Comprehension Tools for Teachers: Reading for Understanding from Prekindergarten Through Fourth Grade

Carol McDonald Connor, Beth M. Phillips, Michael Kaschak, Kenn Apel, Young Suk Kim, Stephanie Al Otaiba, Elizabeth C. Crowe, Shurita Thomas-Tate, Lakeisha Cooper Johnson, Christopher J. Lonigan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This paper describes the theoretical framework, as well as the development and testing of the intervention, Comprehension Tools for Teachers (CTT), which is composed of eight component interventions targeting malleable language and reading comprehension skills that emerging research indicates contribute to proficient reading for understanding for prekindergarteners through fourth graders. Component interventions target processes considered largely automatic as well as more reflective processes, with interacting and reciprocal effects. Specifically, we present component interventions targeting cognitive, linguistic, and text-specific processes, including morphological awareness, syntax, mental-state verbs, comprehension monitoring, narrative and expository text structure, enacted comprehension, academic knowledge, and reading to learn from informational text. Our aim was to develop a tool set composed of intensive meaningful individualized small group interventions. We improved feasibility in regular classrooms through the use of design-based iterative research methods including careful lesson planning, targeted scripting, pre- and postintervention proximal assessments, and technology. In addition to the overall framework, we discuss seven of the component interventions and general results of design and efficacy studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-401
Number of pages23
JournalEducational Psychology Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Academic language
  • Children
  • Early childhood
  • Elementary school
  • Instruction
  • Intervention
  • Literacy
  • Middle childhood
  • Oral language
  • Preschool
  • Reading comprehension
  • Small group intervention
  • Students
  • Tier 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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