Reading Comprehension

Gift Wrapped

Key Comprehension Strategies to Teach
Activating and Using Background Knowledge. This strategy requires readers to activate their background knowledge and to use that knowledge to help them understand what they are reading.
Generating and Asking Questions.
Making Inferences.
Predicting.
Summarizing.
Visualizing.
Comprehension Monitoring.

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Don Maker

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$30/class

10wk/session

UC San Diego

B.A. in English

Enrollment is open for  

FALL

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Course Schedule 

FALL TERM

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Fall session begins 

16 AUG 2021

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once/week

Wednesdays

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Pacific Time

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3:30-4:30pm (3-4th), 4:30-5:30pm (5-6th), 5:30-6:30pm (7-8th)

WINTER TERM

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Winter session begins

10 JAN 2022

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once/week

Wednesdays

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Pacific Time

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3:30-4:30pm (3-4th), 4:30-5:30pm (5-6th), 5:30-6:30pm (7-8th)

SPRING TERM

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Spring session begins

21 MAR 2022

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once/week

Wednesdays

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Pacific Time

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3:30-4:30pm (3-4th), 4:30-5:30pm (5-6th), 5:30-6:30pm (7-8th)

SUMMER TERM

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Summer session begins 

7 JUN 2021

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once/week

Wednesdays

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Pacific Time

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3:30-4:30pm (3-4th), 4:30-5:30pm (5-6th), 5:30-6:30pm (7-8th)

DESCRIPTION

3-4th grader:
Each week, there will be an independent unit focused on reading
comprehension and simple writing. The first class will include a 1-2 page story (at grade level) about science, history, or famous people. Some reading comprehension questions will test basic understanding. Instruction will include vocabulary and how to understand what the question is asking and how to find the correct answer. The second class will focus on how to write a 2-3 complete sentence response to questions based on the text. Instruction will include spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and one aspect of grammar. The lessons will gradually become longer and the questions and writing more complex.
While the classes start at a basic level and become progressively more
advanced, the classes are structured so that students are learning skills that are in advance of public schools. In particular, formal grammar is taught, which is not a strong element in most public schools. The curriculum places students to be ahead of the curve, not struggling to keep up. While lessons are enjoyable and enriching, the academic and personal success of each student is always the highest priority.

5-6th grader:
Each week, there will be an independent unit focused on reading
comprehension and writing. A text of 2-3 pages (at grade level or slightly above) will cover science, history, or famous people. The first class will include vocabulary and short reading comprehension questions. Instruction will include how to understand what the question is asking and how to find the correct answer. The second class will focus on how to brainstorm for a longer response based on the text, and then writing of between two to three informative paragraphs, including compare and contrast and opinion. Instruction will include organization and technical aspects of writing (grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.) as well as how to use the text to include relevant information. The lessons will gradually become longer and the questions and writing more complex.
While the classes start at a basic level and become progressively more
advanced, the classes are structured so that students are learning skills that are in advance of public schools. In particular, formal grammar is taught, which is not a strong element in most public schools. The curriculum places students to be ahead of the curve, not struggling to keep up. While Iessons are enjoyable and enriching, the academic and personal success of each student is always the highest priority.

7-8th grader:
Each week, there will be an independent unit focused on reading
comprehension and writing. A text of 3-4 pages (at grade level or slightly above) will cover science, history, or famous people. Fiction may also be included. The first class will include vocabulary and short reading comprehension questions, both multiple choice and those requiring writing of complete sentences. Instruction will include how to understand what the question is asking and how to find the correct answer. The second class will focus on how to brainstorm for a longer response based on the text, and then writing of between three to five paragraphs. Writing will include some informative (including compare and contrast) and persuasive essays. Instruction will include organization and technical aspects of writing (grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.) as well as how to use the text to include relevant information. The lessons will gradually become longer and the questions and writing more complex, leading to full essays with research.
While the classes start at a basic level and become progressively more
advanced, to include some research, the classes are structured so that students are learning skills that are in advance of public schools. In particular, formal grammar is taught, which is not a strong element in most public schools. The curriculum places students to be ahead of the curve, not struggling to keep up. While Iessons are enjoyable and enriching, the academic and personal success of each student is always the highest priority.


WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

3-4th
Reading Comprehension: from direct information to the subtleties of indirect
information, including analysis of the tone of the writing.
Vocabulary: including pronunciation, definition and connotation, plus idioms.
Proper Syntax: includes word choice, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Brainstorming: how to develop strong evidence (information) and a thesis (opinion) on any topic, and then organize those ideas to create a powerful paragraph.
Compelling Writing: includes clear ideas, excellent sentences from simple to
complex, well-constructed paragraphs, persuasive arguments, and dynamic topic sentences and concluding sentences.

5-6th
Reading Comprehension: from direct information to the subtleties of indirect
information, including analysis of the tone and bias in relation to the message.
Vocabulary: including pronunciation, definition and connotation, plus idioms.
Proper Syntax: includes word choice, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Brainstorming: how to develop strong evidence (information) and a thesis (opinion) on any topic, and then organize those ideas to create a powerful 3- and then a 5-paragraph essay.
Compelling Writing: includes clear ideas, excellent sentences from simple to
complex, well-constructed paragraphs, persuasive arguments, and dynamic openings and conclusions.

7-8th
Reading Comprehension: from direct information to the subtleties of indirect
information, including analysis of the tone of the writing.
Vocabulary: including pronunciation, definition and connotation, plus idioms.
Proper Syntax: includes word choice, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Brainstorming: how to develop strong evidence (information) and a thesis (opinion) on any topic, and then organize those ideas to create a powerful 5-paragraph essay.

WHO THIS COURSE IS FOR

3-4th:
1. Fourth graders or advanced third graders who want to improve their reading and writing by at least one grade level.
2. Those readers and writers lacking in confidence.
3. Children wanting to improve their reading and writing for personal pleasure.

5-6th:
1. Fifth or sixth graders who want to improve their reading and writing by at least
one grade level.
2. Those readers and writers lacking in confidence.
3. Children wanting to improve their reading and writing for personal pleasure.

7-8th
1. Seventh or eighth graders (or highly advanced sixth graders) who want to
improve their reading and writing by at least one grade level.
2. Middle school students who want to prepare their English skills for high school.
3. Those readers and writers lacking in confidence.
4. Students wanting to improve their reading and writing for personal pleasure.

REQUIREMENTS

1. A computer/tablet with strong Internet and video/audio capability.
2. A printer or paper and pen/pencil.
3. A desire to master the English language!

PREREQUISITES

3rd grader English

COURSE INCLUDES

- 10 live instruction meetings
- Homework Assignments

ABOUT INSTRUCTOR

Donald Maker holds a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from UC San Diego and a Master of Education from Chapman University. For high school he taught AP literature and SAT prep classes and, for the past 10 years, has tutored elementary and middle school students both individually and in small groups. Because of his friendly and encouraging style, he is very popular with his students.