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 Post subject: Comprehension
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
Posts: 2151
Location: Warwickshire
Ive decided at the very last minute to make my ds do some practice work.

He's ok at maths and non v/r but his comprehension is very poor.

Any tips? Is it best to look at the questions first, or read it together first (or should he read it to himself), and to attempt to answer in 10 minutes?

He can answer the multiple choice questions on the meanings of words as he has a good vocabulary.

I don't know whether to bother, as it is so difficult to get him to try - and he should get to a good comp whatever the result. He argues - rightly - this should be based on "natural talent" but most dc in his class are having coaching.

Any advice on how to do comprehension?


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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 4587
Location: Essex
ginx wrote:
Ive decided at the very last minute to make my ds do some practice work.

He's ok at maths and non v/r but his comprehension is very poor.

Any tips? Is it best to look at the questions first, or read it together first (or should he read it to himself), and to attempt to answer in 10 minutes?

He can answer the multiple choice questions on the meanings of words as he has a good vocabulary.

I don't know whether to bother, as it is so difficult to get him to try - and he should get to a good comp whatever the result. He argues - rightly - this should be based on "natural talent" but most dc in his class are having coaching.

Any advice on how to do comprehension?


if his vocabulary is good, then I guess you mean that his skills in 'doing comprehension' seem a bit lacking, rather that he actually has difficulty in understanding things in general?

I would always say to read through the passage as carefully as possible first - the 'looking at the questions first' method can lead to thinking that you have found the answer, but actually not doing so completely (or possibly at all :shock: ). I love your DS's attitude, by the way - ours were the same, although possibly one could say that this was what they were 'coached' in, because they had heard us say it often enough :lol:

Could you just persuade him to 'humour Mummy' by doing a few passages together? Doing his best is more important than the actual outcome, if you and he know that there is a good school he will be able to go to, whether he 'passes' or not?

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
Posts: 2151
Location: Warwickshire
Thank you, Toadmum.

He certainly does not try at comprehension at home, whatever bribery I use. He fidgets, moans, sucks his thumb ... anything not to work.

He's on top tables at school and I'm amazed when his comprehension is so poor. He does understand things, but still does not read books to himself - which can't help. I've been reading to him for ages now, but he falls asleep very quickly - he's very active and is always worn out by the end of the day, especially at this time of year.

I am interested to see how he does - because his result will mostly be from "natural talent" - and I'm not particularly concerned. He's lucky; he is getting into a good comp. because his sister is there at the time of "application" but not "admission"; she is in year 13 now. The grammar school is good too - but it really doesn't matter. As I type that, it must matter a bit or I wouldn't be bothering at all! I just don't want him to be the only one who doesn't get into the grammar school when so many boys are having coaching.


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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 4587
Location: Essex
It is quite possible that DS2 and his friend whose mum was labouring under the unfortunate misapprehension that we have a 12+ here and so he could always have another go the following year were the only two 11+ candidates in their year (there weren't that many of them) who didn't have formal, paid tutoring. DS2, another boy and one girl were the only three who passed. For all the tutors who will only take on a 'certain bet', paid-for coaching is no guarantee of success, so even if your DS doesn't do well enough for a grammar school place, it is unlikely that he will be the only one.

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am
Posts: 1656
Hi,
Have you tried the CGP 10 minute Comprehensions? There are a variety of texts and my son liked some of them; didn't mind others but disliked only a few.
One thing I did was to give him a visual for some of them, for example I would look on YouTube or the Internet if there was something related to the text. Then he would do the comprehension exercise. I know what type of reading he likes and it doesn't include descriptions! He'd complain that they put the "boring bits of good books". My answer was that he would have to tackle whatever text they gave him in the exam, so it would be better to get used to it. He really improved with the book and gained confidence.

Good luck!

Salsa


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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:29 am
Posts: 638
You say your son will not read to himself. I would say that so much of it begins with reading. If your ds is not yet mature enough to want to read for himself then I think trying to make him do comprehension is destined to fail. I also think there is a danger of breeding a dislike of English in general if it becomes too much of a chore. Your description of your ds fidgeting, moaning, sucking his thumb and so on does suggest he is simply not ready for this kind of coaching.
Grammar school are not the be all and end all, and it sounds to me like he'd be better off at the other school. :)
I woul dbe trying to encourage him to discover books he likes and characters he enjoys and nothing more at this stage.


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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:25 am 
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Posts: 5922
I don't agree that reading for pleasure, to oneself, is a prerequisite for attainment at school. None of my three has ever been much interested in reading fiction, except for a brief spell when one was injured and couldn't really do anything else. They are all high attainers and all spend most of their time outdoors or doing other stuff - and the moreso when they were younger. So I would say don't stress about that - I would go as far as to call it a myth as long as other stuff is firing on a good number of cylinders.

In terms of comprehension, I spent a couple of years working with children who weren't attaining their wretched 'targets' at a school where many pupils had a lot of behavioural and social problems. I quickly gave up on all pre-published material and started, every time, with the child. So if a child was interested in football, I found articles on football; if it was make-up, I found stuff on that. It made for an eclectic mix of comprehension material (piercings I recall being a bit of an eye-opener for me; ditto goth culture in Finland!) but it got the child wanting to read to the next paragraph and wanting to understand what was being said. So, could you adapt this approach? Find something he is interested in, find something written about it (the internet is brilliant for this), read it together, talk about it. Forget writing about it to start with - get him to talk about his ideas and his interpretation of what he has read. If that works, then stretch it out a bit - I found that passages on 'freaks of nature' type incidents generally aroused interest, as did stuff written (or probably ghost-written) by 'celebrities'. IMHO you don't have much to lose by chucking out all the worthy literature stuff - you can still develop some skills by looking at other material. Save the boring 18th century fiction for when he is begging you for more comprehension Mum!

Also my personal favourite - don't forget Radio 4. Some great programmes on there for following an argument, expanding vocabulary and finding things to talk about, without the bother of having to stop everything else and sit down. Also newspapers and even the TV news - following a story, hearing other opinions etc - it is all part of real-world comprehension.


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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:13 am 
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Posts: 39
Sailing in the same boat, DS doesn't like reading as such but quite active and doing well in other areas. My DS is still not fond of fiction. He reads quite a lot of non fiction though.

So I resorted to reading news on TV, mobile etc..Radio 4 is good for on the go :)

Its funny we are still struggling with comprehension while the other areas are much better covered or I can just simply say he is natural with them, and didn't hv to make any special efforts.

I have tried the following Schofield and Sims Comprehension, Bond comprehension, Letts result booster (comprehension part). We read news and try to understand them.

This has just brought up his scores a tiny bit in comprehension not a major difference I can say. But just hoping that he does well on the exam day and pulls through.


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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
parentoftwo wrote:
So I resorted to reading news on TV
Did you find it easy to get a job? :wink: :D


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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am
Posts: 1656
Excellent advice to get them going. My children have always read what they enjoy. Our problem is, however, that the exam may have some descriptive text my son doesn't like. With that in mind, I've had to give him techniques to answer the questions in the given time. I do hope he gets an action packed text, preferably involving some monsters and magic. Alternatively some factual stuff involving dangerous animals. However, if it's some text about feelings, I'm afraid he'll have a much harder time.


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