girl-160172_640I read an interesting article recently titled ‘9 Definitions of Reading Comprehension

The moment I saw the title, I thought to myself…What is MY definitions of reading comprehension?

Since Happy Frog Apps make apps to help with reading comprehension, we probably should be able to define what reading comprehension is!

I began by reading the article, which discusses various ways that teachers define reading comprehension.  One of the most comprehensive definitions given was:

Comprehension is a dynamic process in which information from the text and knowledge possessed by the reader interact to enable the reader to construct meaning before, during, and after reading.

As an educator, I think this definition covers exactly what is needed.  It is a great definition for teachers to use because it uses their language and defines precisely the inputs and outputs are.  But I felt that it wasn’t quite what was needed for our purposes here at Happy Frog Apps.

To me, the above definition is missing the key part of WHY we want kids to comprehend.  I want kids to read so that they can get the JOY of reading. So they can experience the absolute bliss of being caught up in an excellent story, or the thrill or learning something new from a book.    To me, comprehension is ALL about the benefit.

So, for my purposes, I have created the following definition:

Being able to comprehend a text means understanding the text enough so that the reader can get pleasure or benefit from the words.

Since our goal is to help kids with reading comprehension, we need to remember that not only do we need to work on the technical skills of reading comprehension, we also need to help our kids discover the joy of reading.

When our kids are grabbing a book because they WANT to and reading with a smile on their face…THAT is when our job is done, not before!

Thanks to Kimberley Tyson for the original thought-provoking article!