Developing strategic readers in the middle years

Date

2011-09-07

Authors

Moore, Shannon S.

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Abstract

Many teachers struggle to help students transition into reading the more difficult middle school textbook material. After reviewing the literature, it is apparent that a strategic-instructional model is best for teaching reading comprehension at the middle school level. Scholars agree that the cognitive development, motivation and desire for independence of the middle school age group can have a significant effect on reading comprehension instruction. Not unlike elementary reading instruction, the literature emphasizes the importance of a teaching style that involves direct instruction, guided and independent practice, and collaborative learning. Researchers in middle years’ classrooms also note the importance of cross-curricular literacy connections and the use of meaningful assessment materials. Scholars agree that there are several major components to an effective comprehension program: predicting, inferencing, making connections, questioning, summarizing, identifying main idea, using text structures and features, and vocabulary development. Based on these components, I have developed a resource that provides teachers with access to materials that support each of these components. These documents are available both in hard copy and electronic form (http://literacy.sd63.bc.ca/mod/resource/view.php?id=82) so that they can be easily adapted and utilized in a variety of classroom contexts. They are meant to be used to target the acquisition of specific skills identified as lacking by classroom literacy assessments. Finally, I close with a reflection on how this resource came to be, and why I see it as an important contribution to the field of reading comprehension instruction.

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Keywords

Reading, Comprehension, DART, Middle School

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