Weekly Reading Response #1

Harvey & Goudvis Chapters 1 and 2

Vocabulary Learned

Comprehension- When a reader thinks about what they are learning and not just on what they are reading.

Construct meaning- The building of knowledge and understanding.

Explicit instruction- When an instructor shows their learners how to do something (ex. how they think when reading).

Inferring- Coming up with a conclusion or a prediction without it being explicitly told in the text.

Schema- "The sum total of our background knowledge and experience" (Harvey & Goudvis, 2007, p. 17).

Strategic reading- "Thinking about reading in ways that enhance learning and understanding" (p. 23).

Synthesizing- When one merges information using their thinking and makes it their own thought.

Transactional strategy instruction- Instruction in which students are taught a variety of strategies that allow for them to choose the best one depending on the reading tasks and texts.

Visualizing- When one constructs meaning by using images created in their head.

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Summarization of Main Points Chapter 1

Connection is critical when it comes to choosing and reading books as well as when writing. According to Harvey, "If we connect to a book, we usually can't put it down. Good readers make connections between the texts they read and their own lives" (p. 11). When reading to their class, a teacher should verbalize their connections with the text to show their students what they should be doing while reading. Active readers are those who interact with their text and have a developed awareness of their thinking while reading (p. 13).

Constructing meaning is the main goal of developing comprehension. According to the text, "True comprehension goes beyond literal understanding and involves the reader's interaction with text" (p.14). Active literacy also aids in comprehension as it is, "the means to deeper understanding and diverse, flexible thinking" (p. 16). The classrooms that practice active literacy are the ones that have the students included in the conversations/discussions with other students and the teacher. Active literacy classrooms help nurture thinking.

Questions are critical in teaching and learning. Humans have an innate tendency to want to make sense of their world. Because of this, we question everything in order to gain an understanding. Teachers should celebrate when students ask questions as opposed to only allowing them to answer questions.

Key Points of Chapter 2

  • Students may focus too much on decoding and lose out on the comprehension of the reading.
  • Motivate your students to become better readers by keeping them engaged, interested, and curious.
  • Teach your students strategies for comprehension that they can later use when they need to understand unknown or unfamiliar information.
  • Students' awareness of their inner conversation (the voice inside their head when reading) helps readers repair meaning and monitor their comprehension.

Memorable Quotes with Personal Reflection

"Questions are at the heart of teaching and learning" (p. 18).

I find that too often in the classroom children are told to answer questions without ever having the chance to ask them. In order to learn, one must learn how to question themselves along with the things around them. When reading and writing, questions play a critical role in our understandings and predictions.

"Their [students'] commitment to making meaning soared when they began to understand that their own interpretations and ideas mattered" (p. 20).

Students need to be reminded that no two people think alike. The author of a text may have had their own viewpoint when writing that a student disagrees with. That is OK. Everyone has their own thoughts and opinions that result in their own viewpoints of a book or their writing. There is no "right" way of going about a certain understanding and students need to be reminded of this.

"Like writing, reading is an act of composition. When we write, we compose thoughts on paper. When we read, we compose meaning in our minds" (p. 21).

Writing and reading go hand in hand. Today while mentoring two third grade boys, they mentioned reading writing, trying to figure out which was more important. The two concluded that they were equally as important. One needs text in order to write and vice versa. Also, as this quote stated, both tasks involve coming up with thoughts and meaning.

"The fact is that all readers space out when they read. Kids need to know this, or they risk feeling inadequate when it happens to them" (p. 27).

I find this quote to be very powerful and important. Students need to be reminded that no one is perfect, not even their teachers. Teachers should not hold their students to a standard that they cannot even reach. By letting students know that they are not expected to reach impossible standards, their stress and any burdens they may have felt become lessened.


Harvey, S., & Goudvis, A. (2007). Strategies that work teaching comprehension for understanding and engagement (2nd ed.). Portland, Me.: Stenhouse.

(n.d.). Retrieved January 21, 2015, from http://imgarcade.com/1/reading-worksheet- clipart/

(n.d.). Retrieved January 21, 2015, from http://www.vocabasplat.com/