Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reading Instruction?

Since I started teaching 26 years ago, reading instruction has evolved considerably.  Knowledge of how to teach reading well is becoming a mainstay in many schools. Reading coaches, intervention specialists and directors lead our work with knowledge and detail. As suggested by experts, teaching reading is sometimes like "rocket science," a complex instructional endeavor.

As parents, encouraging and developing our children as readers can be equally complex.  With my oldest son, it was easy. He enjoyed books and our house was relatively quiet. But by the time my third son came along, our house had become much busier as had our work and family responsibilities and schedules.  Hence the very important time for reading waned.

So how do parents and educators promote and develop reading in meaningful, productive ways.  I want to boost my work in this regard in the coming weeks. Hence, I'll focus on the following list:

  • Increase the time for reading instruction and practice in class.
  • Work harder to match students with just right texts for in-school and at-home reading.
  • Engage the class in a meaningful, content-related class book for rich discussion.
  • Rework our weekly reading letter approach to best reflect weekly independent reading.
  • Find ways to develop vocabulary throughout the day in meaningful, memorable ways.
  • Increase time for online reading related work that provides quick response and develops skill.

Developing learners is an endless task, and when considering all the priorities, reading must take center stage.  Do you agree?