Supporting Reading in theMiddle/Upper Stages Helping Children to become strategic readers
Purpose of This Presentation To suggest how teachers can help pupils move from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’ To suggest how, as classroom teachers, we can help pupils to become more purposeful in their active engagement with text To put these practical ideas in a theoretical context
The Molrog approach to readingdevelopment Molrogs are brocklesome freggi. They have foll, greb rashklings and bratch moodgrobs. Their neshes are frebbi rittle and their broaki are gretta grack. They yeg and trill if cramvled; they groush and vrachle if noomphed. Nobody schmettles them when they are groushed because their their grot is so kraddlesome.1) What sort of freggi are molrogs?2) How would you describe their rashklings?3) What are their moodgrobs like?4) How rittle are their neshes? How grack are their broaki?5) How would molrogs react if you cramvle them?6) Why do you think no-one schmettles molrogs?
Some problems with this approach Absence of context Lack of explicit purpose for reading No attempt made to connect with pupils or their lives Reading conceptualised as passive absorption of someone else’s meaning Activities constructed as ‘school stuff’ rather than authentic tasks Lack of challenge, stimulation; children not encouraged to exercise cognitive muscles
Alternative approaches Contextualising reading Where does this passage fit in to a coherent, on-going, meaningful sequence of learning experiences? How can it be introduced to pupils in a way that will ensure a clear sense of purpose? How can we ensure that activities associated with the text will enable pupils to be active, interested participants in the making of meaning? How can we make children’s reading fun, stimulating and worthwhile, helping them to become more effective readers?
Alternative approaches: makingemotional connections The importance of pre-reading Setting the passage up, preparing the ground, getting children fired up Visual imagery and associated discussion Making use of film/video/DVD + discussion Sharing personal anecdotes Using KWL frames Generating debate Creating a sense of purpose ‘What kind of information are we looking for (to meet our purposes for reading)?’ ‘What do we already know about this kind of text?’ ‘How should we go about reading the text?’ ‘How will we use what we already know about the topic?’
Pre-Reading Strategies Skimming – going for a walk around the text to gain familiarity with key aspects Checking out structural guiders – headings, sub-headings, signalling devices Using visual images to build understanding Reminding oneself about reason for reading, purposes etc Identify significant portions of text in order to adjust reading strategies Identify key terms, terminology, concepts, subject specific vocabulary in order to clarify significant subject matter Questioning – using text clues (typeface, headings, captions, graphs etc) to generate meaningful questions that relate to reading purposes
During Reading StrategiesDuring Reading, we can help children to… Monitor their own understanding – clarifying how reader is getting on with text (understanding main ideas, craft features) Develop comprehension strategies – using context clues to figure out unknown words, imaging, inferencing, predicting Integrate new concepts with existing knowledge and revising purposes for reading; making connections within text and between texts Become more aware – of text purpose, genre and how language and structures help text expectations to be realised (eg focus on topic sentences where most important information often comes) Activate fix-up strategies Ignore and read on Suspend judgment (wait and see) Form a tentative hypothesis and keep revising it Use background knowledge Re-read current sentence Use contextual information Go to an expert source
After Reading Strategies: genuinediscussion about content (K and U) What did you find most interesting in the passage? Why? Was there anything you read that surprised you? What was it and why were you surprised? How did you react when the passage said …? Why did you respond this way? Was there anything in the passage that you might wish to disagree with? Explain why. Was there anything in the passage that you particularly liked/disliked? Give reasons. What kind of view comes across about Molrogs in the passage? Do you agree with it? Explain. What is the most important point made in the passage? Why do you think this?
After reading strategies: genuinediscussion about writer’s craft Is this a piece of fiction or non-fiction? How do you know? What style of writing does the writer employ (formal or informal)? Give examples. Why does he do it like that? How did you react when the passage said … How did the text make you feel this way? Are there any obvious tricks that the writer uses to get his point across even more forcefully or clearly? What are they and how do they work? Why does the writer say … What is his intention in saying it like this? How else might he have said it; how would this have changed the effect? What did you notice about the length of sentences used by the writer in lines … Why do you think he wrote the text like this? Did it work? Explain why/why not. How could he have done it differently? How would this have changed the meaning of the text? Did you notice anything about the writer’s use of punctuation? Was there anything unusual or unexpected? Explain. Did you notice where in the paragraph the most important information comes? Why is this, do you think? Did you notice that the writer uses a lot of examples? Why does he do this?
After Reading Strategies: openingup critical literacy Who wrote the text? What do we know about him/her? Is s/he reliable? For what purpose was the text written? Who is target audience? How do we know? What are key messages? What point of view comes across? Is this a balanced view? What does this tell you about the text? What beliefs/attitudes/values underpin the messages? What kind of reality is presented? Whose interests have been served by the text? What assumptions have been made? What are the implications of all of this? What is missing in the text? Is there information in the text that is contradicted by information in other texts we know about? How has the reader been positioned in the text? (are there issues of gender/race/class?)
After Reading Strategies: having ameta-cognitive conversation How did you go about reading this text? (visual imagery, headings, subheadings, columns, double page spread) Why did you read it like this? Is there any other way to read it? Who read it differently? What were you thinking when the writer said …? How were you feeling while you read the passage? Why did you feel this way? Did your feelings change? What caused this to happen? Did you get stuck at all? What was difficult? What did you do to solve your problem? What other strategies could you have used? What did you learn about reading this kind of passage? How might you be able to use what you’ve learned elsewhere in your class work?
Practical approaches: using DARTs(Directed Activities Relating to Texts) Reconstruction Activities Analysis Activities Text Completion (cloze) Word completion Text marking Phrase completion Underlining certain parts Sentence completion Annotating text Sequencing Questioning text Time base Labelling Other base Text Diagrams Prediction Segmenting Pupils predict next part orally Pupils write next part Finding the breaks (paras) Table completion Table Construction Pupils fill in cells Pupils construct headings Pupils devise headings and fill in cells Diagram completion Diagram Construction Label completion Flow chart, mind map, Diagram completion Venn diagram
Practical approaches: reciprocalreading Reciprocal Teaching: teacher models 4 comprehension strategies: summarising, questioning, clarification, prediction.and invites pupils to assume teacherrole with partner, thinking aloud as s/hereads passage to partner and imitatesteacher’s use of strategies
An example of Reciprocal Reading Now, let’s look at the heading. This is where the main topic will be introduced to the reader (clarification). Yes, it’s about ‘Molrogs’. Now what do I already know about them? (questioning) Yes, I think I remember reading somewhere that they were very blocklesome. Let’s read the opening sentences to find out if that’s correct. The start of sentences usually give us the main information. (clarification) Molrogs are brocklesome freggi.They have foll, greb rashklings and bratch moodgrobs. Ah, that’s interesting, I was right about them being ‘brocklesome’, but I didn’t know about their rashklings and I’d forgotten about their moodgrobs. The writer seems to be painting a very negative picture of Molrogs (summarising). I wonder if the rest of the passage is the same. I’ve a funny feeling it might be. Let’s read on to see if my prediction is right. (prediction) Their neshes are frebbi rittle and their broaki are gretta grack. They yeg and trill if cramvled; they groush and vrachle if noomphed. Just as I thought, it’s all negative, although I’m not sure about the meaning of the word ‘cramvled’ (clarification). I wonder how I can work out what it means. It can’t be good, as the rest is so negative …
To sum up: Conceptualising the Reading Process –some theoretical ideas to support the practicalstrategies Reading is a The emphasis is on constructive process teaching strategies involving transactions within social support between reader, text systems and context Readers are active Reading purpose and participants in the text form are crucial creation of individual determinants of texts potential text meanings Teacher’s role is to help pupils construct It is important to help richer text readings (gp pupils develop discussion and sharing, awareness of their own modelling, open mental processes while agendas) reading
A Model of Effective Literacy LearningLiteracy is practised in contexts that enable children toexperience it as personally worthwhile in some way(PURPOSE)Through literate activity, children forge relationships with others,often coming together to form supportive communities(RELATIONSHIPS)Doing meaningful things with literacy enables pupils to bring intheir identities and to develop a positive sense of themselves inrelation to others (IDENTITY)Literacy is a personally significant meaning-making activity(MEANING-MAKING), involving the strategic use of a range ofreading, writing, talking, listening, thinking skillsChildren participate fully in literacy experiences - with interest,with others and in anticipation of success (ENGAGEMENT)Through literacy activity, children develop a range of worthwhilelearning dispositions – eg resilience, empathy, creativity,curiosity, criticality (DISPOSITIONS)