Skill Level: Grade 3 through Middle School (Reading and Writing)


                                    

Reading  Comprehension                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  • Make Connections:  Use prior knowledge through life experiences or other reading materials to relate information from one text to another.  

  • Visualize:  Create mental images in your head to help improve comprehension. 

  • Determine Importance: Distinguish between what information is most important, and what is interesting but not necessary for understanding the entire text.

  • Vocabulary/Context Clues:  Books are full of "clues" in sentences that help to define a particular word in the same sentence.

  • Make Predictions:  Using information from a text (titles, headings, pictures, diagrams, and what was read) and personal experiences to anticipate what might happen next.

  • Synthesize:  Stop every so often while reading to think about what is being read.  Then combine it with new information to create an original idea in your mind.  This helps to better understand the meaning of the text.

  • Inferential Skills:  Search within the text to determine the meaning beyond what is actually written.  Figure out characters' relationships to each other, draw your own conclusions from facts presented, and recognize the writer's viewpoint without having it specifically stated in the reading.

  • Critical Thinking Skills:  The basic questions (Who, What, Why, Where, When, How) need to be answered  to start the process of critical thinking.  The next step is to identify facts, organize thoughts, and interpret what is read.  The last step is to separate the whole topic or story into components, examine each of them, and make inferences.

Fluency

  • Read with automaticity, speed, correct intonation, no omissions or substitutions, and self-correction.


 


Writing                               

  • Grammar

  • Use of various sentence structures

  • Word choice and writing fluency

  • Executive functioning (elaboration and organization of thoughts)

  • Multi-paragraph writing

  • Pre-writing, drafting, revising, proofreading

  • Essay writing (descriptive, narrative, informative, persuasive)

  • Organizational patterns of writing (chronological, comparison/contrast)

  • Semantic webs to organize ideas

 

Compositions                                                         

A composition states and develops a main idea, supporting ideas and details, and a conclusion.  

  • Main Idea:  This is the beginning of a composition that expresses a general idea, and has two parts  The topic is the idea that the writer is presenting, and a comment is the writer’s opinion or emotion about the topic.
  • Body:  This is the largest part of a composition that consists of specific details to support the main idea and make the writing more interesting.
  • Conclusion:  One or two sentences that summarize the entire composition and gives it closure.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Essays

An essay is a type of composition that is a personal piece based on the character of a person or a specific topic. 

  • Descriptive Essay:  Vivid language is used to describe a person, place, or event so the reader can picture the topic clearly in his or her mind.
     
  • Narrative Essay:  Tells the reader about a particular event that took place, and includes characters, a plot, and a setting.
     
  • Informative Essay:  Explains and evaluates concepts, and informs the reader about something important.  It includes a thesis statement that informs the reader of the content and the main purpose for the essay.
     
  • Persuasive Essay:  The writer attempts to convince the reader to be in agreement on an important issue.  It involves research and includes evidence to persuade the reader to agree with specific points.  This essay has a clear thesis statement with strong supporting statements.


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