Focusing on the Reader
· The chapter begins with the idea that students need pre-reading activities to get them ready for comprehension.
· This comes with prior knowledge – a mini lesson as Muriel would say.
o Note from Melissa: This is similar to what we do with the students at MCTC and our Commonground Project. We show a documentary called “Price of the Ticket.” In it, James Baldwin is the focus as he and his friends and family discuss his literary life. After students watch it, they are enormously curious and ready to read the two selections: “Sonny’s Blues” and “My Dungeon Shook.”
· There are 3 kinds of prior knowledge students need:
o Knowledge about the topic
o “ “ the structure and organization
o “ “ vocabulary
· Reading passages cold – without any prior knowledge – is argued to be ineffective. Melissa’s discussion point: have there been times that you had to do cold reading, for whatever reason, and it still was ok, and students got something out of it?
· We need to make connections to the literature that we read, thereby making a marker on our memory and comprehension.
o Key point #1 – Today’s curriculum must contain connections to THEIR past experiences, not just ours as teachers, in order for them to find meaning.
o Key point #2 – How a person feels about a learning situation determines the amount of attention devoted to it. Translation: Students need to have the answer to the question “Why should I care?” before going into a learning situation. Note from Melissa: Easier said than done.
· Framing the text – how to:
o Web searches – page 38 contains an interesting list
§ Students share their web “dig”
o Anticipation guides
o Theme spotlights
o Focus poems
o K-W-L-R charts (know, want to know, learned, Post reading Research)
· Framing devices WHILE reading the piece
o Daily focus questions
o Word games
o Interrupted Summary
o One question, one comment (Note from Melissa: sounds a little like
Melissa’s tornado activity)
o Word scramble Prediction
· Perils of assumicide