Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tools to Guide Students in Learning How to Learn:)

With Common Core based lessons, students will interact regularly with challenging informational text which will call into place the need to develop skills to successfully read it.

The skill to read for information to make a person smarter must be taught and supported.  There are many tools out there for teachers to use to build this skill in students and some of the best ones are also free. 

Some of the ones in this article are probably ones teachers are already using, but if students are to become proficient independent readers, they need to be able to analyze what they have read and apply that knowledge to accomplish a given end.  For the majority of students, this is a skill which must be taught and with the new Common Core, it will be addressed in every grade level from kindergarten through 12th grade. 

What works? 

Inquiry logs are highly effective.  Students write in their own words what they read.  They note not only what they read but also WHY that information was important and HOW they came to that decision.  In a few words, they must justify their selection and notes. There are 4 other techniques in the article which again may not be new, but with common core, they can be of great value in improving reading skills of students.

Thinking maps offers a graphic scaffolding support that assists students in pulling out key details and then justifying their choices.  These tools also lead to better writing in the areas of organization, development, vocabulary, etc.  Here is another link with even more information on similar supports for students.

Last, but not least, don't forget our website which offers many more ideas on addressing reading skills of students in all grades and subject areas.



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