Reading strategies needs muscle. They need muscle to teach and muscle to learn. Reading is a great activity for relief teaching. In fact, learning reading strategies is relevant to all students of all year levels. So how do you build reading muscles when relief teaching?
Muscle Up kids and lift that bar!
I am a strong believer that guided reading should be carried out in every classroom every day. If there is one area that needs academic muscle it is reading.
Of course, nothing helps if you don't develop reading strategies that actually help kids read.
5 important reading strategies that help kids build reading muscle.
The Ability to visualize: Children need the skills to be able to imagine and picture scenes in text. They need to know what a character might look like. Teachers can build their reading muscles by enabling them to verbally explain what a setting looks like. Another teaching strategy might be to challenge kids to draw scenes, people, events. Some kids have great difficulty visualising because their imagination register is low.
The ability to summarize: Students need to ability to retell text. Of course the reading muscle needed here challenges their ability to retain what they read. Reading and then summarizing a story menas that a student needs to tell the difference between the main ideas and the minor details. One good reading strategy to use is to have students retell what they just read to peers and then write down a brief summary together.
The ability to predict: Continually challenge students to predict what they think might happen next. Ask why and why they think so. This encourages active reading strategies as well as keeping kids engaged with the text. Failure to predict signals a misunderstanding of the text that needs revisiting.
Ask Questions: Have children come up with questions about the text, steer them away from the questions about minor details and have them focus on questions about the meaning or morals. This helps nurture active reading strategies.
Find Connections: This involves relating the semantic connections (ideas) as well as syntactic connections (text). Always discuss books and have students relate the characters to themselves or someone else they know. Have them connect different similarities and direct opposites. This will build reading muscle by helping readers understand the text from a new perspective and encourages deeper thought.
One powerful teaching strategy for reading is to deconstruct and reconstruct text.
This is activity can be as easy or as complex as you like. But you need a couple of short stories that you can cut up. Check East of the Web for some great one page stories so print out about 10 -15.
Come to your relief teaching gig armed with a couple of stories cut up into paragraphs, each placed into an envelope. If you are relief teaching you will have time to do this at home.
1. Place the same story, cut up into pieces into an envelope. The children must put the story back together. OK - That's easy. Collect the pieces from the children if you are short on photocopying rights.
2. Now have 5 stories each cut up into 5 pieces each and jumbled up into 5 envelopes. Now put 5 children in a group and each must develop five stories. A bit harder now, isn't it?
And what muscle-building activities you have developed using a whole range of reading strategies that kids need to master.