Assessment of Comprehension

Assessment of Reading
Comprehension (Cognitive
Grace Oakley
What are Reading Comprehension
Cognitive Strategies?
Making connections
Fix-up strategies
Asking questions
Making predictions
Framework for teaching CSI
• Based on a review of the research, Duke and Pearson
(2002, p. 208) suggested a framework for
comprehension strategy instruction, based on Bruner’s
(1990) notion of ‘scaffolding’ or ‘gradual release of
• An explicit description of the strategy and how and
when it should be used
• Modelling of the strategy in action
– Think alouds
• Collaborative or guided use of the strategy
– E.g. Reciprocal Teaching, Read-Along Guides
• Independent use of the strategy
Children need to know
• What the strategy is (declarative knowledge)
• How to use it (procedural knowledge)
• When and why to use it (conditional
• How to evaluate whether ‘it worked’
• ( ... so teachers need to assess children’s
understanding of what, how, when, why ...)
• See Almasi (2004)
Focus for today
• Questioning
– Questioning the author
– Flip it (turning sentences into questions)
– E.g. Making up inferential, evaluative questions
• Visualising (creating mental imagery)
– Picturing settings, characters
– Picturing action, processes
• Mind pictures
• Story Wheel
• Sketch to Stretch (see Read-Write-Think)
Assessment challenges
• ‘Understanding what readers are thinking
during reading remains a complex task’
(Israel, Bauserman & Block, 2005, p. 21).
• What are they thinking before, during and
after reading??
• Assessment of processes difficult. Can be
inferred to some extent from products.
Assessing children’s use of the
• Collect assessment data through
– Artefacts
– Talk
– Observation
• Evaluation – what does the data mean?
Think Alouds
• Think Alouds
– Children are taught to think aloud as they read –
this can allow teacher to ‘see’ what they are
thinking. Can also improve metacognition.
– ‘Stop and Think Cards’ or stickers can be places in
pre-selected places in text.
– Technology can be used to facilitate this.
Using rubrics to guide assessment
• Ellin Keane has developed some rubrics to
assist teachers in assessing comprehension
thinking strategies.
Assessing through the Arts
• Drama
• Drawing
– Including drawing during read aloud
• Video examples from: Into the Book
– Reflective Metacognitive Interviews – get children to
describe how they did the work or read the text and
why they did it that way. Bloom’s taxonomy can help
teachers create probing questions.
– Published interviews e.g. Metacognitive Strategy
Interview (Schmidt, 1990). 25 multiple choice
questions such as:
Before I begin reading , it’s a good idea to:
A) See how many pages are in the story
B) Look up all the big words in the dictionary
C) Make some guesses about what I think will happen in
the story
• D)Think about what has happened so far in the story
Almasi, J. F. (2004). Teaching strategic processes in reading. NY: The
Guilford Press.
Athans, S. K. & Devine, D. A. (2008). Quality comprehension: A strategic
model of reading instruction using read-along guides, grades 3-6.
Newark, DE: IRA
Israel, S. E., Bauserman, K. I., & Block, C. C. (2005). Metacognitive
assessment strategies. Thinking Classroom, 6(2), 21-28.
Keene, E. (2006). Assessing comprehension thinking strategies.
Huntington Beach, California: Shell.
Mokhtari, K., & Reichard, C. A. (2002). Assessing students' metacognitive
awareness of reading strategies. Journal of Educational Psychology,
Oakley, G. (2011). The assessment of reading comprehension cognitive
strategies: Practices and perceptions of Western Australian teachers.
Australian Journal of Language & Literacy, 34(3), 279-293.
Oczkus, L.(2009) Interactive think-aloud lessons: 25 surefire ways to
engage students and improve comprehension. NY: Scholastic.
Schmidt, M. C. (1990). A questionnaire to measure children's awareness
of strategic reading processes. The Reading Teacher, 43(454-461).
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