Reading for Meaning

Leave "Thinking Tracks" as you Read

Showing Children How to Read is More Beneficial Than Telling Them to Read

It starts with letter recognition (LNF) and progresses to the letter sound (LSF). From there, children progress to phonemes and sight words. Eventually, these characters are strung together into short sentences and these sentences are placed in a book. But what does it all mean? All too often, this key question is overlooked. Harvey and Goudvis challenging teachers to take a step back and dissect the purpose of reading. "Reading encompasses both decoding and the making of meaning" (Harvey & Goudvis, 2007, p. 13). All too often, children are so focused on making sense of the characters strung together on the page, that they don't stop to think about what they are reading. Teachers need to implement strategies that enhance strategic reading as well as develop skilled decoders. (Harvey & Goudvis, 2007, p. 23). These strategies will aid in comprehension so that students may be able to construct meaning more easily.

Real Life Application

Currently I work in the Special Education Department of a K-3 elementary school, and I have several small reading support groups. Reading the first few chapters of Harvey & Goudvis made perfect sense to what I see in the classroom every day. At a young age, children are inundated with letters and sounds and words and books. This is not a negative issue by any means, but the entire literacy experience could be enhanced by developing these strategic reading methods at an early age. I was pleased to discover that I already implement some of these strategies, even if on a very basic level. It makes sense to me to search for connections between prior knowledge and new knowledge; ask questions about the information I am reading; draw inferences during and after reading the text and I challenge my students with the same techniques. Harvey & Goudvis also mention that "Questions are at the heart of teaching and learning. Questioning is the strategy that propels readers forward" (2007, p. 18). I have observed many teachers questioning students in an attempt to further their understanding and push their thinking. I think it is an excellent way to engage students and keep their interest, no matter what subject is being taught. I've always had a love for reading, but I think that love is going to grow through this course as I delve into some research-driven techniques to enhance literacy in young students.