The Key Comprehension Routine – Primary Grades

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The Key Comprehension Routine for Primary Grades teaches K-3 students basic comprehension skills using existing classroom materials. Teachers learn how to use oral language, visuals, and read-aloud to provide grade-appropriate instruction that can be incorporated during core reading and subject-area instruction. Adoption of The Key Comprehension Routine: Primary Grades across grades K-3 in a school provides a consistent set of introductory comprehension skills as students move from grade to grade.

The Key Comprehension Routine: Primary Grades addresses these topics and skills:

  • Oral language: how to use oral language and a rich language environment in the classroom to improve listening comprehension, a necessary precursor for reading comprehension
  • Text structure — sentences: how to analyze text for read aloud and reading that contains complex sentences and how to build syntactic awareness
  • Text structure — paragraphs: how to use knowledge of paragraph structure to support comprehension
  • Text structure: building awareness of the difference between narrative and informational structures
  • Categorizing and main idea skills: expanding basic categorizing into main idea skills and identifying main ideas during read aloud and reading
  • Top-down topic webs: introduction to a graphic organizer to organize verbal or written information into major topics and big ideas
  • Two-column notes: introduction to a format that teaches the difference between main ideas and details, and adds pictures or words to a note template
  • Retell and summary: using retell to organize and present information or describe the events from a story, and identifying main ideas in a basic summary
  • Question generation: students learn that thinking can occur at different levels from easy to difficult through an introduction to question generation using Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • I, We, You instruction: strategies are taught explicitly through modeling and think aloud, guided practice and scaffolds are provided based on the learning needs of each student
  • Cooperative learning: students learn and practice comprehension strategies by working in cooperative pairs or small groups

Who Should Participate

All grades K-3 teachers, educators who provide support to struggling readers, literacy specialists and coaches, and elementary administrators.

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