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ConcernedPR
ConcernedPR asks:
Q:

My daughter does well with memorization but when asked to respond using the information she read she appears confused and struggles to respond?

My daughter just turned 8 on 3/13.  She has read an abbrvtd vrsn of Rmo & Jlt and responded with enthusiasm about what has happened and relayed the info w/ out problems. When asked did rm lv jlt she says yes why 'cause they got married what happns aftr he goes away 'cause he killed someone who was that someone she can give me the name but when she is asked a simple question from her book like is water important she says yes then you ask her why and its like you just asked her to multiply 1billion times 423,756 then divide by 367 its a complete deer in the headlights look.

Am I expecting to much from her to be able to put information she has read into an answer and per say defend it...She will watch something and its like five minutes later it is lost...or is her brain just more accelerated and the smaller the idea or concept the harder for her to grasp...Math she has problems with the coin concept and distant aspect...she has seen a globe & a map of the US but thinks Texas is another country; yet she can do 3rd grade math & she is in 2nd grade; she can look at a word for however long it takes for her to write it 5x's and memorize it and all her teachers wow say her spelling is better than even the middle schoolers but ...

my concern lies in her ability to respond to a question in a full manner...her ability to write a letter or place what she has read in an abbreviated fashion
In Topics: Learning styles and differences, Cognitive development, Tests (preparing, taking, anxiety!)
> 60 days ago

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Expert

KidAngel
May 13, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Too much analysis for a student that has just turned 8 year old. Through 3rd grade students are still learning foundational skills. For her age, yes, I do believe you are expecting too much from her. These would be questions that would be better answered if these issues were still coming up when she was in 5th grade. Take a breath, Mom. She's doing well, TELL HER SO!! Encouagement and praise are so very important in these defining school years. IF you place too much pressure on children at a young age it can have a reverse effect. Relax and enjoy her, she's doing great!
Barbara Antinoro
Educational Counselor
Kid Angel Foundation
Education.com Team

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Additional Answers (3)

eshinn
eshinn writes:
Hi there,

Wow, Romeo and Juliet!  I wish some of my older students would read Romeo and Juliet with enthusiasm like your daughter.

It sounds to me like she has strengths and weaknesses... we all do.  From what I hear, she is great with repeating, but seems to lack a true understanding.  Here are a few things you can do to help...

1.  Give her choices.  Did the character in the story get mad because he lost his homework or because he was late for school?  This will help you determine if the information is going in and your duaghter cannot retreive it idependently or if she is missing the information all together.

2.  Highlight cause and effect in everyday life.  For exmaple, I am going to the store BECAUSE we are out of cereal and milk.  Mom is having a bad day BECAUSE she was late for work.  

3.  Relate new informtion to what she already knows.  When talking about love and marriage in terms of Romeo and Juliet reference married couples that your daughter knows.  

4.  If you are looking for a set program, Lindamood Bell's Visualizing and Verbalizing program teaches reading comprehension, verbal reasoning, and inferencing by teahcing the student to create a mental image.  Check out the website: www.lindamoodbell.com.

Hope this helps!

Erin
Educational Specialist
> 60 days ago

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EducationAdvice
EducationAd... writes:
It sounds like your daughter is a good decoder (she can say the words out loud) and now you want to deepen her comprehension.  The thing to remember about young readers is that, just because they can decode the words in a book doesn't mean it's an appropriate book for them to read.  Children at this age need to read things with themes and experiences to which they can relate.  They should be reading books with characters their age who are experiencing things they can connect to on a personal level.  The ability to make this type of personal connection is crucial to comprehension.  In addition, children at this age are typically reading books with one (or two) basic plot lines, not several complicated ones intertwined as is the case with most Shakespeare.  

Have you tried any of the Junnie B. Jones or Polk Street School series books?  Maybe she'd like Horrible Harry or Cam Jansen (who is a female dective), or she might enjoy reading some Frog and Toad.  Books like these deal with the themes of friendship and relationships in a way she may be able to strongly relate and better comprehend.
> 60 days ago

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Sylvia HS
Sylvia HS , Child Professional, Teacher writes:
Dear Concerned PR,

Several thoughts come to mind.

1.  Some kinds of questions are easy to understand and some are more difficult.  The easiest kinds of questions ask for rote recall, e.g. who, what, where, when, kinds of questions.  The student, or child, just has to look back in the story for the answer.  These are called literal questions.

2.  More difficult kinds of questions are called inferential questions, e.g. why do you think..., what might happen after..., etc.  The answers to these kinds of questions require higher-order thinking, as the answers aren't stated directly in the passages.

3.  When you're asking your daughter different kinds of questions, keep in mind whether or not the answer is visible and clear, or if it requires a more complex kind of thinking.  For instance, asking for a summary is a more difficult kind of answering.

4.  The syntax of questions is often more complex than the sentence structures found in the passages themselves.  For example, in early elementary texts and stories, the sentences tend to be simple and compound.  However, if we look at the questions that are asked about the passages, they often are worded in a complex manner.

5.  It might be easier for your daughter if you asked her to re-tell what she's read, or seen, rather than only asking questions about it.  Re-telling is another very effective way to measure someone's comprehension.

6. Sketching the sequence of events in a story, or a television show, will help her to deteremine the important events and to remember them.  When you are looking at her series of pictures, then you can ask some more difficult questions, to find out if she can reason out the answer when she doesn't have to remember all of the details in her head.

7.  The work of Allan Paivio and Mark Sadoski has shown us that concreteness is a critical element in recall and understanding.  That is, if we can relate something to a concrete experience in our life, then we're likely to recall and understand it.  Helping your daughter to relate what she reads, or sees, to what she has already experienced in her life, will really aid her memory and her comprehension.  Also, you will want to have her think about how what she reads and sees relates to her life, AS she reads and as she watches.  This is called "the instructional set".  By having her think about this as she reads and watches, she'll be gaining a higher level of comprehension throughout the reading/viewing tasks.  

8.  If a concept is abstract and unfamiliar, like a map, then you will need to think about how to make this concrete and familiar to her.  As children progress through school, more and more of the concepts that are presented are unfamiliar and abstract, so our job as parents, and teachers, becomes more challenging.

I hope that these ideas will give you some assistance in evaluating your daughter's comprehension.

Sylvia HS
Reading Specialist, Author
> 60 days ago

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