehension
This is key. You should be doing some sort of reading comprehension exercise every single day. In order to help your students with third grade reading comprehension, constant practice is the way to go.
Engaging Practice for Reading Comprehension
You want to make sure that the practice you are doing is engaging and interesting to your readers.
One way to do this is through reading comprehension challenges. This is where students are reading and practicing their comprehension on several different high-level texts, but they are working towards a challenge so they don’t even realize how hard they are working! (That is key, trick them into hard work).
An example would be reading skill surgery, where students read many hard texts and practice their comprehension, all in order to save their patient and figure out what is wrong with them. You can read more about that challenge here!
Or grab a whole year’s worth of challenges here!
Short Close Reads Weekly
An easy way to make sure you are practicing reading comprehension daily is to do a daily close read. If it is short, concise, and easy to read, this can make their reading comprehension skyrocket.
Close reading is an essential life skill. You use close reading daily as you go through life. You are using close reading skills right now as you read this blog post.
You could do this daily in your reading instruction, for morning work, for homework, for center work, etc. It doesn’t matter when, just so students are practicing daily (or weekly if time does not allow for daily practice).
Grab some free short close reads below to get started!
Centers are a great way to practice reading comprehension. These are the centers that I have used in my classroom and how they impact third grade reading comprehension.
- Close Reading Center- We take the passages talked about above and give students the practice here!
- Digital Center- Students love digital time, but it can also be used to practice close reading! Try a free news site like Time for Kids and have the kids write about an article they read. Or have them do these Google Slides that have them practice close reading several times throughout.
- Teacher Time- Read all about how I run teacher time here, but in teacher time all we are working on is reading comprehension!
Reading to students is the single best way to promote their reading comprehension skills. Mentor texts are a great way to make sure that you are modeling the reading comprehension skills that your students need.
You can do this through picture books or chapter books! Both are equally valuable and a great way to model how to really use those reading comprehension skills that you are teaching in real life!
Teaching kids to prove their answers is a hard thing to teach, but so valuable to their reading comprehension.
One great way is to yell “PROVE it!” in a silly voice to remind them. Then, they learn that every time you do that silly thing they know they need to highlight their answer in the text and put it as a part of their answer on the paper.
The last and final piece of third grade reading comprehension is the use of novel comprehension. In third grade, they are ready to start reading hard and more complex texts. You can do this in a few ways…
- Whole Class Novel Studies- Read how I run these here.
- Book Clubs- My kids LOVE book clubs. They get to read with their friends and discuss the text. You can read more about those here!
- Read Alouds- Just reading aloud to your students every day helps with their novel comprehension. Find my favorite 10 read alouds here!
- Friendly Reads- This is where you have two kiddos reading and discussing the same book. Reading with a friend is a great way to motivate an unsure reader. Read about friendly reads here.
Conclusion: Practice Daily
Basically, the conclusion of this post is that in order to have successful third grade reading comprehension instruction, you need to practice daily in many different ways.