Executive Skills and Reading Comprehension
A Guide for Educators
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How do K-12 students become self-regulated learners who actively deploy comprehension strategies to make meaning from texts? This cutting-edge guide is the first book to highlight the importance of executive skills for improving reading comprehension. Chapters review the research base for particular executive functions--such as planning, organization, cognitive flexibility, and impulse control--and present practical skills-building strategies for the classroom. Detailed examples show what each skill looks like in real readers, and sidebars draw explicit connections to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Reproducible planning and assessment forms can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8 1/2" x 11" size.
Table of Contents
2. Plans and Goals: Getting Ready to Read
3. Organization: Why Text and Reader Organization Matter
4. Cognitive Flexibility: Juggling Multiple Aspects of Reading
5. Working Memory: Holding and Linking Ideas in Mind While Reading
6. Inhibition and Impulse Control: Resisting Distractions to Support Comprehension
7. Social Understanding: The Importance of Mind Reading for Reading Comprehension
Epilogue: Linking the New with the Old: How Are Familiar Comprehension Skills and Strategies Related to Executive Skills?
Appendix A. Rubric for Assessing Executive Skills in Observations of Your Students’ Reading Behavior
Appendix B. List of Games Related to the Executive Skills Described in This Book
Children’s Literature Cited
"This book will change the way practitioners and researchers think about and teach reading comprehension. It is a 'must have' for anyone who wants to know more about how executive skills influence this vital aspect of reading. Teachers and reading specialists will find accessible instructional advice. Researchers will find an integrated and exhaustive account of state-of-the-art research that bridges the fields of reading, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology. Cartwright’s style is informative yet practical and personable."--Katherine Hilden, PhD, School of Teacher Education and Leadership, Radford University
"Every teacher has experienced students who can decode fluently but struggle to make sense of text. This book offers a new perspective for working with these students. Demonstrating how executive skills--such as planning, cognitive flexibility, and impulse control--affect comprehension, Cartwright artfully translates foundational research into easy-to-implement classroom activities. Classroom teachers will find this an understandable and useful guide that can be put to immediate use."--Christina Saunders, MEd, EdS, reading specialist, Hanover County Public Schools, Virginia
"Timely and unique. Cartwright integrates blossoming research on executive processes with knowledge about the development of reading abilities, and offers straightforward classroom exercises to improve both sets of skills. This book needs to be used in teacher training programs and should be on the reading lists of advanced undergraduate developmental and educational seminars. As a text, it immerses students in cutting-edge cognitive-developmental research in the motivating context of reading improvement."--Stuart Marcovitch, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
"If you are a classroom teacher, reading specialist, or graduate student looking for one book that not only will have a deep impact on your understanding of thinking and learning, but also will significantly improve your instructional practice related to reading comprehension, look no further. Executive Skills and Reading Comprehension is that book."--Robb Gaskins, PhD, Head of School, Benchmark School, Media, Pennsylvania
"This in-depth resource connects reading comprehension to the most important constellation of cognitive skills in childhood--executive function. The book takes an important, pragmatic step forward in teaching the whole child, and should find a home on teacher’s desks."--Adam J. Cox, PhD, author of No Mind Left Behind