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Tapping into Reading Processes

Posted By: Catalina Rico on June 17, 2003
A lot of what Martha Lou Byrd has done with her community college students seems to be a form of metacognition ("thought processes"). By asking students to slow down and identify what blocks comprehension, she has helped them pinpoint the source of their woes, which seem rooted in lack of organization. It seems to me that it is more than a matter of becoming better organized, however. It seems this same process could be used to help all students identify deeper comprehension blocks and deploy strategies to help bolster their understanding of dificult text. Of course, some of it has to do with having many opportunities to read texts that are problematic, most usually academic or gatekeeper texts, though many students have an aversion to narrative structures as well. A good source for teachers working with struggling readers is Reading for Understanding, Ruth Schoenbach, et al (Jossey Bass, 1999)), a readable and nicely laid out book on helping adolescent readers take charge of their reading processes with plenty of initial scaffolding using individual and social structures to support independent reading for even the most inexperienced readers. Another source is Kylene Beers, When Kids Can't Read--What Teachers Can Do (Heineman, 2002).
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 Teaching high school aged non and low readers to read by R. Warren Donelan on April 15, 2003
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