Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Belief Statement about the Teaching of Reading

Well, here it is... I must admit I was a little intimidated by the assignment, but here are seven of my beliefs regarding the teaching of reading.

1. I believe the teaching of reading needs to be supplemented by before reading, during reading, and after reading activities to ensure the students' understanding.

By introducing students to the reading by completing before-reading exercises, they will be primed to absorb more information. Students' interest can be sparked and they may be more willing to learn. During reading activities ensure students' understanding throughout the reading of a novel or other piece of literature. After reading exercises can reinforce what was read and can also serve as evaluations. Using before reading, during reading, and after reading exercises helps to strengthen students' overall reading comprehension.
(William Kist)

2. I believe that students who have a choice in what they read will be more inclined to read more often and therefore will improve their reading skills.

Giving students choice as to what they will be reading in class is a way to encourage students to read things of interest to them. If a student would like to read about something that will aid them in their future, they should be allowed to do so. Teachers cannot continue to assume that the books and reading they assign are the most important readings for the student in their school career. Students who are given the chance to read new things, research things of interest to them, and things that are enjoyable to them will be more willing to read and will ultimately experience their most beneficial reading and learning. (Nancie Atwell)

3. I believe the teaching of reading needs to utilize many different types of literature to ensure students are experience reading comprehension while reading novels, newspapers, articles, textbooks, etc..

Using different types of literature will helps students to learn to read different types of writing and different types and uses of language. Students will benefit from reading scholarly journals and also from reading novels. Teachers should implement different types of writing so students can learn the different types of reading. For example, reading The Great Gatsby and then reading an article about the novel are totally different things and yet are completely complimentary of one another and will help students to form their own opinions about their reading. (No one source used)

4. I believe the teaching of reading needs to be tailored to each individual student in order for that student to get the most of his or her reading and to improve his or her reading altogether.

Giving students the choice to choose their own reading material is not only beneficial to their interests, but also to improving their reading level. Students who need to choose smaller, easier to read texts should be allowed to do so in order to practice and work their way up to reading more challenging texts. Students who read better than average should be able to choose the books that will challenge them as well. Helping students to pick out books that are best suited to their reading level will help to tailor their reading to them. Also, students should be able to complete their reading assignments within different periods of time. An advanced student may read three chapters in 30 minutes while a lower-than-average student may only read part of a chapter in that time. Allowing students ample time to practice reading will only be beneficial to their reading abilities. (Nancie Atwell)

5. I believe that holding conferences with students each day will improve their grades in their reading (and writing as well). By going around to each student on a daily basis, all students will know they are expected to be reading and that they should be able to discuss what they have been reading with the teacher.

Utilizing daily conferences will keep students on their toes as far as completing their reading assignments goes. Having the added support of a consistent meeting with the teacher will give students time to ask questions, reflect on their assignments, and will create rapport between student and teacher. Conferences will help to ensure that students are completing their reading assignments and will the teacher time to help the student to improve his or her reading by offering suggestions, tips, and help. (Nancie Atwell)

6. I believe that utilizing new literacies in the teaching of reading will allow for more student participation, more creativity, more comprehension, and more student connection to what is being read.

Using new literacies during the teaching of reading will allow students to use technology to supplement their reading and learning. The possibilities with the Internet and technology are endless. The amount of creativity that can arise when students' eyes are opened to the world of the Internet and it's possibilities in their learning is remarkable. Allowing students to utilize the different offerings of technology and connect them to their reading and assignments will give students a strong connection with their own learning. Having students use new forms of reading assessment, such as blogs and wikis, will get them away from the standard paper and pencil essays and will improve their new media literacy skills. The possibilities for the students' learning and creativity are endless and students will take pride in their new media literacy learning. (William Kist)

7. I believe that the teaching of reading is imperative to the development of adolescence, both academically and emotionally. Students in a high school classroom are still forming their view of the world, and literature can help them to define that view. Therefore, I believe the teaching of reading is of the utmost importance in a young adult's life and should be carefully planned and implemented.

Students in high school are at a very impressionable age, and "[t]he literature classroom can stimulate the students themselves to develop a thoughtful approach to human behavior" (Rosenblatt). Reading and writing at the high school level can lead students to some very important understandings about the world and the way it works. Students can learn a lot about themselves as people as they compare themselves and their ideas to what they experience in class, in reading, and in reflection to reading. Therefore I believe that the teaching of reading needs to always be relevant to the young adult's life and always teach a second lesson about life. (Louise Rosenblatt)

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