I just received some questions from a student about comprehension and vocab so here are the short tips I gave him:
Q I have a hard time with authors purpose and compare this to that.
A Do you have a list of possible answers ie persuasion, explanation, humor? A list is helpful because you can talk about it with a friend and act the common ones out so they stick in your mind better. With compare/contrast type questions be sure you know you'res looking for 'same as' and 'different' (and key words are words like "likewise" and "similarly", and "by contrast". When I teach this I usually say really simple things like, “I am wearing pants and similarly you are” or “I’m short, by contrast, you’re tall” and I get my student to say some of his own examples (real easy ones) and we act them out where we can (sitting/standing, in/out).
Q My knowledge of vocab words is also really low
A Vocab can be hard because you want to discover new words naturally but how often do we really consider vocab except in school books? I usually start thinking about vocab by discussing the advantage of having good vocab ie when you know big words you look smart! Then we find words we don’t know and want to know, practice spelling them, thinking up any handy ways of remembering them, then using them in sentences (orally). Then we pick the hardest 5 to save. I have students explain them again and write them out again . They take them with them, or I keep them, and we review them next session. Oh, and any novel ways you can think of to remember them, the better. Acting out is good, also drawing things in and around the word and thinking of your own experiences or people the word describes ie My mom’s frugal!. When you spell the word, look out for tricky syllables and highlight them, eg in/CES/sant.
Q If the teacher says turn to page 263 in your book, read to page 266 and do problems 1-5...I can't remember it all.
A A quick review of note taking would help you. In this example you would jot down something like:
You might have fun thinking up your own creative/bizarre/artistic shorthand.