Best Practices in Secondary Reading Instruction Kevin Smith, M. Ed. Reading Specialist, 6-12
from Reading Instruction through Strategy Enhancement (RISE) by Evan Lefsky, Ph.D. Executive Director, Just Read, Florida!
Questions for Reflection • Are all my students provided with many books they can read and want to read? • When my students read/write, do they get to write about what they know and care about? • Are my students given plenty of time to explore topics and themes through reading and writing? • When I want my students to read/write content information, do I show them how to do it? • Do all of my students get opportunities to demonstrate and use their strengths in reading and writing, or do reading and writing activities in my class only accentuate their weaknesses?
Challenges of FCAT • Endurance • Reading and writing for 160 minutes • Text Length average=900 words • No connection to text • MOTIVATION!
Components of RISE • Independent Reading Practice • Fast-Paced Decoding Practice (Especially polysyllabic words) • Text Sets • Explicit Comprehension Instruction • Instruction supported by reading coach
Research-Based Reading Classroom (Guthrie, 2002) • Which factors affect FCAT reading scores?
Research-Based Reading Classroom • Which components should we focus on?
Whole Group Instruction • 15-20 minutes daily • Teacher modeling of reading strategies • Focus on comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency
Rotations • Four groups of ~five students • Four stations • Two to three rotations each day • Each rotation is 15-20 minutes
Teacher Led Group • Reinforce whole group instruction • Specific areas of student need
Independent Work • Reciprocal Teaching • Text-based discussion • Research • Listening Centers • Content area connections • Individual assignments based on needs demonstrated through small group instruction
Technology • FCAT Explorer • Reading Plus • 3 days per week • 20 minutes per day
Text Sets • Unit of study organized around a theme or standard or concept • Collection of instructional materials related to the theme • Must take into account student’s independent reading level as well as the reading level of any texts you ask them to read
Types of Text that Can Be Used in Instruction • Pictures/Photographs • Young adult novels/historical fiction • Primary source documents/artifacts • Expository pieces • Magazine articles • Newspaper articles (Current Events) • Journals/Diaries • Question and answer books • Picture books • Poetry • Web sites
Choosing Appropriate Text • Engaging reading style • Connection to current events • Connection to pop culture • Humor • Teen or young adults as central character • Action or adventure • Fantasy or science fiction
Utilization of Texts • Hooks • Read aloud • Independent reading • Guided reading • Shared reading • Research
Typical Text Set • Text 1: Activate prior knowledge through brainstorm, current events, or media • Text 2: Narrative teacher read-aloud or student read easy-to-access text • Text 3: Well-written expository text guided by the teacher with direct instruction in decoding and comprehension skills • Text 4: Independent and successful practice and extensive writing
Text Set • Concept/Theme • Media/Current Event (HOOK=Draw Kids In) • Read-Aloud (Upper-level= Too Difficult for Kids OR Picture Book) • Leveled Independent Reading (Many different books to meet the levels of many kids) • Guided Reading (Insertion of Vocabulary and Comprehension Instruction) • Link to Text (Textbook or Main Piece of Difficult Literature) • Research/Writing (Product=High Interest Topic to Students) • ALL TEXTS MUST RELATE BACK TO THE THEME OR CONCEPT
Focus of Text Set Unit • How will you facilitate: • Reading • Writing • Discussion EVERY DAY?
Text Set Topics • Religious Conflict • Underground Railroad • The Crucible • Ecosystems • Computer Ethics • Civil Rights • World Religions • French Speaking African Countries • Ecology • Volcanoes • School Violence • Disabilities • Horrors of War • Civil Rights • The American Revolution • Great Mathematical Thinkers • Gangs
Unit Specifications • Unit will include a day-by-day plan including: • Key ideas/big ideas • Concepts/key terms to be taught and how they will be taught • Discussion points/provocative questions (small group/whole group) • Research opportunities (Small group/individual) • Writing opportunities (Journals, quick writes, exit notes) • Comprehension strategies and where they will be inserted (Mini-lessons) • Community building • Group projects • Assessment
Choosing High Impact Vocabulary • Identify key concepts and terms (vocabulary) to be learned during the unit • How will they be taught? • Explicitly (direct instruction)? • Implicitly (through reading practice and discussion)?
Strategy Instruction • For readings that are to be completed using guided instruction: • Which reading strategies will you model for the students? • Be sure to use strategies before, during, and after reading.
Discussion • How will you stimulate discussion before, during, and after reading? • Will you use provocative questions? • Will the discussion be small group or whole group? • How will you keep the discussion going?
Writing • What writing opportunities will students have before, during, and after reading? • What form will they take (journals, quick writes, exit notes, etc.)? • What will be their purpose (assessment, reflection, etc.)?
Research • What research opportunities will you include during the course of the unit? • Will they be small group or individual? • How will topics be assigned? (Note: It is important to have two research opportunities in a unit. The first is a group project for which the teacher assigns the topic. This usually comes somewhere towards the beginning of the unit, allowing them to further build their background knowledge and vocabulary. The second is an individual research assignment for which the student chooses his or her own topic based on interests developed during the course of the unit. This would come at the end of the unit.)
Assessment • How will you assess reading gains? • How will you assess the learning taking place? • Objective tests? • Written assignments? • Individual or group projects?
Fluency What is fluency? What skills does it include?
Fluency The ability to read text quickly, accurately, and with proper expression (NRP). Rate, Accuracy, Prosody
Rate • Automaticity: Quick, accurate, effortless recognition of letters and words • Speed: fluid pace in reading connected text
Accuracy • Correctly decoding unknown words • Recognizing high-frequency and familiar words
Prosody • Making reading sound natural like spoken language • Using appropriate intonation • Using appropriate expression • Pausing appropriately at phrase boundaries
What’s wrong with round robin? • Embarrassing to poor readers • Teaches very little • Rarely engages students • Typically only focuses on oral reading performance, not understanding • Little connection to real life • Reduces time that could be spent on more valuable reading practice
Fluency Instruction How can you provide fluency instruction?
Model Fluent Reading • Frequent teacher read-alouds • Listening to books on tape • Books read by fluent peers
“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning.” -Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Why Read-Aloud? Students: • See reading as emotionally powerful • Are motivated to read more • Witness fluent reading • Are exposed to multiple genres • Explore sophisticated words and text structures • Observe teacher’s use of comprehension strategies through think aloud
When To Read Aloud • When hearing the text will help students process or enjoy it in a more effective way • When introducing new or difficult texts • When reading poetry or plays • When you want to expose students to text without copying and distributing • When you want to focus students’ attention • As an opener or wrap-up
Types of Materials to Read Aloud • Directions • Class books (novel you read from each day) • Literature (to help students grasp relationships and hear the sound of language) • Observations (from a scientific report used to begin a discussion) • Random items you think are fun, powerful, or useful to share
Choosing A Read Aloud • Does this book meet the needs of the students at this time? • Can I read this book in such a way that students will not be bored by it? (ie. Pace, Voice, and Inflection) • Do I enjoy this book? • Does this book match my instructional goals? (Not necessarily tied to the curriculum)
Fluency Instruction • Choral Reading • Paired Reading • Echo Reading • Recorded Readings • Repeated Readings • Reader’s Theater • Phrase Boundaries
Text Difficulty • Independent Level: 95-100% accuracy Can read text independently without assistance • Instructional Level: 90-94% accuracy Can read text with instructional assistance • Frustration Level: Below 90% accuracy Has great difficulty reading text, even with assistance
Determining Text Difficulty • To determine a student’s reading level for a specific text, calculate: Correct number of words read ÷ Total number of words read = Percent accuracy Example: 48 ÷ 50 = .96 (96%) Independent level
Fluency Assessment • One minute timed reading Total words read - errors = Words Correct Per Minute (WCPM)
Fluency Assessment: Putting It All Together • Start timer when student says first word • Give student word if they can’t decode after 3 seconds and count as error • Slash words read incorrectly • Skipped words • Mispronounced words • Word substitutions, including incorrect forms of word • Words in wrong order • Struggling that lasts 3 seconds or more
Fluency Assessment: Putting It All Together • Do not count as an error: • Added words • Varying pronunciation due to accent, dialect, or speech impediment • Repetitions of a correctly read word • Self-correction of a mistake • Mark text at one minute • WCPM=Total words-errors (slashes)/min. • Accuracy=Word Correct/Total words