Teacher working with students via computer

Understanding and supporting comprehension

teaching practice

For student year

Preschool – Year 12

Helps students to

  • engage in learning
  • Helps teachers to

  • support comprehension
  • Summary

    We know that comprehension is critical to learning, but it has wider implications. How much students comprehend affects how much they engage with, enjoy, and benefit from classroom activities and their interactions with peers and teachers.

    When students communicate using spoken language, they can tell you if they don’t understand, or you can work it out by the way the students ask and respond to questions. However, when students are communicating mainly in ways other than speech, it can be more difficult to gauge their comprehension. By observing carefully and systematically adjusting classroom activities, you can learn a lot about how much a student is understanding.

    This practice contains some practical tips to help you work out how much your students are understanding, particularly those students who communicate mainly in ways other than speech.

    Practice toolkit

    Practice implementation planner template

    We know that it is not always easy to keep track of what is working and what is not. So, we have created this template for you to record and reflect on what you are doing to help you create a more inclusive classroom. The implementation planner contains:

    • Guidance around goal setting
    • Reflection section (What worked, didn’t work and what to change and next steps.)
    • Prompting questions

    Implementation planner template

    Implementation planner with examples

    Set your professional learning goal for:

    Understanding and supporting comprehension
    You can set and save your goal for inclusive practices using inclusionED. Saved goals will appear in your profile. Here you can access, refine and review your goal easily.

    Benefits of goal setting

    Setting, working towards, and reflecting on goals helps you grow professionally and improve your practice. You can access AITSL learning resources for teachers to learn more about:
    How to set goals
    The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership recommends using the SMART matrix to frame your goal setting.

    SMART goals refers to goals that are:
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Relevant
    • Time-phased
    Read more about Improving teaching practices.