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Public Schools of Robeson County. Purpose. Empowering Teachers To Teach. Keys to Successful Reading. Problems in Education. Three Major Problems We Face.

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Problems in Education

Three Major

Problems We Face


Jalongo and Heider (2006) Forty-six percent of new teachers in this country quit teaching after five years or less, with that percentage growing to fifty percent in urban areas. Even more shocking is the fact that ninety percent of teachers who are hired in this country are replacements for teachers who have left teaching for some reason other than retirement (p. 379).

Attrition Rate

Problems in Education


Lack of Parental Involvement

Problems in Education

Padgett (2006) cites reasons such as scheduling conflicts, lack of transportation, language barriers, and cultural differences as reasons many parents are

hesitant to get involved with their child’s school. Other parents who may have had a less than enjoyable school experience may be reluctant to set foot back into that atmosphere (p. 45).


Reading Epidemic

Problems in Education

Boling and Evans (2008) report that more than eight million American students cannot read or comprehend what they read even at a basic level. They go on to say that more than seven thousand students drop out of school each day because they lack the literacy skills needed to be successful (p. 59).


Reading Epidemic

Problems in Education

Massey (2007) With the increased emphasis on phonics in the primary grades, many students are becoming excellent word callers, while lacking in comprehension skills. As these students reach the intermediate grades, they may struggle to transition from word calling to text comprehension. (p. 656)


Reading Epidemic

Problems in Education

Silverman (2006) calls on other content teachers to help out with this problem, saying that they also can assist struggling readers by structuring activities that will boost student performance in reading. Reading instruction is a responsibility shared by all teachers, regardless of grade level or content area (p. 71).


Content Area Learning

Think About—

When you think of academic literacy, how do you envision preparing students in your content area?


Good readers as they read:

Content Area Learning

  • Draw on background knowledge
  • Make predictions
  • Visualize the events of a text
  • Recognize confusion
  • Recognize a text's structure/organization
  • Identify/recognize a purpose for reading
  • Monitor strategies used according to the purpose for reading the text

Five Keys to Content Area Learning




Phonetic Awareness

Phonemic Awareness


By the time students reach middle school, many teachers assume students have strong phonemic awareness.

Fact or Myth

What does your experience tell you?


Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear, discriminate, and manipulate the sounds of language.


Enzyme Assay

Absorbance readings of the samples at 420nm for enzyme assay



Phonemic awareness has a strong relationship to reading success in all types of readers (Ehri, 1994).

  • Remedial readers generally have poor phonemic awareness (Bradly & Bryant, 1985).
  • Phonemic awareness training is most effective when instruction is brief and occurs daily.
  • All instruction helps, but small group instruction for phonemic awareness is more effective than large group or one-on-one instruction (Bus & van Ijzendoorn, 1999).

Research Shows


Phonics is the ability to:

1) learn the alphabetic system known as

letter-sound or phonemic awareness

2) apply this knowledge during reading by

blending the sounds into words


3) apply this knowledge during writing by

spelling words (encoding).



Phonics instruction helps children learn the relationships between letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.

Phonics instruction is effective when it is systematic

(instruction includes a selected set of letter-sounds organized into a logical sequence) and explicit (precise teaching of these relationships).

Systematic and explicit phonics instruction improves children’s word recognition, spelling, and reading comprehension.

Effective phonics programs provide ample opportunities for children to apply what they are learning about letters and sounds to the reading of words, sentences, and stories.



Phonemic and Phonics instruction is primarily for lower grades and language arts teachers to monitor and adjust as needed by individual students.

What can content area teachers do?

Teach explicitly Greek and Latin Roots of dominate words of focus in content areas.

Inform Language Arts Teachers of words being used for each unit.



Vocabulary refers to the words we must know to communicate effectively.


Oral vocabulary refers to words that we use in speaking or recognize in listening.

Reading vocabulary refers to words we recognize or use in print.


Vocabulary is important because readers use their oral vocabulary to make sense of words they see in print.

Readers must know what words mean before they can understand what they are reading.



Vocabulary can be developed:

Indirectly when students engage daily in oral language, listen to adults read to them, and read extensively on their own.

Directly when students are explicitly taught both individual words and word learning strategies.



Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and quickly.

Fluency is important because it frees students to understand what they reador in other words make connections.



Reading fluency can be developed by modeling fluent reading and by having students engage in repeated oral reading.

Monitoring student progress in reading fluency is useful in evaluating instruction and setting instructional goals and can be motivating to students.



The process of constructing meaning from text.


  • Text comprehension is important because comprehension is the reason for reading.
  • Text comprehension is purposeful and active.

Comprehension can be developed by teaching reading comprehension strategies.



Comprehension strategies can be taught:


  • Through explicit instruction
  • Through cooperative learning
  • By helping readers to use strategies flexibly and in combinations.