Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Topic: Reading in the Content Areas

10-second review: Content teachers—teachers of subjects other than reading—must help students learn the special vocabulary of their subjects and the special skills needed to read their subjects successfully. They can begin by showing the students how they, the teachers, study the materials in their subject.

Title: “Reading in the Content areas.” Psychology in Teaching Reading. HP Smith and EV Dechant, pp. 358-376.

Comment: Teachers of content subjects—social studies, science, etc.—cannot be expected to “teach” reading. Teaching reading means learning to find the main ideas, supporting details, inference, etc., directly. However, content teachers can HELP students read their subjects successfully.

1. They can find out what students already know about the topic of the textbook chapter. They can add information to increase background knowledge of the topic. The more students know, the more they can comprehend.

2. Content teachers can introduce key vocabulary from the reading selection, words with which the students are likely to be unfamiliar. Students will then see words they would usually pass over because they don’t know them.

3. Content teacher can have the students survey the chapter—the title, sub-titles, the first sentence of each paragraph and the last paragraph.

4. After this survey, students can formulate questions they will read to answer.

5. After reading and discussing what they have learned, the students can apply what they have learned, often extending their knowledge of the ideas in the chapter by using the Internet to find what is thought about the topic in the world of today. RayS.

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