Friday, January 15, 2010

Topic: Reading in the Content Areas

10-second review: Focus on two purposes—study skills and the directed reading assignment. Teachers of all subjects who have no knowledge of how to teach reading can do both successfully.

Title: Cognitive Skills Development for Secondary English Teachers.” JM Stanchfield and M Wiseman. Journal of Reading (October 1974), 34-40. Publication preceded Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy by the International Reading Association (IRA).

Comment: All teachers have learned how to study the subjects they teach. They should teach the students what they have learned about studying chemistry, biology, art, shop, math, social studies and English.

The directed reading assignment is the best method for helping students read difficult material.

1. Help students build up information, background knowledge about the topic on which they are about to read.

2. Pre-teach four or five key words that are likely unfamiliar to the students. Even simply pointing them out and discussing them will mean that they will see and interpret them when they read. Students tend not to see words that they don’t recognize when they have not been pointed out to them.

3. Survey the chapter. Read the title, sub-title, first paragraph, first sentence of each intermediate paragraph and the last paragraph. Pay special attention to charts, graphs, maps, pictures, etc. Students review what they have learned from the survey and formulate questions to read to answer, their purposes for reading.

4. Read to answer the questions.

5. Discuss answers to the questions.

6. Apply or extend what has been learned from reading the chapter. Researching the topic on the Internet will be useful both before and after reading. RayS.

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