Using prior knowledge is an important part of reading comprehension for students with dyslexia. Students relate written word to their previous experiences to make reading more personal, helping them to both understand and remember what they have read. Some experts believe that activating prior knowledge is the most important aspect of the reading experience. We refer to all of the experiences readers have had throughout their lives, including information they have learned elsewhere when we talk about prior or previous knowledge. This knowledge is used to bring the written word to life and to make it more relevant in the reader's mind. Misconceptions that we accept also add to our understanding, or misunderstanding as we read just s our understanding about the subject can lead to further understanding. A number of teaching interventions can be implemented in the classroom to help students effectively activate prior knowledge when reading. Providing background knowledge and creating opportunities and a framework for students to continue building background knowledge. Another option is preteaching vocabulary.  Not only does their reading fluency increase but so does their reading comprehension as students become more familiar with vocabulary and continue to build their vocabulary skills.

Prior knowledge improves reading comprehension

As students learn and understand new vocabulary word, and relate these words to their personal knowledge of a subject, they can invoke that same knowledge as they read in addition to this. Learning the vocabulary, therefore, helps students to use their personal experiences to relate to stories and information they read. Teachers accept that a student continues to build upon previous knowledge and without this knowledge, they will have a much more difficult time understanding new mathematical concepts. In other subjects, such as social studies, this concept is not readily discussed, however, it is just as important. In order for a student to understand written material, no matter what the subject, a certain level of prior knowledge is needed when teaching math. They will have some level of prior knowledge when students are first introduced to a new topic. They may have a great deal of knowledge, some knowledge or very little knowledge.  Teachers must measure the level of prior knowledge in a specific topic before providing background knowledge. This can be accomplished by asking questions, beginning with general questions and slowly increasing the specificity of questions, write statements on the board based on what students have shared about the topic and much more. She can plan lessons to students further background knowledge once a teacher has gathered information on how much the students know.  For example, when beginning a lesson on the Aztecs, questions on prior knowledge might revolve around types of homes food, geography, beliefs and accomplishments. Based on the information the teacher gathers, she can create a lesson to fill in the blanks, showing slides or pictures of homes, describing what types of food were available, what major accomplishments the Aztecs had. Any new vocabulary words in the lesson should be introduced to the students. This information should be given as an overview and as a precursor to the actual lesson.