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What do Principals REALLY need to know about Reading?. Duquesne University. Learning Theories. Behaviorism Bottom-Up Cognitivism Top-Down Constructivism Interactive Transactional. Reading Approaches. Basal Text Whole Language Literature-Based (Thematic)

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learning theories
Learning Theories
  • Behaviorism Bottom-Up
  • Cognitivism Top-Down
  • Constructivism Interactive


reading approaches
Reading Approaches
  • Basal Text
  • Whole Language
  • Literature-Based (Thematic)
  • Language Experience Approach
  • Balanced Literacy
group task
Group Task
  • Read the information about your particular reading approach.
  • Create an illustration/graphic organizer that shares the important points of that approach.
  • Discuss these points with the class. Include both the advantages and disadvantages of the reading approach
whole language
Whole Language
  • Totally holistic approach to reading
  • Phonics (whole to part)
  • Uses patterned and predictable reading to begin
  • Teach reading by reading
language experience
Language Experience
  • Individualized
  • Students create literature by sharing experiences which are written.
  • What I can think, I can say.
  • What I can say, I can write. What I can write,

I can read.

let s read
Let’s Read
  • A House is House for Me
  • By
  • Mary Ann Hoberman
literature based
Literature Based
  • Teacher chooses literature to match interest of group
  • Thematic and integrated into all disciplines
balanced literacy
Balanced Literacy
  • Reading and writing taught simultaneously
  • Reading To (Model/ Read Aloud)
  • Reading With (Shared Reading)
  • Reading By (Guided & Independent)
basal approach
Basal Approach
  • Complete graded program
  • Anthology of literature
  • Scripted teacher’s manual
  • Includes everything
  • 98% of all schools use this approach
reading instruction let s start with the basics
Reading Instruction (let’s start with the basics)
  • Although most principals don’t teach reading, it’s critical that they know how reading should be taught to evaluate the reading programs in their (your) school.
  • Most young students need instruction in 5 areas of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
phonemic awareness
Phonemic Awareness

Instruction in phonemics helps children to become aware of sounds in spokenwords

Good phonemics instruction………..

  • Precedes phonics
  • Is most appropriate for younger students
  • Is generally playful, using such activities as rhyming words; identifying the number of words in a phrase or the number of syllables in a word; or taking part words and putting them together (segmenting and blending).
  • R yoo hookt on fonix?
  • Yep! Becoz fonicks werkt four me.
  • Phonics combines the sound with the symbol.
  • Can be very difficult and confusing for children.
  • Is generally finished by the middle or end of second grade
  • Is most appropriate for students whose reading styles match the phonics method- in other words, those who have the auditory strengths to perform phonics tasks
  • Focuses on words, not rules. Good readers decode new words by comparing them to patterns within words they already know. Good phonics teachers draw children’s attention to word patterns and provide practice using text containing those patterns
  • May include invented spelling in the early grades.
  • Uses music as an instructional tool.
silent e
Silent e
  • Who can change a cap into a cape?
  • Who can change a tap into a tape?
  • It’s easy as can be for--Silent e
  • He can change a man (Alakazam) into a mane. But my friend Sam stayed just the same.
  • He can change a tub into a tube.
  • He can change a cub into a cube.
  • It’s elementary for--Silent e

Instruction in fluency is extremely important. It is also the most neglected skill of the five critical reading areas. Fluent readers read rapidly, accurately, and with good expression.

Good fluency instruction……

  • Provides many fluid models of reading, live or recorded
  • Encourages non-fluid readers to listen to brief, fluid reading models and then to practice the modeled passage repeatedly until they can read it fluently before reading it aloud to others
  • Uses a variety of assisted reading methods (shared reading, echo reading, recorded books, choral reading, paired reading), depending on the reading level of the student and the difficulty of the reading material
  • Provides a variety of high-interest, high-level reading materials both on tape and in text so that the child can compare printed and spoken words

Many vocabularies: Speaking, Listening, Reading

While children learn most of their vocabulary indirectly (by listening to adults and other children speak, being read to, conversing, and reading on their own) students with large vocabularies have a better chance of comprehending what they read.

poor vocabulary instruction
Poor Vocabulary Instruction
  • Introduce new words in text.
  • Repeat new words.
  • Use in a sentence.
  • Look up in the dictionary and write definition for homework.
good vocabulary instruction
Good Vocabulary Instruction
  • Engages children in discussions about words
  • Uses videos, visuals, and anecdotes to expand word meaning
  • Provides readings of materials that help students become increasingly familiar with a variety of high-level words
  • Provides strategies for deciphering unknown words, such as understanding prefixes, suffixes, and roots
  • Uses many hands-on vocabulary games to encourage children to expand their vocabulary
comprehension yea
Comprehension (Yea!!)
  • What does comprehension mean to you?

Comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading instruction.

Good comprehension instruction…….

  • Sets the mood of a story and provides opportunities for dramatizations
  • Helps students monitor their comprehension by asking key questions and modeling the thinking process while reading a story
  • Uses organizational pictures of the text’s content
  • Asks question about what children have read, especially questions that require children to draw conclusions, make inferences, and predict
  • Teaches children to generate and ask their own reading questions
  • Makes children aware of story structure
comprehension divided into two categories
Comprehension divided into two categories

What we want students to DO:

  • Connect,
  • Question,
  • Predict,
  • Visualize,
  • Summarize,
  • Evaluate
          • What would this look like in the classroom?
classroom application
Classroom Application:
  • Connect: Organize thinking, Reminds me…
  • Question: What might?, I wonder?
  • Predict: Logical justification
  • Visualize: All senses
  • Summarize: Making judgments--important?
  • Evaluate: Have I changed my opinion? How am I different?
what we want them to learn skills
What we want them to learn: Skills
  • Main idea, supporting details
  • Inference, draw conclusions
  • Compare, compare
  • Cause/effect
  • Problem/solution
  • Story elements
what else do you need to know you mean there s more
What else do you need to know…….. (you mean there’s more?)

Almost all principals have received training in the areas of leadership and management. However, most have received little or no training in the field of content knowledge in literacy instruction.

How do principals deliver effective literacy instructional leadership?

school culture
School Culture

Principals need to understand the significance of entrenched philosophical and instructional habits that constitute a culture in a school- and his or her own power to change that culture. Trust teachers to share leadership, and create an atmosphere where colleagues listen to one another, the students, parents, and YOU!


(only if they are easy!)


(only if they are nice!)


(only if they are not for me!)

Just kidding!

Principals also HAVE to have a sense of humor!