Teaching Reading
Weekly Reading Log


Week of 6/22

Christie, Chapters 1, 2, & 3; Fox, Chapter 2
Background knowledge: some familiarity of buzzwords used in reading and definitions, such as phonics, grammar, syntax, and semantics. However, I didn't know exact meanings. Similarly, most theories made sense, but I didn't really know about them previous to the reading, and I certainly wouldn't have been able to tell someone different theories about language acquisition and literacy development.
Connections: I once took a seminar on first and second language acquisition which included theories about information and language retention, and how memory works. The social-constructionist theory resonated with my own literacy-rich environment growing up, where I was surrounded with print that was above my level because I had older siblings at home. (Could this fall into the behaviorist view?)
Summary: There are different views on how children learn reading and writing, but in all scenarios it is important to offer, encourage and stimulate learning. There is a general progression of literacy development, and there are some who do not develop literacy skills for a variety of reasons.
Questions: Do these theories account for every type of learner? Is there just one true answer? Do people either gain language by picking it up from their environment, or do they have an inborn ability to pick up language, and the right neurons must connect to make this happen? Are there instances of people who lack the neurological part, but are surrounded by a print-rich environment, who simply never pick up language skills? Are there people who have the neurological makeup, but never get proper environmental stimulation?
Inferences: The book takes on the behaviorist and social constructionist view. I predict that there will be some strong suggestions on the normal/healthy learning pattern and how children learn literacy skills.
Visualizations: Big empty rooms with lone children playing some literacy game with an adult, while researchers watch from behind one-sided glass.
Determining importance: Important for assessign and helping children grasp the appropriate skills to become strong readers/writers/speakers, and to define what skills the should have for healthy progression.
Synthesizing: I learned more about language acquisition, specifically how important the role of scaffolding by adults and people with more knowledge plays in a child's learning path. There are certain building blocks that lead to healthy learning for reading and writing.
Fix-up strategies: Need to visualize what is being said and try to plug in real-life scenarios to make it more tangible.

Week of 6/29

Christie, Chapter 4, pp.166-80, 201-3, 384-95; Fox, Chapter 4; Guided Reading in Grades 3-6, Chapters 1, 2, & 3
Reading log: Fox reading on emergent literacy development. Chapter 4, based on analogy based phonics:
Background knowledge: Only inherent knowledge of onset and rime. I had an awareness that words are separated into beginning sounds, and ending sounds, but was largely unaware of how students use this to make predictions about new words; to learn new words.
Connections: This way of learning new words is expanded by using familiar rimes to sound out larger words in meaningful and approachable chunks.
Summary: Children at the emergent literacy stages use onset/rime to look at familiar patterns in order to make predictions about new words. For example, if a child knows cat, hat and fat, they might be able to substitute the onset /spl/ and sound out the new word splat. They use self monitoring and cross checking to self correct when a word doesn't make sense.
Questions: How confusing does this strategy get when the same chunk/rime is pronounced differently?
Inferences: Analogy-based predictions are a strong tool in encountering new words. Students recognize word chunks, and use this to sound out the new word.
Visualizations: Drawing the slashes helps to separate the onset from the rime on paper.
Determining importance: These skills, if taught early one, can lead to overall good literacy.
Synthesizing:
Fix-up strategies:


Week of 7/6

Guided Reading, Chapters 4, 5, & 6; Christie pp. 225-37, hand-outs
Reading log:
Background knowledge:
Connections:
Summary:
Questions:
Inferences:
Visualizations:
Determining importance:
Synthesizing:
Fix-up strategies:

Week of 7/13

Hand-outs; Christie pp. 242-53
Reading log: Comprehension article
Background knowledge: Again, most of the reading made sense while reading it, but it was new as a coherent concept.
Connections: We are working on some of these skills in the read-aloud at Plympton.
Summary: Comprehension does not function alone, it requires fluency, decoding skills, and vocabulary working together. Comprehension can be practiced by reading level-appropriate texts, and implementing some strategies to promote understanding. The teacher serves as a model for these strategies: defining goals for the text--what do I want to get out of this?, and thinking aloud--what am I doing, what questions might I have, using the text structure and genre to learn more about the text and what the author is trying to convey. Students should take the role of the teacher, and conduct strategies such as question the author, and reciprocal teaching.
Questions:
Inferences:
Visualizations: My visual for this was seeing a student sitting on his knees in front of the rest of the class, guiding them through probing questions about the author and book.
Determining importance: It's important to know how to read, but it's also important to set out clear goals for reading: understand the text, be a fluent ready, be able to reflect on the reading.
Synthesizing: The students at Plympton are probably too young, but if my fifth graders next year choose texts to read together, I can select one student each time to serve as the facilitator of a group discussion about what the text meant.
Fix-up strategies:

Week of 7/20

Fox, Chapter 7; Christie pp. 354-59
Reading log:
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Connections:
Summary:
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Determining importance:
Synthesizing:
Fix-up strategies: