Content Area Reading Susan Roberts K-12 Literacy Specialist Jefferson County Schools firstname.lastname@example.org www.jc-schools.net
Research: • Approximately 50% of the nation’s unemployed youth (ages 16-21) are functionally illiterate with no prospects of obtaining good jobs. • 75% of today’s jobs require at least a ninth grade reading level. • Illiteracy costs the U.S. approximately $20 billion per year. ~U.S. Census Bureau, 2007
Literacy Levels • Content area teachers are compelled to teach reading and writing in their content area…… Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? Content Comprehension, Grades 6-12, Chris Tovani, 2004 I Read It, But I Don’t Get It…Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers, Chris Tovani, 2000 Mosaic of Thought, Teaching Comprehension in a Reader’s Workshop, Keene and Zimmermann, 1997 Strategies That Work, Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement, 2nd edition, Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis, 2007 Building Academic Vocabulary, Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J.
Guided Reading: • Always focused on comprehension • Teachers choose the material and purpose • Students are guided to use reading strategies; teacher modeling • All types of reading materials are used
Why teach Comprehension Strategies? • Many upper grades students are passive readers… • They stare at the page, read the words, but can’t tell you what they’ve read. • Yet, use of comprehension strategies is essential for success!
Active Readers are… • Engaged with the text • Making Connections • Thinking as they read • Anticipation Guide (“Rodent Hairs”) • Activity: B-D-A Thinking • Thinking is the essence of reading!
The Magnificent Seven Comprehension Strategies • Make Connections • Make Inferences • Ask Questions • Determine Importance • Create Mental Images – Visualize • Synthesize • Use Appropriate Fix-Up Strategies (adapted from Keene & Zimmerman, 1997)
Anticipation Guide for: “How Many Insect Parts and Rodent Hairs are Allowed in Your Food?” From www.SixWise.com Agree:Statement:Disagree: • _____ Insect parts and rodent hairs are a rarity in our food. _____ • _____ We eat at least one pound of insects per year. _____ • _____ There are no guidelines regulating insect parts in food. _____ • _____ There are no contaminants in orange juice. _____ • _____ Rodent hairs in food are dangerous to your health. _____
Guided Reading Strategies
Before Reading: Students bring and use prior knowledge about the topic. The teacher sets the focus or purpose for the reading and assigns the amount of text to be read.
Asking Questions • Before reading • During reading • After reading • Activity: Questioning B-D-A “Out of the Dust” • See also “Three-Column Journal” • Rozzelle and Scearce
Think-Along / Think Aloud • Thinking is the essence of reading! • Reading is more than just saying words! • Reading is thinking! Hmmm…
Through the Think-Aloud Strategy, students think about three types of connections: (Keene and Zimmerman (1997) • Text to self: What experiences in your life does this remind you of? • Text to text: What other text have you read that is relevant here? • Text to world: What prior knowledge is relevant here? (Activity with sticky notes)
Thinking and Making Connections • “Literacy is nothing more than making connections. It is the ability not only to acquire new knowledge but also to access previous knowledge and make cognitive connections, thus building new knowledge. Further, it is the awareness that such processes and connections even exist.” • Anecdote from Jan Rozzelle and Carol Scearce, Power Tools for Adolescent Literacy, 2009, Solution Tree
Content-area teachers • Perfectly confident teaching their subject • Unprepared to teach literacy skills “Content-area teachers should not teach literacy-they should support literacy within their content areas. This is what our students need them to do.” Rozzelle and Scearce
Purpose is everything! It determines: • What is important in the text • What is remembered • What comprehension strategy the reader uses to enhance meaning
Handout The House Set Purpose
Sticky Notes, Bookmarks, and Highlighters: and Use these tools to mark important things you want to go back to after reading. • Students read with purpose when they use these tools. • Teach students to “leave evidence” and “code the text.” • Consider using this strategy for vocabulary also. • (see handout) This is how adults read.
Coding the Text • Keeps students actively engaged while reading the text. • Mark the text with marginalia • Use Sticky-notes • Assign codes: * - ? ! • Also: BK I S P TS TT TW VIP • Create your own codes! • Activity: Coding Text
Dealing with non-fiction text structure: • Table of Contents • Chapter Headings & Sub-headings • Index • Glossary • Diagrams, charts, maps, graphs
Preview the Text Let Your Fingers Do the Walking (Jan Rozzelle and Carol Scearce, 2007) • Scan pages looking at titles, headings, graphics and other features. • Flag pages that spark interest. (Sticky note) • Browse for 3 minutes and be ready to share. • Four – eight students share topics. (Post on Data Wall) see handout
Read Around the Text • “Read” charts, graphs and diagrams. Use questioning and discussion. • Take notes on T-Charts, Data Charts, Feature Matrix, etc.
Questioning the Author • Do not just understand what the author is saying, rather figure out what the author means. • If you find that your students cannot answer the questions because the passage “didn’t say!” then your students may need their reading guided by a strategy called “Questioning the Author.”
Planning a QTA Lesson: The teacher carefully reads the text and decides: • what the important ideas are – what problems students might have with the ideas • how much of the text to read before stopping for discussion • what queries to pose to help students construct meaning • The teacher’s job is to pose queries that can help students use what they know to figure out what the author means. • QTA continues with the teacher telling the students how much to read and posing both initiating and follow-up queries. • Figure out what the author means….not just what he says! • (see Reasoning Through the Text – STW)
During Reading: Students are engaged in reading which includes: • Skimming and scanning • Searching for meaning • Predicting information • Constructing meaning • Rereading parts of the selections for better understanding • Discussing the text with others • Making notes
After Reading: Students are engaged in: • Reacting and responding to what they have read • Thinking about what they have read • Writing in response to what they have read • Discussing what they have read B-D-A with every reading/writing assignment
Strategies for building background knowledge: • Circle of Questions Sampson, M.B., Sampson, M.R., & Linek, W. (1994) • Sticky Notes, Bookmarks, Highlighters Cunningham, P., Hall, D. (1998) • K-W-L and K-W-L PLUS Buehl, Doug, (2001) • Bubble Map Memphis Content Literacy Academy • Double Bubble Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J. (2005) • T-Chart Harvey and Goudvis (2007)
Circle of Questions: Allows students to brainstorm and organize information prior to reading. ? ? ? ? Before reading: • Students form small groups. • Topic is given and students are given a period of time to brainstorm questions about the topic. • When time is up, draw a circle on the board or overhead transparency and write students’ questions around the circle. • Students put the questions into categories. • Questions within the same category are color coded. • Each group then chooses a category to research. ? ?
Circle of Questions During reading: • Students research their selected category while making notes for reporting/writing about their category. The questions can then be turned into their headings.
Circle of Questions After reading: • Student work may be shared through various formats. • This process enables students to see how questions can become the headings in informational text and that authors often organize the information under headings by first asking questions. • Activity: during informational text reading, have students turn the headings into questions.
K-W-L and K-W-L Plus • K– What I Know • W – What I Want to Know • L – What I Learned • + - What I stillWant to Know
T-Chart: This provides students with an organized method of note taking while reading information or listening to information being given.
T-Chart: Handout • Divide paper in half – two columns • Record words or key pints in the left column • Record definitions or explanations of key points • Example:
Focus: • Comprehension is what it’s all about! • Reading comprehension – and how to teach it – is probably the area of literacy about which we have the most knowledge and the most consensus. • It is also probably the area that gets the least attention in the classroom. • Story: “Change is Hard”
Brain of a Female Adolescent Never forget, you are working with a teenager.