I’m sitting at the 2014 IDA (International Dyslexia Association) conference in San Diego and loving every minute of it! I’m in teacher-nerd heaven here! By the end of Day 1 I’ve already taken almost 8 pages of notes! and I still have 8 more seminars to attend!
The speakers are very intriguing and come from various different viewpoints to share an overlapping focus. I chose the comprehension-focused symposium for Day 1 of the conference. We are focusing on the brain, vocabulary, and in depth research about how comprehension is formed including the critical factors needed for strong comprehension. We also looked into the way sentence comprehension is far more complex than we tend to realize and the importance of appropriate forms of assessment to determine true comprehension ability.
We’ve learned about how comprehension and reading affect the brain, which I found completely fascinating. Through my work and research for teaching students with dyslexia, I’ve learned about how the dyslexic brain works differently, but I’m now able to add to that knowledge the affects of reading comprehension skills on the brain. I never even thought to research comprehension and the brain! The imaging studies were so intriguing that I took pictures of the screens during the presentation. Last year I taught a Parent Education seminar about students with reading problems and the brain was one focus of my presentation. I’m so excited to be able to add to that portion of my presentation for this year!
The sentence structure has a direct effect on comprehension of a reading passage. Students are often assessed on their ability to understand the overall meaning of a text, but less often instructed and assessed on their ability to comprehend individual complex sentences. She told us the intervention protocols she used to help students who were struggling, but unfortunately this is out of the scope of my current students. It's out of the current age range for our school since it was directed more for high school aged students, but it was interesting nonetheless.
I'm planning to write a series of posts with the information I've learned. What topics would you like to read about more in depth?