My Students Don’t Read! My Students Won’t Read! And I’m Not A Reading Instructor! Dr. Kevin Gericke Assoc. Professor, Economics & Statistics West Kentucky Community & Technical College
Introduction • How many of you read books for pleasure as a child or young adult?
Introduction • How many of you read a book for pleasure last year?
Introduction • What percent of adults did not read a book last year? • 10%? • 25%? • 50%?
One in Four Read No Books Last Year Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:58 PM EDT Alan Fram, AP Writer WASHINGTON — There it sits on your night stand, that book you've meant to read for who knows how long but haven't yet cracked open. Tonight, as you feel its stare from beneath that teetering pile of magazines, know one thing — you are not alone. One in four adults read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. Of those who did read, women and older people were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices. The survey reveals a nation whose book readers, on the whole, can hardly be called ravenous. The typical person claimed to have read four books in the last year — half read more and half read fewer. Excluding those who hadn't read any, the usual number read was seven.
The essential question • How can I help my students improve their reading comprehension of the material in my class?
Introduction • How did West KY Comm. & Tech. College arrive at a project to improve reading comprehension? • What are some easy classroom strategies to improve reading comprehension?
Reading at WKCTC • Focus on Reading • Quality Enhancement Plan required for accreditation • National scores indicate not all students entering college have adequate reading skills for college-level courses.
“ACT’s results reveal that still too many high school graduates cannot adequately perform some of the essential college-ready skills in English, writing, reading, mathematics, and/or science.” ACT College Readiness Report, 8/19/09
“In reading, 30 percent of the graduates were unable to evaluate the contribution that significant details make to the text as a whole.” ACT College Readiness Report, 8/19/09
Focus on Reading • Professional Development activities for faculty/staff • Activities for college community
Focus on Reading • Our role as teachers of a discipline has required some “adjustment”
Focus on Reading • Not everyone reads the same way we did in college
Classroom Strategies • Informal • 4 strategies • Formal • 3 strategies
Informal Classroom Strategies #1 • Just talk about reading! • Model good reading behavior • Let students know what you’re reading. • Post a discussion board thread for students to share their reading experiences.
Informal Classroom Strategies #2 • Show them how to use the textbook • Students need to quickly become familiar with the author’s style • Show them the features!
All textbooks have certain elements to add to the reading. We just need to point them out. • Look at the sample page from statistics book. What features do you notice the author uses to help students?
Informal Classroom Strategies #3 • MAKE them read! • If they ask a question and the answer is in front of them, MAKE them find it!
Syllabus Crossword • Teach them to skim headings to find answers
Informal Classroom Strategies #4 • Remind them to FOCUS!
Formal Classroom Strategies • Some require very little time to create and implement • Some require more time and creativity
Formal Classroom Strategies #1Guided Reading Strategies • Before/During/After • Before reading questions • During reading questions • After reading questions
Formal Classroom Strategies #1Guided Reading Strategies • Before Reading Questions • Do you remember what you were doing April 22, 1970? (Maybe you weren’t born, or were very young) • Environmental issues have been in the news fairly frequently in the last couple of years. What are some of the key issues you may have heard about?
Formal Classroom Strategies #1Guided Reading Strategies • During Reading Questions • When did the idea for Earth Day originate? • Why did it take so long from the original idea to the first Earth Day?
Formal Classroom Strategies #1Guided Reading Strategies • After Reading Questions • Have environmental issues become a more “main-stream” topic in our political world? Why? • If college “teach-ins” worked so well to bring information to college campuses, with what other issues could we successfully use the same strategies? Why aren’t we?
Formal Classroom Strategies #1Guided Reading Strategies • Topic, Restriction, Illustration • Skim to find the topic • Find “restrictions” to the topic • Provide illustrations to strengthen the topic
Formal Classroom Strategies #1Guided Reading Strategies • Skim to find the topic • impact of unemployment on human lives
Formal Classroom Strategies #1Guided Reading Strategies • What information narrows or restricts the general statement or topic? • “the unemployment rate by itself doesn’t measure the full impact” • Other data shows more of an impact than just the number
Formal Classroom Strategies #1Guided Reading Strategies • What examples provide an illustration of the topic or restriction? • Millions were discouraged workers • Increased murders, strokes, heart disease, and suicides
Formal Classroom Strategies #1Guided Reading Strategies • Summarize the reading • While the unemployment rate provides a measure of the health of our nation’s economy, the number, but itself, doesn’t show the full picture. When there is increased unemployment, lives are impacted on a personal level, resulting in health consequences and psychological effects.
Formal Classroom Strategies #2Graphic Organizers • Venn Diagrams • Find differences and similarities between the three types of memory
Formal Classroom Strategies #2Graphic Organizers Short-term Fleeting moments Smaller amount of info Each retains information Can hold for long periods of time Long-Term Sensory
Formal Classroom Strategies #2Graphic Organizers • Classification Notes • Find main topics and write short notes from each main topic
Formal Classroom Strategies #3Intensive activities • Carousel • Each group gets a short amount of time to write down the information they know about the topic on the handout. • Then it is passed to the next group to add to it. • As the easier pieces of information are placed on the paper, give a little more time for groups to add their knowledge.
Formal Classroom Strategies #3Intensive activities • How to be a successful cook at home • Equipment used • Measurements • Ingredients • Recipes
Reading at WKCTC • Focus on Reading • Increased reading comprehension scores • Measured by Nelson Denny Test of Reading Comprehension • Students becoming more aware across campus of importance of reading • Increased library use and increased use of reading strategies in classes