"Reading comprehension is about much more than answering literal questions at the end of a passage, story, or chapter. Reading comprehension is an ongoing process of evolving thinking. When readers read, they carry on an inner conversation with the text. They respond with delight, wonder, even outrage. They question the text, argue with the author, and nod their heads in agreement. They make connections, ask questions, and draw inferences to better understand and learn from what they read.

The noted children’s author Madeleine L’Engle says, “Readers usually grossly underestimate their own importance. If a reader cannot create a book along with the writer, the book will never come to life. . . . The author and the reader ‘know’ each other. They meet in the bridge of words.” We want our students to recognize how important their thinking is when they read. It’s our job as teachers (and parents) to convince students that their thoughts, ideas, and interpretations matter. When readers engage in the text and listen to their inner conversation, they enhance their understanding, build knowledge, and develop insight."

(By Stephanie Harvey, author of Strategies That Work)