Have you ever come to the end of reading something and realize that you have no idea what you just read? Now imagine that happening every time that you read something! How frustrated would you feel? You would probably hate reading and soon give it up.
All too often this is what happens to children who are able to read words but are unable to retrieve any meaning from what they have read.
I just completed a class online called, “Response to Intervention (RTI): Reading Strategies That Work”, presented by Wendell Christensen. According to Christensen’s class, RTI “is a systematic, research-based, and data-driven (tool) for instruction and intervention for struggling readers.” (Lesson 1) The wonderful thing about this approach is that it can be applied to any age group.
The tool that I would like to focus on is used to help students increase their comprehension. It is called hide and seek.
Read: First, give your child a short passage to read, preferably a topic that interests them. The passage should be no longer then what they can cover with their hand.
Hide: Next, cover the words that your child has just read. Sometimes I use a sticky note or I ask my student to cover it with their own hand.
Seek: Lastly, ask your child to tell you about what they just read. If they are uncertain, ask simple questions to see if you can prompt recall. Encourage your child as they remember details. If they continue to struggle with recall, reassure them that it’s okay and that they can read it again.
The whole point of hide and seek is for your child to build their comprehension muscles. It will take time and practice but the payoff is understanding what is being read. And, hopefully, in time, a love of reading.