Okapi Educational Publishing Unveils Elementary Reading Resource to Teach Comprehension Strategies for Informational Texts

Lauren Williams's picture
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Forty-five states are in the midst of implementing the new Common Core State Standards, which emphasize reading "informational," or nonfiction, texts across subject areas. To support this critical U.S. education initiative, Okapi Educational Publishing launched "Explorations Strategies for Comprehension for informational texts," a new and flexible resource to teach comprehension strategies.Complementary to any reading program, this new resource teaches students in grades 2-5 the six strategies for reading comprehension, providing a firm foundation in the literacy skills necessary to read and understand informational texts.

Authored by Alison Davis, Ph.D., an internationally known literacy researcher, writer, speaker and staff trainer, "Explorations Strategies for Comprehension for informational texts" provides educators with a complete resource for teaching students the comprehension skills of  predicting and inferring; monitoring and clarifying; making connections; visualizing; questioning; and summarizing. The resource is packaged in four modules that feature high-interest short texts, easy-to-use teacher-friendly lesson plans, vocabulary specific to each text and embedded formative assessment.

"Our new resource provides schools and districts with a flexible program for building the student comprehension strategies necessary to meet the literacy achievement goals of the new Common Core standards," said Dr. Davis. "Teachers will find the lesson plans easy to use, and students will discover that its high-interest short print and digital texts are engaging and motivating." 

Guided by the lesson plans, teachers first model the comprehension strategy using the interactive whiteboard to share the reading of the text and to model thinking aloud. At the beginning of the second lesson, teachers continue this process of sharing the reading but involve the students in thinking aloud. Then students continue to read using large-format "Working with a Partner" cards. Finally, in the third lesson, students work independently to practice the strategy with text provided at three levels of difficulty, to address individual student abilities.

In a white paper developed to provide the research basis for "ExplorationsStrategies for Comprehension for informational texts," Dr. Davis cites current studies on reading comprehension in areas such as informational texts, differentiated instruction, shared reading, vocabulary and metacognition that form the foundation for this new program she developed in collaboration with Okapi.

All of the program's resources are presented in both digital and print formats, offering teachers instructional flexibility and meeting the needs of all learning styles. "Explorations Strategies for Comprehension for informational texts" supports Response to Intervention initiatives by allowing teachers to select the leveled module that best meets their students' needs, providing them with additional reading comprehension support. With the program's leveled approach and specific support for vocabulary development, teachers will also find it effective for use with ELL students.

For more information or to receive a free sampler of "Explorations Strategies forComprehension for informational texts," visit www.myokapi.com

About Okapi Educational Publishing

Okapi Educational Publishing was founded in 2001 with the goal of supporting educators as they help children to become active participants in their own learning, and to become productive, literate members of society. Because Okapi believes that children construct their own learning, their resources promote creativity and innovation. Engaging materials give children a purpose for their reading and inspire further inquiry. With materials closely correlated to the new Common Core State Standards, Okapi fulfills its mission of creating real-world literacy for real-world kids with real-world results.