Integrating RTI with Cogntive Neuropsychology. A Scientific Approach to Reading. by Steven Feifer, D.Ed, and Douglas A. Della Toffalo, PH.D. The Comprehension Connection, Ch. 6. Reading comprehension is a multi-faceted skills where deficits can be from poor language comprehension skills which do not show up until upper elementary and secondary grades. Early reading skills focus on teaching phonics but students in upper grade learn how to identify words by studying morphology or root words with prefixes and suffixes along with vocabulary. Difficulties with comprehension involve parts of the brain such as the prefontral cortex for executive functioning. Processing speed, working memory and sustained attention are also involved in executive functioning but emerge as students mature. Children with dylexia show makrd deficity on parts of executive functioning skills. The most important skill being working memory where one can hold knowledge while using the knowledge to understand what is read. The following executive functioning traits are needed for reading comprehension: planning skills (read with a purpose and processing new information);
organization skills (keep text together); working memory; cognitive flexibility(shifting thought patterns); Verbal fluency(processing information); concept formation; response inhibition and sustained attention. Reading comprehension interventions include the following: stop and start (student reads then stops and either student or teacher asks a question); directional questions (ask questions at beginning); story maps; narrative reading (retell); read aloud (helps memory); multiple exposure(skim, then read for detail); active particpation (take notes while reading); create questions(have students write questions); reduce anxiety; practice terminology (build background, vocab. before reading); class discussions; sequencing tasks(give random words and have students arrange them to make a sentence then sentences to make a paragraph); increase fluency (re-reading).