Comprehension instruction revolves around teaching discrete skills – when really it should be rooted in does this make sense to you? Connectedness to texts makes comprehension tangible. This is highly differentiated so success will be defined through individual pathways for learning. Another important question: how do we provide instruction in meaningful opportunities that promote independence? We believe it begins with making it a concrete structure in the classroom. One that can be readily put to use in the hands of students tied to individual goal setting.
Classroom environment is so much more than an aesthetically pleasing decor – it is a skillful placement of tools, nested in an intellectual framework. Explicit instruction through modeling is one piece to the learning process the other is to promote independent practice so that students can outgrow themselves. Strategies promote access points along the way to greater skills acquisition. Students need a way to understand the process through metacognitive work – they need to identify a task and have intellectual routines for accessing higher levels of critical thinking. Having a strong foundational understanding comes through strategic actions for “Thinking Within the Text”. This allows for deeper comprehension for “Thinking Beyond the Text” or “Thinking About the Text”
If proficient readers are not aware of these strategic actions; why then do inexperienced readers need to know about them? Proficient readers have outgrown strategies – they are proficient in the process of reading/ writing. For these reasons, strategy teaching is done best when it’s done with brevity. A simple stepwise approach that is taught with the intention that it will be forgotten. Each wedge is a key for understanding. Demystification is a form of enlightenment that can be supported through relevant goal setting an endeavor that is informed through daily conferring.
If engagement means having the resolve to do challenging work, we have to meet the social emotional needs of the learners themselves. What do children need to be successful? Children are egocentric they don’t want to wait, or to delay in immediate gratification. A classroom structure for tools becomes that space for children to go – instead of the teacher or a friend.
Children are natural collectors – they crave to have something tangible in their hands that belongs to them. We can put the learning (literally) in their hands. This is work that is on-going and we will continue to highlight as the week progresses.