Synthesized comprehension instruction in primary classrooms: A story of successes and challenges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This 8-month qualitative study investigated 3 primary classrooms' implementation of a synthesized approach to comprehension instruction that incorporated vocabulary development, cognitive strategies, and responsive engagement. Three themes emerged, including successes and challenges in (a) the implementation of the separate components of the synthesis approach, (b) the gradual release of responsibility, and (c) the classroom logistics involved in the implementation of the synthesis approach. Teachers became more intentional in vocabulary development, explicit strategy instruction, and the asking of open-ended questions. Students were able to use strategies flexibly and engage in high-level discussions about complex texts. Small-group discussions were initiated, but it was difficult for primary students to lead and sustain productive discussions that enhanced meaning-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-355
Number of pages22
JournalReading and Writing Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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