Instruction to help good
readers read better
Sebastian Wren, Ph.D.
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Most of my time and energy is taken up worrying about how to bring literacy
skills to children who do not have them. I want reading to be a universal
gift -- a skill that we all take for granted. But lost in there somewhere
is a desire that all children become talented, advanced readers. I
don't just expect children to be able to read a menu -- I want them to be
able to read and understand and enjoy anything they want to. Basic
reading skills are what we tend to worry about, but advanced reading skills
should be the goal we want for every student.
-- To learn more about a particular book, or to purchase a
copy of that book, just click on the image of the book cover --
Pathways to Independence
by Jo Worthy, Melinda Gay Ivey, Karen Broaddus
Published in 2001 by Guilford Press
Why do so many children learn to read, but fail to learn to read
well? That's a troubling question when you consider the two steps
for reading success that Jeanne Chall proposed -- first children learn
to read, then they read to learn. But for so many children, it
seems that they learn to read, and then stop. They acquire the
basics, they acquire the ability
to identify words, but they never really become proficient readers who
their skills to thrive and flourish in school.
Don't get me wrong -- for millions of kids in this country, there are
some basic skills problems that were never addressed. They never
really learned to read in the first place. But for millions more,
they clearly have learned to read -- they just don't do it very well, and
by extension, do not do it very often. A lot of kids will admit that
they only read when they are forced to. They don't really like reading;
it's a chore; and even though they can do it, they'd like to avoid it whenever
Maybe kids are so unmotivated to read because what we give them to read
is so very, very boring. It has no clear relevance to their lives;
they have no ownership in it; they played no part in selecting the reading
material; there are usually no options or choices; and there is often no
explanation that accompanies the reading to help children see the relevance.
Worthy addresses the issue of reading volume and motivation in this
book, and she discusses an issue that a lot of reading researchers overlook
-- why should kids WANT to read? She offers advice about promoting
a desire to read, and infuses strategies that teachers can use to help
promote a richer understanding of what they are reading and a better understanding
of the relevance of the material that the kids are reading. And she
also talks about promoting an interest in reading and writing in a general
sense, not just in an academic, classroom sense.
Learning to Read in the Computer Age
Anne Meyer, David H. Rose, Jeanne S. Chall (Editor), John F. Onofrey
Published in 1999 by Brookline Books
This book is one in a series of books that I heartily recommend (not
just this book, but all of the books in this series). The series is
called "From Reading Research to Practice: A Series for Teachers." The series
was edited by Jeanne Chall, and every book in the series is short, concrete,
and very useful.
Computers offer new challenges, but they also offer many new
opportunities. At the time this book was written, computers were
clearly becoming ubiquitous tools in the classroom, but since this book
was published, incredible revolutions in the shape and structure of the
internet as well as revolutions in the capabilities of education
software and new hardware have transpired. The nature of research
has changed with the internet, on-line encyclopedia, and search
engines, and so too, the nature of literacy has begun to change
slightly. At the heart of these "new literacies" is still the
ability to read and write, but there are technology facets and nuances
to literacy that children must master now.
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Last Updated 1-1-05