Friday, February 24, 2012

Education Friday - Reading Professional Strategies

Today, a few thoughts pulled from an expert's emails (with permission)
about the literacy web and her work with middle schoolers:
"A strategy that seems to work for both of my sixth grade students is asking comprehension questions in a multiple choice format rather than asking open ended questions. Both of the guys are willing to chance an answer given three choices. 
I usually ask the question as written first, then if I get the "I don't know", I give three possible answers. If they miss that question, I am pretty sure it's something we need to look over again.
Always pre-teaching or pre-discussion of key concepts is helpful, which means pre-reading on my part! 
Whenever possible we look at the questions before reading a passage, a method called "priming" in the reading comprehension series I am using between classroom reading assignments. We look at the title of the chapter/story to predict what might happen, and look at any pictures that may be given. 
With my trusty iPad I can google or wikipedia just about anything on the spot and usually come up with some kind of picture to illustrate. 
And always as part of my literacy "web" I try to include a semantic web or thinking map. 
[I asked if multiple choice should be used for his grammar homework (mm)]
I do think that multiple choice options can be used with mm. 
I would probably try the conventional method first, then provide multiple choices as 
needed to move along with the assignment. 
I believe that fits into the literacy web view of reading comprehension. 
Interesting that I have seen multiple choice format offered as a classroom accommodation for years on the IEP, but just now associate it with my ASD kids as an essential teaching strategy. 
I wonder if perhaps that accounts for good scores on standardized testing sometimes when reading comprehension is such struggle in day to day assignments." 

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