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Rereading: A Valuable Comprehension Tool

rereading for comprehension
Details after 1st Reading vs. after Rereading
I am sure you have heard of having students reread stories.  There are many reasons why.  Building fluency is one.  I use rereading a lot during RtI to increase my students' fluency.  I have for many years had students reread their books.  I have them read their book on day one for a specific purpose- could be that we have picture walked the story and made a prediction.  I may have them read to check that prediction.  Then day two they will reread this same story again, but this time it will be for another purpose like comparing the actions of this character to a character from a previous book.  Then on day three, it will be a completely different purpose like to answer an inferential question.

But I decided to use a poem with one of my RtI students who is presently on Tier III to help HER to really see what rereading can do for her comprehension.  I needed HER to see what a valuable tool it could be since she was struggling a bit understanding what she read.  I already knew how valuable it was, but she didn't.  Not yet...

poem for rereading to improve comprehension

So I chose a poem with lots of things going on it- Noise Day by Shel Silverstein.  It has lots different actions and is easily visualized.  I had her read it once and then do a quick sketch of what she remembered.

quick sketch with many more details after rereading

As you can see, she did not get many details after one reading of the poem.  

Wow!!  Look at the difference between the two sketches!  She could easily "see" how many more details from the poem that she remembered after rereading it.  It was like a little light bulb went on for her.  :)

The next step for her is applying what she has just figured out.  She needs to remember to reread now for tests and when answering questions on paper in class.  She has an assessment coming up and I am hoping that she can remember to apply this new skill and then carry it through!


  1. You are amazing! I am learning more from you!

    Amy Howbert
    Little Miss Organized

  2. We do lots of retreading too. I love the idea of sketching remembered details. That's very clever. Even the student can now see one of the many benefits of rereading. Thanks for sharing that, Lori!

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  3. Thanks for sharing! I have had many discussions with my partner teacher about comprehenion lately. She has a student who can read anything, but cannot tell you a thing about what he has read. I'm going to share your post with her so she can give it a try.

    An Apple a Day in First Grade

  4. Rereading is a tool I use as well. I like how you ask them to reread for different purposes though - like killing two birds with one stone.

  5. I love that you had her do the sketches after each reading! I've focused on rereading with my kids as well but have not tried this strategy. Thanks for the great idea!!
    The Daily Cupcake…A Kindergarten Blog

  6. I like the idea of having students sketch what they remember after they read the first time & then again after rereading. Thanks for sharing!
    Connie Anderson:)

  7. This is such a valuable tool. My kids have become so accustomed to reading a story several times. I will now be adding the sketching idea to make it more concrete!!

    Surfin' Through Second

  8. You are too kind, Amy! Thanks so much!

  9. Thanks Barbara! I think this is the first time I have had the student sketch it so they could see the difference rereading makes. Kind of eye opening for them.

  10. Karen, good luck with the student who is having difficulty with comprehension. I hope it helps your friend to help him. :) Thanks so much for coming by!

  11. That is a good way to put it, Tammy- killing 2 birds with one stone. Fluency practice combined with comprehension...Certainly helps my students. :)

  12. You are welcome, Bobbie! Thanks so much for coming by. I hope the sketching helps!

  13. Thanks, Connie! I think it is a very helpful visual for the students. Thank you so much for coming by!

  14. I love that you came by my blog, Corinna! I hope that the sketching helps. :)


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