Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies - Reading is Thinking! - Simply Skilled Teaching

Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies – Reading is Thinking!

Reading Is Thinking

Hey teacher peeps; it’s me, your Guided Reading pal, with a quick reminder about teaching reading comprehension strategies. As soon as the new school year starts, you should begin teaching your kiddos to understand and use reading comprehension strategies.

Whether it’s connected to a read-aloud, shared reading, or Guided Reading, a mini-lesson on a particular reading comprehension strategy can help your kiddos begin to understand and use essential strategies as they read. Explicitly teach the strategy and then model the use of the strategy in action. Then give the students the opportunity to practice using the strategy on their own or with a partner. Anchor charts are helpful reminders for students to use these strategies as they read.

Metacognition and Reading Comprehension Strategies

Teach your students about the concept of metacognition, or “thinking about thinking.” They need to understand that reading is thinking. Introduce the strategies of monitoring and clarifying for comprehension to help students learn to be aware of their thinking as they read. Help them see the importance of identifying what they do not understand.–teach them to reread these parts of the text. Show them how to use illustrations to help clarify or extend meaning.


Making predictions is another strategy that even the youngest readers can begin to utilize. Teach them how to look at the cover, title, pictures and text to make predictions prior to and during reading. Help them learn to verify or revise predictions as the text unfolds. Explain to students how making predictions can help keep them engaged and involved as they read.

Making Connections

Explain the strategy of making connections while reading. Show students how to make meaning from what they read using background knowledge they already possess, whether through life experience or other texts they’ve read.


Teach students the skill of visualizing as they read text. Using a mentor text. show them how to create pictures in their minds as they read the words on a page. You might even take a piece of card stock and cover a picture or two, to show them how it works.

Asking & Answering Questions

Help your students learn to ask and answer questions as they read. Explain how this strategy will help them to stay focused, engaged and actively thinking as they read. Teach them to set a purpose for reading by asking questions such as, “What is the main idea of this story?” Show them how to go beyond basic “right here” questions. Help them see how good questioning will require them to think through the text, search the contents and make connections with what they already know.


Teach students how to annotate text to strengthen comprehension. Have Post-It notes and highlighters available, and show students the actual process. Display a text passage on a smart board. Read the text aloud. Then highlight words, sections or phrases, explaining to the students your reasons for annotating these sections. Explain how annotation can be used to record questions that arise while reading, as well as to highlight key details or identify new or unfamiliar vocabulary words.

Making Inferences

Higher-order thinking skills can be taught to young readers. Inferential thinking happens within the brains of each student in your classroom. The challenge is to teach them to recognize and use the skill of making inferences when they are reading,

Show students how to use illustrations to make inferences; then explain how to use the words in the text as clues to help them make inferences. Explain that an inference is not explicitly stated by the author; it is something the reader thinks or believes, based on clues from what he or she has seen or read. Model coming up with inferences and supporting them with evidence from the text. Read a section of text and ask, “What can you infer from this part of the story?”


Teach students the skill of synthesizing, showing them how to use personal background or prior knowledge or experience to better understand the text they are reading. Explain that they can build and expand their thinking by connecting what they’ve read to what they already know.


Help your students learn the technique of summarizing: identifying the main points of a story or text and eliminating unnecessary details. Your kiddos don’t automatically have this skill.; however, you can help them develop it. Show them how summarizing helps them to pin down the most important points so they can remember the good stuff!

Remind Your Students that Reading is Thinking!

When you’re teaching reading comprehension strategies, my Reading is Thinking bulletin board display is the perfect way to provide a reference point for your students. Use this beautiful display to help your students recall these important strategies all year long as they read. It’s not only a colorful, eye-catching display, but it packs a big punch when it comes to your literacy instruction! Click here to get the Reading is Thinking bulletin board resource!

The Fastest Route to Guided Reading Success

The kiddos in your classroom can become thoughtful, engaged students who read to learn. I’m excited to share with you a new online program that will be a powerful addition to your literacy instruction.

introducing guided readers

Guided Readers is a highly effective online guided reading program to help build and strengthen students’ literacy skills in phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and guided writing. The Digital Interactive Reader helps students with decoding and comprehension skills as they listen to and engage with stories. With Guided Readers, students can listen to the stories being read aloud. They can also record their own reading to improve their oral comprehension, decoding and fluency. In addition, the Teacher Portal allows you as the teacher to listen to and assess student recordings. You can also access quiz scores to assess student comprehension.

All Guided Readers leveled books are published by Laprea Publishing and are professionally leveled through our partnership with Fountas & Pinnell and Lexile.com. There are hundreds of leveled readers already on the site, with 20-30 books being added reach week! Books ranging from levels A- Q are currently on the site, and levels R-Z will be added in the upcoming months. There are 3 affordable program plans, now at special introductory prices!

Are you ready to rock your Guided Reading instruction and help your students thrive? It’s not complicated… Get Guided Readers!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I wish you the best as you teach your heart out and encourage those kiddos to use ALL the strategies! Happy teaching!


Posted in

Keep Reading

Anna DiGilio


I'm Anna DiGilio

Hi, I'm Anna! I was a primary teacher for over twenty-three years, wife of a firefighter, mother of twin teenage boys, obsessed with being creative and helping teachers and love my Saturday morning quiet cup of coffee!
Thanks for stopping by!



Get The Freebie


Get The Freebie


Get the Freebie


Get The Freebie

You've Got


Anna in Your Inbox

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.



Hi, I'm Anna! I was a primary teacher for over twenty-three years, wife of a firefighter, mother of twin teenage boys, obsessed with being creative and helping teachers and love my Saturday morning quiet cup of coffee!
Thanks for stopping by!

Scroll to Top