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Degrees and Certifications:
MS Health, Certification Reading, ESOL, Health, PE
Celebratory Best Practice
One of the most important things I have discovered is that many of my students do not know how to process the text they read. This realization has triggered my interest in the strategies that help students learn from their reading. Now I regularly incorporate these strategies into my instruction.
I have found that this generation of students is so “plugged in” to iPods and cell phones that they don’t read in traditional ways as much as I remember doing – and still do! They need help to engage them in reading, and it’s the teacher’s job to incorporate some of the new technology into their experiences with reading.
Below are some strategies that I have found useful in my Intensive Language Arts classroom. I find that varying my strategies is useful. Not every strategy is appealing to every student, so helping them learn a variety of ways to improve reading comprehension is quite valuable.
I also like to use Jigsaws. One of the advantages of this type of strategy is that it involves all students in the learning process.
Here are two of my favorites:
I like to use a KWL chart with students. Before they read a text they put what they already know under “K,” and put what they want to know (or don’t know) under “W”. Then after they read, they put what they have learned under “L.” This strategy is simple but it helps them look ahead to what topics they will encounter in their reading and it helps them summarize what they already know about the topic.
Another strategy is Anticipation Guides. These are not the traditional “question” study guides that teachers often use. An anticipation guide is a list of statements for students to respond to or think about.
One strategy that I use a lot and which also serves as a formative assessment is to have students write a summary after they have read. I ask them to write a coherent paragraph describing and summarizing what they have learned.
I constantly give shout outs, air fist bumps, high fives and kudos to my students. I do not focus on what students say or do wrong but use this as a teaching moment. I tell my students, “I rather for you to be loud and wrong, rather than giving perfect answers every time. I want to know what you don’t know so that I can teach you.” I constantly have mini-competitions amongst the groups in the classroom; it’s the most exciting to watch.
Instructional Best Practice
The instructional best practice I use in my classroom is the Gradual Release of Responsibility: I do, We do, You do
This scaffold instruction, or the gradual release model, is broadly recognized as a successful approach for moving classroom instruction from teacher-centered, whole-group delivery to student-centered collaboration and independent practice.
Sometimes referred to as “I do it, we do it, you do it,” this model proposes a plan of instruction that includes demonstration, prompt, and practice.
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