Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Teach Your Child Strategies for Vocabulary Words

Ruined building on the Leeds and Liverpool canal at Gargrave. UK

Teach Your Child Strategies for Vocabulary Words
Ann Logsdon

Vocabulary skills can make or break any student's feelings about reading.
Help students with learning disabilities successfully deal with new vocabulary in ways
that empower their future learning with these strategies. These strategies can be adapted
for appropriately for different grade levels and are easily done at home or school.
They can be used by regular and special education students.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: This Reading Skill Can be Taught in Approximately 20 Minutes
Here's How:

Decoding and Listening to Vocabulary Words:
Provide the student with a list of new vocabulary words that will appear in a passage.
Have the student sound the word out loud. Read it aloud to her if she does not read phonetically. Ask the student if the word sounds like other words she knows.
Do parts of the word suggest what it means?

Gleaning for Clues to Understanding:
Have the student read the sentences surrounding the new word.
Do the sentences give the student an idea of the meaning of the word?
Ask her to make suggestions about the meaning. For younger students,
provide visual depictions of the words whenever possible though illustrated books.

Create a Personal Dictionary:
Provide students a list of new vocabulary words from the passage.
Older students can scan the passage and make their own lists of unfamiliar vocabulary.
Have students create their own personal dictionary by looking up words
and writing the definitions in a notebook.
For younger students, consider having them also draw an illustration of the words as appropriate.
Have students occasionally review their personal word lists to reinforce their learning.

Skip It:
Sometimes it is best to allow students to read passages
and simply skip words they cannot decode or read.
Consider having students make a slight mark by words they do not know and continue reading.
This allows them to finish the passage without disrupting the flow of text.
Have them address the words they missed after they are finished reading the passages.
hey can address them using the strategies above at that time.

Tips:
It is a good practice to teach students these skills as they are learning to read.
This helps them to understand strategies as a good way to deal with reading
before problems occur.
They will recognize this as good practice and not a treatment for a learning problem.
For students who have already learned to read, it may be helpful to teach them
the strategies apart from a reading activity. Later, as they read, casually remind them
of the strategies if they appear to struggle and do not seem to use them.
Pair this strategy with other research-based strategies from your Learning Disabilities Guide
for more success in school.

What You Need:
Age-appropriate Dictionary
Notebook
Writing Supplies
Coloring Pencils (for younger students) 

http://learningdisabilities.about.com/od/instructionalmaterials/ht/nwvocabinreadin.htm

You can TCR specialist and language dictionaries that are spontaneously accessed.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube 
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com     gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life
www.ourinnerminds.blogspot.com          take advantage of business experience and expertise.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Why don’t students remember what they’ve learned?


Why don’t students remember what they’ve learned?
Curricula and assessment aren’t designed with memory in mind.

We’ve all had the experience of cramming for an exam and forgetting most of what we learned within a few weeks or days. In the immediate term, this is actually quite useful,
because national exams are often bunched together, sometimes several in the same day.
But in the long-run it’s unhelpful: if you asked me to take a GCSE physics exam today,
I don’t expect I’d do very well: I’ve forgotten almost all of what I learned.
Given the time invested, it seems a waste.

If you’re in teaching, you’ll have had the frustrating experience of seeing a class
grasp and understand a concept perfectly in lessons, only to have completely
 and utterly forgotten it when you mention it later on in the year:
they assure you they’ve never heard of it before in their lives.
If you speak languages, you know what it’s like to get rusty;
but also that when you re-immerse yourself in the country for some time,
it comes back to you far quicker than learning an entirely new language.

Memory works in mysterious ways. I was reminded of this when I was asked the other day
by a mystified English teacher: ‘Don’t you find it frustrating when those on English A-level
still don’t remember to use full stops properly?’
The thing I most like about cognitive science is that it helps you understand the puzzling things 
you encounter in education. One mystery is why students seem to forget so much
of what they’ve learned. This puzzle has been on my mind for some time.
A while back, I wrote of the troubling lack of knowledge I see in schools in disadvantaged areas, 
and those colleagues of mine in similar schools:
A colleague of mine teaching English in a disadvantaged school found that pupils
were under the illusion that the English language was invented in the 1960s
and that Shakespeare wrote the Bible. One teacher found her pupils confused over
whether Iran and Iraq were the same country; whether Sydney was in California;
and whether Henry VIII is the Queen’s son. Another teacher mentions here that 16 year olds 
couldn’t place their city on a map of Britain, list the four countries that make up the UK,
tell the difference between England and Great Britain, or name the date
of one significant historical event. Still another teacher and education blogger I know 
told me that her pupils thought Manchester was in Scotland, Wales was an island
and the Romans came from Portugal. When asked the capital of Wales, pupils’ best guess
was Scotland. Many couldn’t spot the UK, the US, or China on a map,
even ‘the top set Year 10 superstars.’ Political knowledge also seems impoverished:
in another teacher’s school, many pupils couldn’t name the Prime Minister.
Some had a hazy idea it was Obama. Some said ‘Gordon Blair’. No one could name all three
main political parties, or even any other than Labour. Maths seems to suffer from similar knowledge deficit in some schools in disadvantaged communities. A Maths teacher I know
in the West Midlands told me his pupils thought you might measure the distance
between Liverpool and London in centimetres; one pupil in a Year 10 top set
asked him what ‘square it’ meant; a Year 11 student from another set, one day before a GCSE exam, asked what a percentage was. Even History undergraduates know little:
when surveyed by one University professor, around 90% of them could not name
one British 19th century Prime Minister. If this is what most History graduates do not know,
what can we be sure all school leavers, for whom history is not even compulsory, do know?

One comment replied: ‘Don’t forget that just because pupils don’t know something
(for example details about Shakespeare), it doesn’t mean they haven’t been TAUGHT it.’

Kris Boulton, Deputy Head of Maths at King Soloman Academy, is turning out to be 
a bit of a master of memory, especially in the field of mathematics, and he asks: 
‘Why do we keep forgetting so much of what we learn? The other day, a Year 10 girl said:
“What’s the point of learning this?” What she meant was, in a week we’d be on to a new topic, 
and she’d forget everything she could now do, so where was the point in learning it? 
I haven’t yet seen any institutional focus on the importance of building memories. 
I would like to suggest that we start to think of building long-term memory retention and recall
as a separate concern; that we start to put thought and effort into thinking about
how we are going to help students remember what they learn from us, that we ask ourselves
at the start of planning a lesson, or a unit ‘How am I going to help ensure my students
still remember this six months from now, a year from now, two years from now…?’
I’d like to take up Kris’ challenge and use the cognitive science of how memory works to explain why our pupils forget what they’ve learned, and ask in future posts what we can do about it.

How memory works
Cognitive scientists Dan Willingham and Robert Bjork have been thinking about the issue
of how memory works for several decades. Their research helps explain how we commit things
to memory, and how we can avoid forgetting them.
Willingham asks: ‘What makes something stick in memory, and what is likely to slip away?
How can the memory system know what it’ll need to remember later?’ 
He answers:
‘Given that you cannot store everything away, your memory system lays its bets:
if you think about something carefully [and repeatedly) you’ll probably have to think
about it again, so it should be stored. If you don’t think about something very much,
then you probably won’t want to think about it again, so it need not be stored.
Your memory is a product of what you think most carefully about.
What students think about most carefully is what they will remember.’
Willingham’s model of the mind simplifies cognitive architecture into working memory 
and long-term memory:
So, why might students forget things they’ve been taught?
Willingham suggests a number of reasons:
Attention:
you can’t remember things you haven’t paid sustained attention to in working memory.
Storage:
you have paid attention, but it hasn’t made it into long-term memory – it never struck.
Usage:
you can’t remember things that no longer reside in long-term memory –
they have faded through disuse.
Transfer:
your process by which things are drawn from long-term memory is prone to failure:
transfer is difficult, because it’s difficult to apply abstractions to new situations.

In short, we don’t remember things because of insufficient focus, time or attention spent
on them, and because of insufficient practice, usage, revisiting, consolidation or application.
So, when we grumble as teachers that students don’t use punctuation properly,
even though they’ve learned it, we need to ask ourselves: have they really learned it?
Have we really taught it with sufficient time, focus and attention?
Have we sufficiently revisited it? Have we consolidated it in their minds? Have they mastered it? 
Have they automated it in their long-term memories?
It’s no good grumbling about pupils’ written ineptitude. Punctuation is complex:
even the basics of using full stops requires lots of little chunks of knowledge to be automatic:
to decide whether a sentence has a subject and a verb to avoid fragments, and whether
a sentence runs on into multiple, confusing independent and subordinate clauses,
you need to know all those concepts: what subjects, verbs, independent and subordinate clauses are! It may be automatic for us, but not for our secondary pupils. If we want our students
to automate complex concepts, we need to ensure sufficient time, focus, attention, revisiting, application, consolidation, practice, usage and eventual mastery. 
In many areas, I’m unconvinced we do this for them, as sixth form English students’ weak writing 
and history graduates’ weak knowledge testifies.

Why cramming fails; and why you retain rusty languages
Robert Bjork’s model of memory is a grid of storage strength and retrieval strength.
Storage strength is how well learned something is. Retrieval strength is how accessible it is.
I have redesigned it here:
This explains why cramming fails: the GCSE physics exam material I crammed into my mind
had a high retrieval strength, as I could access it on exam day, but low storage strength,
as I never learned it very well in the first place – and now I can’t remember it at all.
It was crammed, and is now forgotten.
This also explains why though I’m rusty at French, which I spoke fluidly at 18, I could get it pick it up again quickly if I went back to France for a week or two; my French has high storage strength 
but low retrieval strength. It was mastered, is now buried, but can be re-mastered.
In either case, if I want to remember more of my Physics or more of my French, the route is
the same: increased storage strength and increased retrieval strength is required for mastery.

So how can we help students remember what they’ve learned?
Willingham makes some suggestions:
1. Distributing practice (rather than cramming): 
‘it is virtually impossible to become proficient at any mental task without extended,
dedicated practice distributed over time.’
2. Overlearning: keep pupils learning after they know the material to prevent forgetting:
‘a good rule of thumb is to put in another 20 percent of the time it took to master the material’.
3. Testing frequently: testing students frequently helps them remember material.

Bjork makes similar suggestions:
1. Spacing (rather than massing) practice: information that is presented repeatedly
over spaced intervals is learned much better than information that is repeated without intervals.
2. Interleaving: although people think that they learn better when content is blocked, rather
than interleaved, people actually learn content better when it is interleaved with other content.
3. Testing: using our memory improves our memory: the act of retrieval helps us remember
the things we recall.  When information is successfully retrieved from memory, its representation 
in memory is changed such that it becomes more recallable in the future (Bjork, 1975);
and this improvement is often greater than the benefit resulting from additional study
(Roediger & Karpicke, 2006).

A great illustration of how counterintuitive the testing effect is comes from David Didau:
‘Which of these study patterns is more likely to result in long-term learning?
study study study study – test
study study study test – test
study study test test – test
study test test test – test
Most of us will pick 1. It just feels right, doesn’t it? Spaced repetitions of study are bound to result in better results, right? Wrong. The most successful pattern is in fact No. 4.
Having just one study session, followed by three short testing sessions –
and then a final assessment –  will outperform any other pattern. Who would have thought?’
How many of our school curricula and assessment systems are designed with these principles
in mind: spacing distributed, interleaved practice; over learning to mastery; frequent,
low-stakes testing? How many teachers are aware of the research into working memory,
long-term memory, storage strength and retrieval strength? How many of us in education
apply these insights in our curriculum design or day-to-day teaching?

If this diagnosis is right – that the main reason pupils find it so hard to remember subject content 
is that our curricula and assessment aren’t designed with memory in mind – we are fortunate
in one sense: there is a clear remedy. We must redesign our school curricula and assessment
with memory in mind. That is the subject of my next post.
Bjork’s research can be read here:
Willingham’s research into memory can be read here:
“Practice Makes Perfect—But Only If You Practice Beyond the Point of Perfection,”
American Educator, Spring 2004, http://www.aft.
org/pubs-reports/american_educator/spring2004/cogsci.html
“Why Students Think They Understand—When They Don’t,” American Educator, Winter 2003-04, www.aft.org/pubs- reports/american_educator/winter03-04/cognitive.html.
“Students Remember … What They Think About,” American Educator, Summer 2003,http://www.aft.org/pubs-reports/ american_educator/summer2003/cogsci.html.
“Allocating Student Study Time: ‘Massed’ versus ‘Distributed’ Practice,” American Educator, Summer 2002, http://www.aft.org/ pubs-reports/american_educator/summer2002/askcognitive scientist.html.
A great summary by David Fawcett on the implications of the research for planning can be read here:

A great example of a teacher applying this research and how a story mnemonic can help students remember a mathematical formula can be read on Kris Boulton’s blog here:
There were 37 responses to this post

You can TCR software and engineering manuals for spontaneously recall – or pass that exam.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube  
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com     gives ways for you to work with the stresses of life
www.ourinnerminds.blogspot.com          take advantage of business experience and expertise.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Reading and its effect on the brain-Part 1





You can TCR music, poetry or self development material for internal knowing.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube 
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com     gives ways for you to work with the stresses of life
www.ourinnerminds.blogspot.com          take advantage of business experience and expertise.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Strategies to Improve Reading Skills at Home or School


Strategies to Improve Reading Skills at Home or School
Ann Logsdon

Does your child struggle with reading skills?
As parents, we naturally want to help our children learn. Sometimes though, it is difficult
to know just how to do that because teaching methods change as research on basic reading 
and reading comprehension identifies better strategies to develop specially designed instruction
for reading disorders such as dyslexia. Despite this, there are some strategies
you can use with your child at home that do not involve direct instruction
and are unlikely to conflict with strategies your child's teachers use at school.
Providing this additional help will, over time, dramatically improve your child's reading skills.

Easy Reading Strategies for Parents to Use at Home
Participate in Library Reading Programs: Most libraries offer organized reading programs
during school breaks for students based on their school levels. Many of these programs
are themed and showcase some of the best works for children and young adults.
The library staff may host activities based on books and have special events
and field trips designed to help students explore the literature on a deeper level.
Librarians are usually happy to help your child and can help find ways
to involve all levels of readers within an age group.

Explore Different Forms of Reading Material: 
Check out works in both their book forms and books on tape, CD, or digital recording forms.
Many of the highest rated literature for children and young adults is available on tape
and in book form. By having your student read along in the book while listening
to the same book on tape, you are providing excellent reading benefits. The student sees
and hears words and phrases together, a good way to reinforce sight-word recognition.
Your child may also benefit from assistive technology such as text readers.
These methods provide the student exposure to works he might not otherwise choose to read because of the difficulty. He can gain knowledge of the content and increase vocabulary 
without having to struggle through the book and perhaps be discouraged.

Compare Books to Film: 
Have your student read a book and then check out the video version of a book.
Talk about the similarities and differences in the two mediums. What did she like
about each form? What didn't she like? Did she prefer the book or the movie, and why?

Study Reading Vocabulary: 
As your student reads books, have her make a list of words that were difficult or unfamiliar
in the book. Make flashcards of these words, spend some time together talking
about the meanings and looking them up in the dictionary. Take turns showing the cards
and guessing the words and meanings. As the student masters each word,
remove it from the deck and put it in a place of honor.
When the whole deck is mastered, celebrate with a special reward.

Strengthen Spelling Skills: 
Use the same deck created in number 3 above. Have your child learn the spelling of each word. Practice the spelling. When your child feels ready, have him write the words on paper.
Give him a reward for each mistake he finds and corrects.
This is a great strategy to use throughout the year. It teaches students to self-correct
and also reduces their fear of trying to tackle difficult words.
Young students may enjoy using multisensory techniques for these activities.

Read the old fashioned way:
Take turns reading passages, or allow your child to follow along as you read.
Compare Authors' Books: Have your child read two books by the same author.
It is a good idea for you to read them too so you can discuss them. Compare how they are similar 
and how they are different. Which did you and your child like best? Why?
Most important, remember to keep your reading activities at home stress free.
Use mistakes as teachable moments. If your child gets tired of reading, take turns,
or take a break. For most elementary aged students with learning disabilities,
about fifteen to twenty minutes of reading at least three days a week is a good place to begin.
If your child wants more time, then allow that to happen. If your child becomes frustrated,
and has difficulty focusing for that amount of time, shorten the time, and consider a shorter text 
or a lower reading level. Establish a cozy and nurturing environment when reading.
A bed time snuggle or a mid-afternoon read on the porch swing are some ideas.
Involve your child in planning your reading sessions, and enjoy your time together
as you get ready for school and get ready to read.

Activities like these are important for children with learning disabilities 
because they involve reading in a low-stress, enjoyable situation. Using these strategies regularly with your child will build skills and encourage them to see reading as a rewarding activity.
Is your child still reluctant to read? If so, try these tested and effective strategies.

http://learningdisabilities.about.com/od/instructionalmaterials/a/actvtoimprvread.htm


You can TCR specialist and language dictionaries that are spontaneously accessed.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube 
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com      gives ways for you to work with the stresses of life
www.ourinnerminds.blogspot.com           take advantage of business experience and expertise.
www.happyartaccidents.blogspot.com     just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”    

Thursday, 10 December 2015

How to Read: TLT15

Ely cathedral. UK

How to Read: TLT15

On 17th October, I travelled to Southampton for my second year presenting at TLT.
I was talking about reading (not much new there), and, specifically, how to read.
Reading, of course, is at the core of what we do as teachers; and not just as teachers of English. More and more in my new role, I’m coming to see that reading may be the only silver bullet
in education: beautiful in its simplicity, obvious in its impact.
The reality is that our strongest readers read the most, and our weakest readers the least:
the exact opposite what we need to see to close the gap between our best and
worst performing students. This is not only true in their home lives, but also in our classrooms. Anyone who has ever asked for volunteers to read (including: me; guilty as charged)
is advantaging those strong readers, and further denying reading from the weakest.
The gap in reading is not just a practice gap: it is also a knowledge gap.
When we take our weak readers out of subjects to teach them reading skills,
we are denying them that subject-specific knowledge that will enable them to make sense
of a wider variety of texts. With the new strengthened GCSEs,
students being able to read rigorous subject matter independently is essential.
Of the three stages of reading, decoding, comprehension and fluency,
I said the least about decoding, instead pointing people to the awesome Katie Ashford’s blog, 
where she gives plenty of great advice on how to deal with students who cannot decode.
It is clear that too many students slip through the decoding net at primary school,
and we at secondary school lack the expertise to bridge that gap. This is evident in my experience 
in even years 10 and 11; last year I taught a student who would auto-correct unfamiliar words,
as she didn’t know how to decode and hadn’t been properly taught phonics.
She would autocorrect so many words, she couldn’t then understand the sentence,
so for example: ‘Alison leapt up bracingly from her meal’ she might read aloud:
‘Alison led up braking from her meal’, which makes absolutely no sense.
Comprehension entails understanding what is written. Using Willingham’s examples
from his excellent book Raising Kids who Read, often reading contains an inference gap:
‘Trisha spilled her coffee. Dan jumped from his chair to fetch a cloth.’
Expert readers automatically see how the first sentence impacts the second;
novice readers might see these as two separate and unconnected events.
Interestingly, though, the gap between those from low and high income backgrounds
manifests itself after the decoding has been taught, because comprehension, the second stage,
is largely predicated on background knowledge, which our economically advantaged students 
have in abundance (usually from wide background reading).
Using Hirsch’s classic ‘Jones sacrificed and knocked in a run,’
I explained that readers with high levels of knowledge on a given topic do better on tests
which supposedly only test their reading ‘skill.’
And yet we are still persisting in believing our weak readers simply need more training in generic reading strategies, often withdrawing students from subject lessons to teach reading in isolation, 
and then wondering why their reading is not improving. In fact, the optimal way to close
the reading gap is for students to gain a broad knowledge of subjects across the curriculum.
So clearly, we need to put reading at the heart of our lessons. Yet this is not an easy sell.
Citing my own trials of getting students to read aloud (ranging from outright refusals
to early tears), I later that evening found there were many out there
who considered reading aloud in class to be cruel. : (

Reply to comments about this post.
I welcome those challenges to this idea. It is all too easy to do whole class reading badly.
Indeed, it is absolutely vital to consider the emotional impact of such a policy,
and the way to make it work in your individual classroom for your children.
Running a class where every child reads aloud is difficult, make no mistake about it.
It depends on excellent pedagogy and the creation of a warm, safe environment.
It requires constant vigilance and tight management. But, crucially, it is possible.
Why read aloud with students, if it is so difficult? First, so we know they can read.
I’ve heard of too many teachers at KS4 finding out their students can’t read
to not put this top of my list of reasons. Next, so we know they are listening during the lesson – 
the knowledge you could be asked to read at any time undeniably focuses the mind.
Also, reading aloud helps us as teachers to check for understanding, something impossible
when students are reading silently at their own pace. But finally, because reading aloud
is probably the most enjoyable thing you can do with a class.
One recent example: when year 7 went on their ‘outward bound’ trip, I was the lucky teacher
of history with three periods to fill for those ‘left behind.’ A mixed group of around 18 students
of vastly differing ability, I didn’t want to press on with the planned lessons, but also didn’t have
a bank of ‘rainy day’ history lessons as a first year teacher of this subject. In my desperation,
I photocopied about 30 pages of Gombrich’s History of the World(recommended to me
in the summer by both Daisy Christodoulou and Jonathan Porter) and threw together some comprehension questions. The first lesson was fine, but I was really concerned about the double:
two hours of pure reading and writing. And guess what? It’s probably the best lesson
I’ve ever taught. No joke – I wish someone had come to see it. These children were utterly,
utterly engaged in a way I’ve seen only rarely, in the most remarkable teachers’ classrooms.
They adored the stories, and their curiosity led to a wonderful class discussion
and some impressive paragraphs.
It was not always thus. Previously, I would use ‘guided reading,’ where my students
read at different paces in groups, thus ensuring no misconceptions could be ironed out,
and again advantaging those strong readers.
Moreover, I previously did not read aloud well to students, as I have written about here.
So, I was held back by my own low expectations, and it was the children themselves
who set me on the right track: they wanted to read, and they seized that moment
to show me they could do it.
But how can we do it every lesson?   Doug Lemov has the best answer I’ve found
with ‘Control the Game.’ I went through each of the components of this: be vague about how much children will be reading, keep the reading duration unpredictable but short at the outset, 
move swiftly to the next reader with limited words (‘Stacey, pick up’, or, in my class, ‘Stacey’)
and take over and model reading of tricky passages. At the start of my time in a new school,
I tweaked this: we did snake around the class, for two weeks in fact. What was lost in terms
of students checking out and not following in this two weeks was made up for, I think,
in that it set the expectation that every child would read in every one of my lessons.
For unconfident readers, they got used to this expectation with the predictability. 
It also gave me two weeks to suss who was going to push back on reading, 
and deal with them individually. 
(Interestingly, my year 10 middle ability class proved harder to get reading than my year 11
set 7 class, who frequently bound into my room shouting ‘are we reading today miss?’)
Only once the whole class was secure in reading (and only a sentence each time)
did I move to selecting students, but even now they are only reading a sentence,
though I am moving away from that.
The implications of this kind of teaching are that teachers need to spend their planning
thinking more about the questions they will need to ask students to ensure
they have understood, along with which vocabulary students will struggle with
and how they will gloss those words and check students have learned them.
From the mechanics of reading I moved to the motivation: reading is highly emotional,
and I shared methods I’ve written about extensively on this blog in the past 
to build a reading culture in a school, such as sharing one book, sharing reading lists 
and delivering reading assemblies.
Once again, I would like to thank my warm and encouraging audience, who indulged me
in my anecdotes and engaged with the ideas with gusto. Much love also goes to those who listen 
and challenge in the room and after: it is only through such thrashing out of the ideas
that we come closer to being the best teachers and professionals we can be.
 http://readingallthebooks.com/category/reading/

You can TCR software and engineering manuals for spontaneously recall – or pass that exam.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube  
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com      gives ways for you to work with the stresses of life
www.ourinnerminds.blogspot.com           take advantage of business experience and expertise.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Monday, 7 December 2015

Changing Brains: Reading


15% of adults have difficulty in reading instructions.
Early skills: 1. Speech sounds
                  2. Basic knowledge between the relationship between letters and sounds.

You can TCR music, poetry or self development material for internal knowing.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube 
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com      gives ways for you to work with the stresses of life
www.ourinnerminds.blogspot.com           take advantage of business experience and expertise.
www.happyartaccidents.blogspot.com     just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Friday, 4 December 2015

Teaching English is special – it gives students a voice

Crosswort.

Teaching English is special – it gives students a voice
Katie Ashford is an English teacher

I remember one of my very early lessons, where I was teaching a bottom set year 10 class.
It was a disaster: I had kids throwing things, standing on the tables, lifting up ceiling tiles,
swearing at me. I was just standing at the front of the room, helpless,
trying to get them to calm down. The kids were lovely in the end, when I'd won them over.
I got into teaching through Teach First. I liked the vision behind the organisation –
the idea that you can contribute towards something as huge as tackling educational inequality. 
When you're training, they tell you about the education problems we face nationally –
how 20% of kids are leaving school illiterate, or how only 16% of free school meal students
go to university. The only way to change things is to get stuck in,
whether that's through joining TeachFirst or taking a different training route.

Of course, nothing can prepare you for what it's like to be at the front of a classroom.
In my first year, I was inexperienced and inconsistent:
I didn't always follow through on consequences.
Students saw the chinks in the armour, and that's when things start to go wrong.
I was lucky that my colleagues supported me and told me to keep persevering.
With time, you learn how to set the right tone and draw the line – and as you grow in confidence, 
small things encourage you. One of the breakthroughs for me was once, when the rest
of the class were talking and ignoring me, one girl turned around and said: "Ssh, Miss is talking."
I thought: "That's it, I've got one child to listen to me: one child wants to learn –
it's a breakthrough." It's those moments when you have a kid come in at lunchtime and say,
"Miss can you help me with my homework?"
or "Miss, is it true that Shakespeare left his bed to his wife in his will?"
that make you want to carry on.
It's such a great feeling when you see that spark of curiosity and interest.
I enjoy teaching English because it's special – it gives students a voice.
I show students that words are powerful things: they're the things that influence people,
that instigate change in the world. Ultimately, you want kids to be able to compete with those
who have the most power – people who often come from the wealthiest backgrounds.
The only way to prove what power language has is to show them the best texts that have ever been written or spoken. That's why I'll happily teach them anything from Cicero's speeches
to Chaucer or Charles Dickens: I want to give them access to the best possible literature available.
It's fortunate that English is seen as a high priority in schools, but I want to steer away from
the idea that we should get students to a grade C just for the sake of it.
English is about truly understanding how humanity has shared ideas and thinking over time –
how writers have explored the psyche and what it means to be a human.
For me, it's the most fascinating subject you can teach. Every time we study a text
that I used to think that I knew inside out, students will pick something that I haven't noticed
or considered before – that's amazing. Maybe maths teachers get the same thing, but I doubt it.
I think English teachers have it over maths teacher on that one.
No matter what your subject is, teaching is exhausting. You have to be prepared, every single day,
to experience every emotion possible. You'll hear more lies (and poorly thought out lies),
and more sincere apologies that you ever imagined. You'll never be so happy to see
a child's smiling face, but also never so annoyed to see a child's grimace.
I don't have a huge amount of experience of the rest of the working world, but I can't imagine another job where you get to see such a broad spectrum of human interest on a daily basis.
It's so varied, it tests every single fibre of your being.


http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2014/apr/06/teaching-english-students-classroom-teach-first

You can TCR specialist and language dictionaries that are spontaneously accessed.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube 
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com     gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life
www.ourinnerminds.blogspot.com          take advantage of business experience and expertise.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

13 Utterly Disappointing Facts About Books

Cornflower.

13 Utterly Disappointing Facts About Books
Jessica Misener

1…In a 2012 survey, almost a fifth of children said they would be “embarrassed”
     if a friend saw them with a book….

2. …and 54% of those questioned said they preferred watching TV to reading.
Here’s the study from the National Literary Trust.

3. Fifty Shades of Grey is now the best-selling book of all time in Britain.
…topping all the print sales of the Harry Potter series.

4. Snooki is a New York Times best-selling author.

5. So is Jessica Alba.

6. This Justin Bieber book? Also a New York Timesbest seller.

7. Book and e-book sales are down 9.3% in the U.S.
And the trend is pretty much the same across the globe.

8. The last Borders bookstore closed in September 2011. Barnes and Noble,
which is battling a steady sales decline, has been closing about 15 stores a year.

9. Ebook sales have officially topped printed book sales as of 2011.
…which isn’t a death knell for reading per se,
but it certainly signals the end of a rich historical era. Of paper.

10. Forks, Washington, now has Twilight-themed stores designed to cash in on tourists.

11. And the four-book Twilight series has sold over 116 million copies, 
almost half as many as Stephen King’s entire canon.
                                           mahallas.com

12. It’s gotten so bad, books are now being MASSACRED for crafts.

13. And the worst: One in four Americans said they read ZERO books in the past year.
(According to this 2007 Associated Press poll.)

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/utterly-disappointing-facts-about-books#.ga0LzVkLz

You can TCR software and engineering manuals for spontaneously recall – or pass that exam.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube  
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com     gives ways for you to work with the stresses of life
www.ourinnerminds.blogspot.com          take advantage of business experience and expertise.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”