The Big Read
While I don’t think that teaching reading will ever be a science because every kid seems to learn this skill differently, there’s a lot that can be done to help kids make the leap to fluent reading. While a traditional book about how to teach reading is a big help, new software might go a little further towards getting everyone in a class to read on grade level.
By reading, understanding and using the ideas in “The Great Eight Management Strategies for the Reading and Writing Classroom,” teachers can make learing to read a more efficient process. Published by LitLife, the book is written by Pam Allyn, Jaime Margolies, and Karen McNally and shows how to make it all work a little easier with practical ideas and instructions that range from how to best arrange a room to scheduling.
By contrast, Gamco’s Reading Explorers seeks to attack reading by working on the 42 individual skills required to turn a string of words on a page (or screen) into a coherent thought leading to comprehension. Students go through narratives, informational passages and everyday readings that are keyed to their level while learning critical thinking, vocabulary and focused reading; it’s all tested with a comprehension quiz at the end. For those schools that use both PCs and Macs, Reading Explorers works with both platforms.
There’s a new room in the Academy of Reading, School Specialty Literacy and Intervention’s premier program for assisting in reading for struggling students. Called Portfolio, the multimedia module contains content to help kids read more fluently and develop a real work vocabulary. Kids work on both silent and oral reading of selected passages and can practice in the reading studio, where they record their oral reading so they can hear how they sound. Students can put it all together in a personal portfolio so that teachers and parents can track progress.