Friday, July 20, 2012

R2L: Frequently Asked Questions

R2L: Reading to Learn


Why should the students chorally read the passage first?
The rational for the choral reading is that weaker students who do not know how to pronounce the words are able to hear the passage one time through, supporting their reading fluency.

Is it really necessary to take this long to read just 3-4 paragraphs?
With time, you will be able to skip or shorten some of the steps. For your ESL and SpEd students, this protocol works extremely well. This protocol is also very effective for students on grade level, or students reading text that is above their current reading level.
I find that for some of my Gifted and Talented students they like having the option of doing the assignment with the whole class or on their own and then doing a challenge activity. Often, though, those students enjoy the conversations that are involved in the reading process.
Personally, at the beginning of the year another teacher explained a similar process to me. I honestly thought that it was too much work. Half way through the year, though, her students had made over a years worth of gains, where as my students were just on track to make regular gains. After seeing the results, I started talking with her and decided to her model in my classroom.
I adapted what she did to make sense for me, and it has been extremely powerful. I encourage you to adapt this so it works for you and your students. This new version is what I am sharing. Thank you Gaelle Harris for being willing to let me share this with other people and for everything that you do for your students!

Where can I find good reading passages?
On the next page is an example of a passage I have used with my students. You can find passages on the Internet, in your reading basal program if you have one, through Minute Readers. The most important thing is that the majority of the initial passages are non-fiction. As adults and college students between 60% and 80% of what our students read will be non-fiction. For this reason, I encourage you do to a similar ratio in R2L time.

Why do you particularly recommend non-fiction for students behind grade level?
You can have a very interesting text that is written at a 2nd grade level, if that is what a 6th grade student needs. The non-fiction passage will not appear “babyish” because it is on actual facts and information the student hopefully finds interesting. It is much more challenging to find fictional stories that are 3-4 paragraphs, but are not insulting to children who may be more than 2 years behind grade level.

How difficult should the reading passages be?
    The first times you teach the base lesson, choose reading passages that are either at the students independent reading level, or slightly below the independent reading level. The purpose for choosing easier passages is so that the effort is on the process, not the reading.
    Once students understand the process, I generally try to choose a passage that is 1-2 years above the current reading level of most people in the group. If anything, error on the side of a too challenging text. Because you are scaffolding the instruction and the reading, you can truly challenge your students.

Can you give me an example of what the finished paper looks like?
    On the next page is an example from one of my students. You can see where she writes her summary sentences and how she completed the independent portion of the exercise. 

HOL online classes I offer:

FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL: From Stress to Success
SAVE TIME: Time Management for Your Teaching & Your Life   


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