I’m re-posting my most useful posts from the first six months of this year.



A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Reading Comprehension Interventions on the Reading Comprehension Outcomes of Struggling Readers in Third Through 12th Grades is a new and interesting study by Marissa Filderman and her colleagues.

Unfortunately, it’s behind a paywall, but here the parts I think teachers would find most useful:

Background knowledge and strategy instruction were associated with significantly larger effects….Of all strategies, main idea strategy instruction yielded the strongest effect of g=.72, with the effects of inferencing, retell, and prediction ranging from g=.56 to g=.60….

Interventions that included instructional enhancements (graphic organizers and technology) demonstrated significantly lower effects (g =.45) than those that built background knowledge or focused on comprehension strategies. Metacognitive approaches did not significantly moderate the effects of comprehension intervention (g=.49…

Grade level also did not moderate effects, suggesting that elementary and secondary students both benefit from comprehension instruction. However, the average effect for elementary students (g=.47) was smaller than that observed for secondary students (g=.67).


When it comes to background knowledge, the three most effective strategies I use are:

*K-W-L Charts. You can read about how I use them in the classroom at my Washington Post column, The kind of teaching kids need right now.

* Using accessible English texts to provide needed prior knowledge.  You might want to check out The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels”

* Providing texts in a students’ home language prior to leading the lesson in English.  See The Best Multilingual & Bilingual Sites For Math, Social Studies, & Science.


I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Reading Strategies & Comprehension – Help Me Find More!