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What Matters Most in the Science of Reading Comprehension? Amping up Comprehension By Boosting Oral Language, Listening Comprehension, Knowledge Development, and Vocabulary

Feb 4, 2025
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Date: Tuesday, February 4, 2025

Time: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM ET

Location: Online, via Zoom

Who Should Attend: Grades K-2 teachers and coaches

Cost: $150 per person

With so much emphasis placed on phonics and decoding, you may be worried that comprehension is falling by the wayside. Indeed, many teachers report that students are becoming stronger at word reading, but simply cannot understand and retell stories with the strength they could in the past. There is a large body of research to draw upon so that comprehension, oral language, and vocabulary are planned for and taught and assessed and celebrated.

We will examine established long-standing methods for boosting oral language and comprehension. In addition, it’s important to recognize that there is new research you can draw upon in your teaching about comprehension, and phonics, including research about executive function, knowledge development and vocabulary, and oral language development. Today, we’ll share ways to bring this exciting new research into your classrooms. 

As part of this, we’ll help you support comprehension across your entire day, in particular through read-aloud and shared reading. We’ll also share how to use Let’s Gather as a way to truly bolster your read-aloud and your shared reading instruction. These books are rich and full of resources to make the time when you gather on the carpet more purposeful than ever. Research shows that reading texts to and with kids directly supports vocabulary development, working memory, knowledge of phonics, listening comprehension, fluency, and knowledge building. 

Across this day expect to:

  • Learn ways to build strong comprehension through visualization, questioning, and predicting. These three skills are key to comprehension development, and we will offer effective techniques for teaching them.

  • Explore the impact of oral language development on reading development. Learn ways to help students expand their oral language and speak in more complex sentences, by teaching them to listen more responsively during partner conversations and say more by using key transitional phrases and sentence stems. 

  • Analyze videos of the most high-leverage small groups that support comprehension by helping students monitor for sense, infer, retell stories and identify main topic and details.

  • Learn structures and methods you can bring into your read-alouds and shared reading that support students with close reading and with answering text-dependent questions. Help transfer those structures to independent reading. 

  • Consider how to use writing about reading as a tool to support talk and comprehension.