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Reading Comprehension Predicting Strategy with Gradual Release of Responsibility

Predicting is fundamental to comprehension, according to author/researcher Gerald G. Duffy in Explaining Reading, 2003. Good readers anticipate meaning and they re-predict, or revise their predictions as they read. Predicting strategy is employed by the use of thoughtful prior knowledge, as with all effective comprehension strategies.

The best way to introduce a comprehension strategy is for the adult to model its use first, then, once the student has the concept, gradually release control and have the student model it for the adult.

To accomplish teaching the predicting strategy, start with the beginning of the reading, forecasting what you think will happen, given the title. Model thinking out loud, as it is a good way to show the student what you are thinking as an ‘expert’ reader. (This is called metacognitive thinking, or going ‘meta.’) Continue reading, stopping at points that give you, the ‘expert’ reader, hints as to what you think is going to happen next. If you come to a point where you have to revise your prediction, do so. Then say out loud as to why your revision took place.

Next steps are to first scaffold the student’s use of the prediction strategy, giving assistance to the student where necessary. Continue with less teacher help and then with no teacher help. This may take several modelling situations to help secure the student in trying it with help, but it should work. Take an accounting after having read a few paragraphs to test for comprehension. Gradually and with lots of help, the student should be able to do this silently as he/she reads along.

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