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Background Reading to the StrategiesSummary of Chapter 4("Effective Literacy Strategies in Years 9-13")

1. What the research tells us
Main ideas:
Readers need to understand texts at surface (literal) level and also at deeper levels of understanding. Depth of understanding depends on prior knowledge and ability to engage actively with the text. No substitute for extensive reading.
"Talking and listening are the two sides of spoken communication, and reading and writing are just as closely linked."
p. 73 Effective Literacy Strategies for Year 9 to 13
The idea of the teacher scaffolding students is key to teaching comprehension strategies.
Teachers can model strategies.
Teachers can give feedback while students are practising strategies.
Students need opportunities to read extended texts.
Students need to learn to monitor their understanding as they read.

2. What the challenges are
Main ideas:
NZ research shows that students lack comprehension strategies.

3. Knowing the students
Main ideas:
Although PISA results show that NZ students are achieving well internationally with reading, there is a big tail of low achieving students.
Teachers can observe and question their students to gain information.

4. Knowing what teachers can do
Main ideas:
Teachers should set reading tasks that will actively engage students.

5. Developing independent learners
Main ideas:
Students need to monitor their learning and to have a repertoire of strategies to use when they get stuck.

6. What can make a difference: the deliberate use of literacy strategies
Main ideas:
Teaching approaches for reading - 4 approaches:
  1. Teacher modelling of reading - Reading to and talking with students
  2. Collaborative construction of meaning - Shared reading
  3. Supported Reading - Guided reading
  4. Students reading without support - Independent reading

1. Reading and talking with students
Main ideas:
Teacher reads a text (no more than 10 minutes long) to students and then discusses it with the students, then gives the students a similar text to read independently.
Variation: Instead of reading the text aloud, the teacher uses a recording of the text.

2. Shared reading (reading with and talking with students)
Main ideas:
In shared reading, the teacher a text that is too difficult for the students to read by themselves while the students follow the reading in their own copies of the text or on the data projector. A task to finish with may be to ask the students to summarise the key ideas.

3. Guided reading
Main ideas:
The teacher works with a group of students or the whole class on a subject-specific text that the students can read reasonably well but has some challenges. Introduce the text through pre-reading strategies, model the selected strategy, give clear instructions for reading the task

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Strategies for interacting with text (reading and writing)

Combining written and visual aspects of texts (reading)
Main ideas:
Visuals are integral to many maths texts. Many diagrams summarise what the text says.
Photocopy a page of the text. Cut it into suitable portions and have students in groups summarise the main ideas in their piece of text. Each group then reports back to the class.
Variations: Jigsaw activity

Identifying key words (reading)
Main ideas:
Students read a text to locate some of the key words identified by the teacher and work out the meanings of the words from their context. Students read a second text and have to identify the key words themselves.

Word - to - sentence activity (writing)
Main ideas:
Purpose is to teach students how to construct sentences using key words.

Combining sentences (writing)
Main ideas:
Students match up sentence parts to form whole sentences and then form these sentences into paragraphs. Write half of each sentence on a card and give out to a group to match up. Then match up into paragraphs.

7. Identifying main ideas (reading)
Main ideas:
The students match up each paragraph of a text with one of a set of summary statements written by the teacher.

8. Reconstructing paragraphs (writing)
Main ideas:
The students reconstruct a paragraph after the teacher has scrambled the order of the sentences in the paragraph.

9. Using "comment codes" (reading)
Main ideas:

10. Using a three-level thinking guide (reading)
Main ideas:

11. Strategies for monitoring understanding
Main ideas:

12. Responding to teacher's questions about texts
Main ideas:

13. Generating useful questions about texts
Main ideas:

14. Using question dice
Main ideas: