If readers can read the words but don't understand what they're reading, then they are not really reading. Comprehension is the reason for reading. Text comprehension can be improved when students learn specific strategies to help them make sense of text. Instruction in specific comprehension strategies helps students become purposeful, active readers who are in control of their own comprehension.
(National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: an evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction. Retrieved May 5, 2011, from http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/nrp/smallbook.htm.)
In this video, Vicki Kotz shares how she uses literature circles to help her second-graders comprehend what they're reading. She describes how she organizes the circles, beginning with a morning message that prepares the students for the day's literature circle. She also describes the structure and roles within the literature circles and the materials she prepares for her students.
This video was originally part of the multimedia professional development resource Literacy Strategies in Action produced by KET in 2006 in collaboration with the Kentucky Department of Education.