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To meet this criterion of authentic use, instruction should focus on the flexible application of the strategy rather than a rigid sequence of steps. Instead of just talking about a strategy, teachers need to illustrate the processes they use by thinking aloud, or modeling mental processes, while they read. A phase in which teachers and students practice the strategy together is critical to strategy learning, especially for less-successful comprehenders. It should also externalize the thinking processes of skilled readers—not create artificial processes that apply only to contrived instructional or assessment situations. Teachers should also demonstrate how to apply each strategy successfully—what it is, how it is carried out, and when and why it should be used (Duffy et al. During this time teachers can give feedback about students' attempts and gradually give students more and more responsibility for performing the strategy and evaluating their own performance (Pearson and Dole 1987). “Interestingness of Children's Reading Material.” In Aptitude, Learning, and Instruction. 3: Conative and Affective Process Analyses, edited by R.
For example, increases in vocabulary and concept knowledge from reading silently (Nagy et al. Here, we revisit that research, supplementing it with current thinking about reading instruction, and transform the most consistent findings into practical guidelines for teachers. A program with these components will set the stage for students to be interested in and to succeed at reading—providing them the intrinsic motivation for continual learning. Teachers can increase the likelihood that more time for contextual reading will translate into improved comprehension skills in the following ways. Research from the 1980s indicated that in traditional reading classrooms, time for comprehension instruction was as rare as time for actual text reading. One of the most surprising findings of classroom research of the 1970s and '80s was the small amount of time that children spent actually reading texts. Estimates ranged from 7 to 15 minutes per day from the primary to the intermediate grades (Anderson et al. Children typically spent more time working on reading skills via workbook-type assignments than putting these skills to work in reading connected texts. Research of the late 1970s and early '80s consistently revealed a strong reciprocal relationship between prior knowledge and reading comprehension ability. “Effectiveness of a Direct Instruction Paradigm for Teaching Main Idea Comprehension.” Reading Research Quarterly 20: 93–108. The more one already knows, the more one comprehends; and the more one comprehends, the more one learns new knowledge to enable comprehension of an even greater and broader array of topics and texts. In response to Durkin's findings, much research in the 1980s was devoted to discovering how to teach comprehension strategies directly. In the typical study of this type, readers were directly taught how to perform a strategy that skilled readers used during reading.