Reading Strategies for Reading Teachers

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Hong Kong University:

Hong Kong University Reading Strategies for Middle School Teachers

Pair Share:

Pair Share Find your corresponding partner and discuss your comfort level with teaching Reading. (Write the response of your partner on a piece of paper) Briefly discuss what good readers do.



What Do Good Readers Do?:

What Do Good Readers Do?

Good Readers…:

Good Readers… Make Connections Good readers relate what they read to their own lives (connecting it to prior knowledge, discovering similarities between the text and what they have experienced).

Good Readers…:

Good Readers… Ask Questions Good readers clarify understanding and make meaning out of what they read. Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

Good Readers…:

Good Readers… Visualize Good readers paint pictures in their mind as they read texts.

Good Readers…:

Good Readers… Draw Inferences and Predict Good readers take what they know, gather clues, make judgments, and predict what will happen.

Good Readers…:

Good Readers… Determine Important Ideas Good readers focus on essential ideas and important information.

Good Readers…:

Good Readers… Synthesize Information Good readers combine new information with prior knowledge to generate a new idea.

Good Readers…:

Good Readers… Monitor Comprehension and Clarify Good readers know when they understand what they read and when they do not. If they do not comprehend, they try to correct misunderstandings.

The Blame Game:

The Blame Game

The Blame Game:

The Blame Game “It is unreasonable to expect that any student could acquire enough reading competence by the 5 th grade to carry him or her through middle school, high school, and life. Almost half of the middle schools offer no systematic reading instruction or make it available for remedial readers or as an elective.” Irvin and Connors, 1989

The Blame Game:

The Blame Game When struggling readers get to middle school, some teachers blame elementary teachers. Even after the concentrated efforts of the middle school teachers, a few struggling students go on to high school, and the middle school teachers get blamed for students’ lack of Reading proficiency.

The Blame Game:

The Blame Game WHOSE FAULT IS IT? CERTAINLY NOT MINE . . . The college professor said, "Such wrong in the student is a shame, Lack of preparation in high school is to blame." Said the high school teacher, "Good heavens, that boy is a fool. The fault, of course, is with the middle school."

The Blame Game:

The Blame Game WHOSE FAULT IS IT? CERTAINLY NOT MINE . . . The middle school teacher said, "From such stupidity may I be spared, They send him to me so unprepared." The elementary teacher said, "The kindergartners are block-heads all. They call it preparation; why, it's worse than none at all."

The Blame Game:

The Blame Game WHOSE FAULT IS IT? CERTAINLY NOT MINE . . . The kindergarten teacher said, "Such lack of training never did I see, What kind of mother must that woman be." The mother said, "Poor helpless child, he's not to blame For you see, his father's folks are all the same."

The Blame Game:

The Blame Game WHOSE FAULT IS IT? CERTAINLY NOT MINE . . . Said the father, at the end of the line, "I doubt the rascal's even mine!"

Middle School Analogy…:

Middle School Analogy… Middle school teachers should think of their students as athletes at the beginning of their careers in Reading, practicing basic reading strategies until they become automatic. Students can then gain the Reading skills to become superstars in any subject.

What Does the Research Say?:

What Does the Research Say?

Startling Stats…:

Startling Stats… Approximately one in four students in the 12th grade (who have not already dropped out of school) are still reading at "below basic" levels, while only one student in twenty reads at "advanced" levels.  Clearly, teaching Reading is not just an elementary school problem. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

Researcher - David Sousa:

Researcher - David Sousa “That the brain learns to read at all attests to its remarkable ability to sift through seemingly confusing input and establish patterns and systems. For a few children, this process comes naturally; most have to be taught .”

National Institute for Literacy and the Center for Educational Statistics:

National Institute for Literacy and the Center for Educational Statistics ______ million adults in the U.S. are functionally illiterate. 40 40 About ____percent of all 4 th graders lack the most basic reading skills.

5 Areas of Reading Instruction...:

5 Areas of Reading Instruction... Phonemic Awareness Phonics Fluency Vocabulary Text Comprehension

Area 1: Phonemic Awareness:

Area 1: Phonemic Awareness The ability to hear the sounds that letters make when they are put together to make words Example: /b/a/t/ Phonemes = sounds letters make Sounds can be segmented (pulled apart) Sounds can be blended (put back together) Sounds can be manipulated (added, deleted, substituted)

Phonemic Awareness:

Phonemic Awareness Strategies for Teaching Phonemic Awareness – Mails a Package; Categorizing Pictures; Listen for the Sound; Phoneme Deletion; Word-to-Word Matching; Odd Word Out; Sound Boxes; Tic-Tac-Toe with Rhyming Words; Riddle Rap; Jumping Syllables; Mother, May I?; Discriminating Phonemes

Area 2: Phonics:

Area 2: Phonics The relationship between the sounds heard when spoken (phonemes) and the letters in the alphabet (graphemes) Phonics involves sounding a word out. If a teacher was taught to sound a word out, they will teach their students this method .


Phonics Strategies for Teaching Phonics Sound Patterns; Onsets and Rimes; Familiar Stories and Poetry; Pick Up; Consonant Rummy; Making Words

Area 3: Vocabulary Development:

Area 3: Vocabulary Development The ability to store information about meanings and pronunciations of words needed to understand content Denotation = dictionary definition Connotation = real-life usage Often short term learning

Vocabulary Development:

Vocabulary Development Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary Development – Keyword Method; Incidental Learning; Repeated Exposure; Pre-teaching of Vocabulary; Restructuring Reading Materials; Context Method; List/Group/Label; Rivet; Semantic Webbing; Divergent Webbing; Convergent Webbing; SVES; Steps to the VOC Strategy; Word Sort; Word of the Week; Four Square

Area 4: Fluency:

Area 4: Fluency The ability to read text with accuracy, expression, speed, and comprehension Reading with inflection (phrasing) Fluent readers do not have to concentrate on decoding words, but can focus on content. Fluent readers make the connection between the text and their own personal experiences. Fluency is the bridge between recognizing words and comprehension.


Fluency Strategies for Teaching Fluency Select Appropriate Text; Modeling and Repeated Reading; Repeated Reading with Feedback; Partner Reading; Reader’s Theatre; Choral Reading; Echo Reading

Area 5: Text Comprehension:

Area 5: Text Comprehension The ability to understand, remember, and explain to others what you have read

Text Comprehension:

Text Comprehension Strategies for Teaching Comprehension Main Idea Matching Games; Sense of Story; Context Clues; UNRAAVEL (Larry Bell) * U nderline the Title, * N ow Predict the Passage, * R un Through and Number the Paragraphs, * A re You Reading the Questions?, * A re the Important Words Circled?, * V enture Through the Passage, * E liminate Wrong Answers, * L et the Questions Be Answered

Hot off the Press…This just in!:

Hot off the Press…This just in! Lexile in Action – Strategies and Task Suggestions from the DOE. A Lexile measure is a valuable piece of information about either an individual's reading ability or the difficulty of a text, like a book or magazine article. The Lexile measure is shown as a number with an "L" after it — 880L is 880 Lexile.

PowerPoint Presentation:

A student gets his or her Lexile reader measure from a reading test or program. For example, if a student receives an 880L on her end-of-grade reading test, she is an 880 Lexile reader. Higher Lexile measures represent a higher level of reading ability. A Lexile reader measure can range from below 200L for beginning readers to above 1600L for advanced readers. Readers who score at or below 0L receive a BR for Beginning Reader.

PowerPoint Presentation:

The Lexile Framework for Reading is an educational tool that uses a measure called a Lexile to match readers of all ages with books, articles and other leveled reading resources. The Lexile Framework uses quantitative methods, based on individual words and sentence lengths, rather than qualitative analysis of content to produce scores.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Accordingly, the scores for texts do not reflect factors such as multiple levels of meaning or maturity of themes, and the US Core Standards recommend the use of alternative, qualitative, methods for selecting books for students at grade 6 and over.




Obstacles… At the middle and high school level, there are several obstacles that make Reading instruction more challenging…

Obstacle #1:

Obstacle #1 Most teachers at the high school level do not consider themselves to be Reading teachers . They have never received training in reading instruction, and even when trained, their first priority is to teach a content area (like biology or history).

Obstacle #2:

Obstacle #2 It is hard for any teacher to teach a student to read when he/she only sees that student for 50 minutes a day (or less).

Obstacle #3:

Obstacle #3 Students who are still struggling with Reading in middle and high school are not usually very motivated to learn to read. In fact, they will often do almost anything to avoid reading instruction.

Spice it Up!:

Spice it Up! How can we spice up Reading instruction?

How to Make it More Interesting…:

How to Make it More Interesting… When possible, instructional materials should be used that are clearly relevant and intrinsically interesting to the students. – Interest Inventories – See Handouts.

More Motivation…:

More Motivation… Students should also have regular input into selection of reading materials and instructional activities (Carson, 1990; Turner, 1995). Schools and teachers often find they must work with the students to find appropriate and engaging instructional materials that can be used to supplement the materials in the core reading program.

And More Motivation…:

And More Motivation… Instruction should be designed to encourage social discussions of reading and writing activities. Social discussion and collaboration has been shown to support both student motivation and comprehension of materials (Hynds, 1997), and may be of particular benefit to struggling readers.

Literature Circles…:

Literature Circles… Discussion Director Connector Summarizer Vocabulary Enricher Character Captain

Scenario Summaries…:

Scenario Summaries… With your table group, use the scenarios provided at your table. Read the instructional scenario. Briefly discuss how the teacher attempted to engage and motivate his/her students.

Face the Facts…:

Face the Facts… If you have a child in the 7th grade who is having trouble with reading, you are dealing with a child who has about 5 years of experience in avoiding reading. The things that child needs to learn in order to become a proficient reader are not all that different from what a 1st grader needs to learn, but it is much harder to teach those things to a stubborn, obstinate 7th grader than an eager, curious 1st grader.

Research-Based Resources for the Balanced Middle School Reading Teacher…:

Research-Based Resources for the Balanced Middle School Reading Teacher…

First Step…:

First Step… That said, the first step for reading instruction for older struggling readers is diagnostic assessment.

Why Diagnostic Assessment?:

Why Diagnostic Assessment? There are a variety of reasons why an older student may be struggling to learn to read… -Difficulties Decoding Words -Language Comprehension Problems -Some Combination of the Two

Diagnostic Assessment Tells Us…:

Diagnostic Assessment Tells Us… Once all students have been screened with a general Reading Comprehension test, those students who are struggling should be tested for: Decoding Fluency (which can be done with a short list of grade-appropriate words) Listening Comprehension Skills (to determine if there is a problem with language comprehension) Based on those assessments, further diagnostic measures may be necessary (e.g. if the student has decoding fluency problems, he or she should be tested for phoneme awareness, word attack skills, and basic letter-sound knowledge.)

What Now and How?:

What Now and How? Once struggling readers have been identified and diagnostic assessments have revealed areas where the student could use some focused instruction, the school must provide the structures and resources to help each student to make as much gain as possible as fast as possible.

A Few Years Behind…:

A Few Years Behind… * For students who are only a few years behind their peers, it is likely that some focused instruction from talented teachers in their regular classrooms will be enough to get them caught up (focusing on enhancing vocabulary, comprehension skills, and most importantly, increasing the amount of time those students spend every day reading and writing). *A team of strong teachers, working collaboratively, can help students who are only a few years behind to get on grade level within a school year.

While those who are many years behind…:

While those who are many years behind… *Sadly, often students make it into middle- and high-school without acquiring even basic reading skills.  While their peers are reading at 7th grade levels and beyond, these students are still struggling to read 2nd grade material. *Likely, these students will need intense, explicit instruction to develop both decoding skills and comprehension skills. *Certainly they would also benefit from strong, individualized classroom instruction (the classroom teacher definitely does not get off the hook with these students -- they are not somebody else's problem), but supplementary services will need to be provided in order for these students to catch up.

If I am a content area teacher, how can I teach Reading?:

If I am a content area teacher, how can I teach Reading? Teachers should be spending their time teaching fluency (through repeated oral reading of content material EVERY DAY until all students are reading at or beyond a grade-appropriate criterion, vocabulary (using effective research-based strategies), and above all comprehension (at high levels of sophistication). Of course, you are also supposed to be enhancing relevant background knowledge in whatever domain you are teaching.

Do Your Students a Favor…:

Do Your Students a Favor… If there is one huge favor secondary teachers can do for their students, it is to teach them to write .  Every day.  Voluminously. Writing builds reading fluency.  Writing builds comprehension and vocabulary.





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