Friday, 12 October 2018

Learn - Research - Literature Review

Today I’m posting about what I’ve learnt from reading the National Science Teachers Association (2005)
article Improving Science Reading Comprehension. NSTA WebNews Digest: Science Scope, Features.

This piece of writing mentions activating prior knowledge before beginning a reading; making predictions,
separating keywords (given by the teacher) into categories, and completing anticipation guides (as some
of the previous two posts also mention - so I won’t go into that again!)

Today I would like to share what I took away from this reading:

Keeping a response log
A response log can be closed - where the teacher decides what students respond to - or it can be open
and students can choose what they respond to. I nicked a screenshot from their website because it was
such a clear example:

Say something
This strategy also encourages students to think while reading. Students work in small groups and read
a passage from a text chosen by the teacher. Prior to student reading, predetermined stopping points
are marked into the text. For example, a chapter from a text may be divided into 10 sections.

All students begin reading along and read until stopping point one. Students then take turns “saying
something” about what was read. All students in the group are expected to respond to the text. The
groups are student-run, but the teacher serves as a rotating facilitator to assist and observe groups as

I used the Say Something strategy in the Microorganisms unit designed with my friend Graham Stoddard and the help of our school literacy specialist Marc Milford - you can view it / use it here if you would like: It has a heavy emphasis on literacy.

Special support for struggling students
Put reading assignments on audiotape and allow students to listen to them once they have attempted
the reading on their own. This repeated exposure can enhance comprehension and alleviate student

Teachers can also link students up with a reading buddy. The reading buddy can serve as the first
contact for answering questions about the text. This can eliminate a line of students waiting to ask the
teacher questions.

Teachers can also provide graphic organizers that assist students in focusing on the main ideas. These
can be outlines for students to follow during reading, a list of questions to check for comprehension
before a student moves on to the next section, or a dictionary keyed to the text to help identify essential

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