Do your students struggle with comprehension? It doesn’t matter what grade you teach, there are just some students who have difficulty understanding what they read. There are many reasons why this can happen. It could be a complex plot, too many characters, too much action, just a boring book, or it could be a bigger issue. Regardless of what is causing the breakdown of comprehension, there are things you can do as a reading teacher to not only help correct it, but to resolve the issue all together!
Fix-Up strategies are strategies students can do before, during, or after their reading. These strategies are in place to try and help the student actually understand what they are reading as they are reading. A great way to do this is by conducting individual conferences. Individual conferences are conducted between the teacher (that’s you!) and individual students. I try to meet with anywhere from 3-5 students a day. Each conference should be no longer than 2-3 minutes. You don’t have to reserve time for these, just do them as you have time. There’s nothing formal or fancy to it! Don’t have time for individual conferences? That’s okay, you can still use these cards! Just pull a small group of students who are struggling and walk them through the strategy together. Again, no more than 2-3 minutes!
First, let’s go through the steps of setting up your binder. You will need the following supplies:
I store my cards in my guided reading binder. I always have mine when I’m conferencing so I can take notes and schedule our next conference on my monthly calendar.
As students are struggling, choose a ‘fix-up’ strategy that you think will work for them. Then, go over the strategy and schedule your next conference. You shouldn’t wait any longer than 3 days to meet with them again. That gives them plenty of time to use the strategy, reflect on it, and decide if it’s working for them.
Each card has a second side that will be printed to it. This side is for the student’s reflection. They should have this side completed before your next conference date.
I always try to encourage the students to come up with at least one question or comment they have about the strategy. With this filled out, its gives you a spring board for your next conference.
The key to quick conferences is being prepared. If you are prepared and know exactly what you want to talk about, it is easily done in the recommended 2-3 minutes.
When you give your students their first strategy card, go ahead and give them a silver book ring. Since your cards are already pre-punched, you can just hand the student card and the ring. Student will then keep all the strategy cards you give them throughout the school year. During the school year, students can have this resource to use as they monitor their comprehension.
Not all students will have all the cards, and some of your really good readers may not have any at all. This is truly a resource that can be differentiated to meet the needs of your classroom and your students.
If you would like to see what all is included and learn more about this resource, please click the ‘find out more’ button below.
If you would like to save this for later, I have included a Pinterest image below. But before you go, I want to share one more thing that you may want to use in your classroom. Have students use these bookmarks to monitor their comprehension as they read. Download them below!