Reading Strategies, Tips, and Tricks You Can Use
Technology and Reading
Reading Comprehension Camp is a great app to use with your students to promote reading comprehension skills. The app consist of 5 levels. Each level has a variety of stories to choose from. The stories can be read to the user or the user can read the story themselves and record what they have read to practice fluency skills. After each story is read, the user can choose which types of questions they would like to answer, from basic "wh" questions to inference and vocabulary questions. Each question provides multiple choices and the student can refer back to the story to answer the questions. If the user is having difficulty answering a question, there is a "hint" option, which will highlight the sentence where the answer can be located. The app also collects data for each individual story. The data is displayed in a graph showing the users overall performance by question type. The data also shows which question for each story was correct or incorrect, and this data can be printed or shared. There are many customizable features for each learner, and can even be used with groups of up to 4 users. I highly recommend Reading Comprehension Camp for any students that may struggle with reading comprehension or may need supplemental reinforcement of reading skills.
Reading Comprehension Strategy: Making Connections
Making Connections while Reading
Schema is the background knowledge and experience readers bring to the text. Good readers draw on prior knowledge and experience to help them understand what they are reading and as a result they are able to use that knowledge to make connections. Struggling readers often move directly through a text without stopping to consider whether the text makes sense based on their own background knowledge, or whether their knowledge can be used to help them understand confusing or challenging materials. By teaching students how to connect to text they are able to better understand what they are reading.
Students comprehend better when they make different kinds of connections such as text-to-self, text-to-text and text-to-world.
Text-to-self connections are personal connections that a reader makes between reading material and the reader’s own experiences or life. "This story reminds me of …”
Text-to-text connections are when readers think about how the information they are reading connects to other familiar text. “What does this remind me of in another book I’ve read?”Text-to-world connections are the larger connections that a reader brings to a reading situation. We learn about things through television, movies, magazines, and newspapers. “How is this text similar to things that happen in the real world?”
October: National Bullying Prevention Month
October is National Bullying Prevention month and National Book month! Here is a list of books that address bullying, accepting others, and encouraging students to be themselves. The list of books can be adapted and used in the elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Check out the titles and see which books may be the most appropriate for your students.
1. Exclamation Mark, by Amy Krouse Rosen
2. Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes
3. One, by Kathryn Otoshi
4. Only One You, by Linda Kranz
5. Blubber, by Judy Blume
6. Bully from the Black Lagoon, by Mike Thaler
7. Ally Oops, by Janice Levy
8. Jake Drake, Bully Buster, by Andrew Clements
9. Wonder, by R.J. Palacio
10. I Am Jack, by Susanne Gerbay
11. The Revealers, by Doug Wilhelm
12. The Reinvention of Thomas Edison, by Jacqueline Houtman
13. Freak the Mighty, by Rodman Philbrick
Social Skills and Bullying
Cross curricular support is a key part of ensuring that our students understand and generalize the lessons they are being taught. For bullying prevention, one of the best classroom times for reinforcing skill acquisition is during Social Skills lessons or when trying to teach social skills in other areas of life. Learning how to identify a bully, and how to react to someone being bullied is an appropriate social skill for our students to have.
Remember, bullying prevention doesn't have to be limited to this lesson time, Language Arts and Social Studies are also great times when discussing characteristics of book characters or historical figures, and if one if them is a bully, point it out! Discuss how different actions or reactions could prevent or redirect bullying.