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Chapter 1 - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis - Elementary Education Book
Chapter 1 - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis - Elementary Education Book
Chapter 1 - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis - Elementary Education Book
Chapter 1 - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis - Elementary Education Book
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Chapter 1 - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis - Elementary Education Book

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Chapter 1 - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis - Elementary Education Book

Chapter 1 - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis - Elementary Education Book

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  • 1. Chapter 1 – William Allan Kritsonis, PhDDevelop a Good Elementary Reading ProgramReading is the golden key to unlock doors. A child’s success in life is oftendetermined by his or her ability to read. Since the primary years build the foundationupon which a child’s education rests, developing an effective reading program is aprime responsibility of the elementary teacher.Research tells us that school dropouts become disenchanted, fed-up, utterlydisgusted, and discouraged in school because they cannot read adequately. This is afact! – but a fact of which elementary educators are not proud. Is there hope? Yes!Numerous school systems now employ full-time specialists in reading instruction andmany schools have their own reading specialist. Is this the answer? No, it is not! Theanswer lies in the elementary school classroom. Students must successfully learn toread at this level in order for school systems to avoid the additional expense of hiringreading specialists at the middle, junior high, and secondary levels.Being actively involved in the selection of new programs leads to activeinvolvement in the total reading program when it becomes operational. Teachers mustinvestigate different types of reading programs and evaluate them in terms of strengths,weaknesses, advantages, and disadvantages. Articles evaluating various readingprograms are continually being published. Consulting these articles may help indeciding which reading program best answers class needs. This information can also beobtained through the local newspaper, educational bulletins, libraries, or magazines.When a program appears to be suitable, discuss it with the school principal,colleagues, and reading specialists. Have a qualified representative demonstrate theparticular reading program or visit a school where it is currently being used. This affordsthe opportunity to actually see the program working, as well as to discuss its strengthsand weaknesses with knowledgeable representatives or with teachers who are alreadyusing it.Be familiar with new approaches that improve reading instruction for students.Various individualized reading programs must be studied. Be cognizant of the reading1
  • 2. skills taught in these individualized programs and examine the basic textbooks beingused. When evaluating a program, remember to consider the vocabulary builders andinterest- catching factors of the total individualized reading program.The atmosphere created in classrooms must radiate that reading is a majoractivity. Book clubs, posters, pageants, fairs, plays, computer fairs, book reports, andbook displays help to strengthen the classroom’s reading program. Respect students’ideas concerning reading by allowing and encouraging them to experiment. A teacher’sprimary function within the classroom is to help students realize their potential and attainthe highest-level possible. If elementary teachers are constantly watchful for theslightest improvement in reading and express appreciation to their students, reading willbecome an enjoyable and happy part of the school day for the pupil.Children lack many reading skills and depend upon their teacher to teach them.All students must eventually master skills in phonics, note taking, outlining, mapinterpretation, detail reading, oral reading, auditory and visual discrimination, spelling,word recognition and word analysis, reading rate, information pinpointing, readingcritically, vocabulary, comprehension skills, and many others. Teachers must have athorough understanding of which reading skills are vital to each particular grade level.They must be familiar with the reading skills children encountered during the precedingyear, as well as those that will be required in successive elementary grades. Armed withthis knowledge, detailed instructional plans can be designed for teaching these basicreading skills.Flexibility in reading is another area of concern. Children must be guided so theycan read a wide variety of materials, including textbooks. When reading textbooks, theymust be taught to recognize important concepts, ideas, and facts along with otheressential illustrations.Practically all reading is done for a specific purpose, whether for enjoyment or foracademic reasons. Regardless of the purpose, classroom discussions offer childrenopportunities to develop and master special vocabulary areas.A teacher must be aware of each student’s reading strengths and limitations. A2
  • 3. child must not be expected to read material beyond his or her ability. Many childrenexperience frustration and failure in reading because they attempt to read material thatis too difficult for them. One method of discovering a child’s reading ability is to have thechild read, then just at the moment the child begins to have difficulty, stop him. In thenext reading period begin at this point. Tape recording students as they read helps inoral reading. When the tape is played back for the students, they often realize theirmistakes, while at the same time increasing reading comprehension.Reading groups can be an effective tool if properly organized. Students in poorlyplanned groups quickly become disinterested. Children who cannot read competentlyshould be grouped in small numbers. The small reading group affords the teacher moretime to work with individuals. A total reading program offers ways of bringing the classtogether as one unit. Reading clubs, library clubs, a week for reading special books, andstorytelling all keep the reading program alive, exciting, exhilarating, stimulating,meaningful, and full of enthusiasm!Reading instruction seems to be more enjoyable in the morning, although manystudents prefer to read in the afternoon. It is recommended that primary students readin the morning, whereas intermediate youngsters read either in the morning orafternoon. Each teacher must decide when to have a formal reading. Scheduling tworeading periods - one for the children who want to read in the morning and one forothers who prefer to read in the afternoon-often solves the dilemma.Some parents are interested in reading and would welcome the opportunity tocome to the classroom to assist in reading programs. Listening to children read aloud isonly one of a number of ways parents can help. Many retired persons enjoy listening,reading, and telling stories to children and are available to help.When the teacher thinks his reading program is successful, he may want to setup a reading center to challenge readers of all levels. A computer, films, tapes, andother materials should be included in the reading center. Books for extension readingare excellent, as are corrective readers. Paperback books pack interest for the reader.Vocabulary cards, phonetic flash -cards and phonetic charts, sets of3
  • 4. supplementary readers, along with other audio-visual materials help establish aneffective reading center, as do word cards, books for general reading, picture cards,reading texts, and manuals for basic textbooks.Children with special reading problems present educational challenges. Eyecharts, pacers, and controlled readers are excellent tools for helping these childrenovercome their reading problems. A Tachistoscope and Opthalemograph prove mosteffective with assisting to alleviate remedial problems.Many of today’s children are victims of stressful environments. Some from single-parent homes are tasked with responsibilities beyond their years; some suffer at thehands of abusive parents. Such emotional problems severely hamper a child’s readingability. Poor health, physical drawbacks, and other circumstances also play a vital rolein determining a child’s ability to comprehend the printed word. Such problems must bediscovered and addressed before growth and enjoyment in reading becomesmanifested. Finding a solution is a difficult task requiring hard work, and too often, thisnever-ending battle is neglected.A Thought in WordsIf a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him. Franklin4

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