Reading and Writing Strategies
The correct selection of proper reading and writing strategies is important for several reasons. It allows organizing the optimal learning environment that takes into account the interests and needs of all students. Correspondingly, the teacher can organize his/her lesson in an optimal way. Moreover, various reading and writing strategies can be combined with a number of other ones in order to produce the maximum possible synergic effect. It is necessary to examine the shared reading and found poems strategies in detail. Their precise and correct application may lead to maximum long-term educational effects.
The first strategy under evaluation is the shared reading one. Its key purposes include encouraging students’ motivation for reading and improving their reading skills to the maximum possible degree (Harder, Howard, & Sedo, 2015). Such strategy can be used in different stages of the reading process, including pre-reading, during reading, and after reading. Although its implementations during different strategies may differ, the ultimate effects are almost always highly positive. However, the ultimate effectiveness of the strategy depends on its correct application and the ability of a teacher to adjust it to the needs and desires of his/her students.
There are several essential features of the shared reading strategy. First, it provides students with the interactive reading experience that is organized and guided by the teacher. He/she determines the most basic aspects of the proficient reader and models the skills among his/her students. Although the theory allows selecting various skills and applications, the most common focus is on reading fluency and clear expression (Kefeli, & Bayraktar, 2014). It is also possible to use various illustrations and other materials to encourage students’ learning and creativity. Moreover, the theory has the possibility of adjusting it to various needs and diverse groups. It may be applied both individually, as well as to different students’ groups. Thus, the given theory is much more universal than the majority of others.
The following step-by-step application is generally used by the teachers. Firstly, the teacher introduces the story to his/her students (Harder, Howard, & Sedo, 2015). He/she discusses the author, title, and cover of the relevant book. At this stage, the teacher should ask students to share their expectations about the book. The teacher should not impose his/her views on students. On the contrary, they should be free to present any expectations they like. Consequently, a higher amount of expectations will lead to better long-term results.
Secondly, the teacher should read a given story aloud stressing the most important elements by means of tone and other tools (Harder, Howard, & Sedo, 2015). In general, the teacher should generate the interest among students in relation to the material under consideration. At this stage (after reading), the teacher should ask the students to make predictions again. As a result, their positions and suggestions can become more reasonable and well-grounded (Mucchetti, 2013). The teacher should not criticize and assess their responses. He/she should encourage the students to retell the story in their own words and provide their interpretations. It is reasonable to maximize the students’ participation in this process.
Thirdly, the reading process should include the time for students’ reactions and comments. It is possible to cause different reactions and contrasting opinions among students to initiate the brief but productive discussion. Fourthly, the teacher should initiate rereading the story and providing the students with the sufficient time for independent reading. At this stage, all students should develop a deeper understanding of the key facts and events described in the book. They may be able to comprehend the hidden meaning and recommendations made by the author (Mucchetti, 2013). They may even determine the relevance of the story for the current social environment. The final stage of this model is initiating the follow-up activities. The current stage presupposes that the students should develop crafts or illustrative materials related to the story. Their creativity should be encouraged, and the best works should be graded accordingly.
The second selected strategy is the found poems one. The given strategy elaborates on the author’s use of language and delivering information (Finley, 2014). It is recognized that not only the objective information per se but also the style of its presentation is highly important in delivering messages and encouraging readers’ understanding of the issues under investigation. Thus, the strategy’s purposes include encouraging the generation of students’ ideas in the context of the material presented in the book and the ability to use the unique content structures developed by a given author. As a writing strategy, students have to use found poems for recasting the text they are reading. It both improves students’ understanding of a given book and makes them better prepared to the complexities of the real world with the help of better utilization of the language and content opportunities. The strategy is typically used during and after reading.
The strategy’s essential features are as follows. Firstly, it focuses on students’ content literacy. In other words, they improve their abilities to read and evaluate texts. Secondly, the theory allows selecting various passages from the text and applying the same procedure for their deep analysis. As different passages contain different content, and they are based on the utilization of different language forms and styles, the ultimate effects may be different (Finley, 2014). However, the teacher can integrate different passages and texts in a way that will generate the maximum possible effects for learners.
The strategy is used in accordance with the following steps. Firstly, the students should highlight the meaningful content. If some students experience difficulties at this point, it is possible to remind them how to determine the key verbs and nouns. It is reasonable to use circles, marks, etc. for specifying these words. Secondly, the students should list all the selected words and exclude those of them that are repetitive or weak (Prendergast, 2015). In such way, only relevant words will remain. Thirdly, the students should determine a very strong word to begin their poem with (Reilly, 2013). They will create the basis for the subsequent poem. Fourthly, the students should prepare the final draft of their poems utilizing their content knowledge. Finally, the follow-up activities should be initiated. They may include the presentation of students’ poems to each other, as well as the corresponding discussion and recommendations. Thus, the correct utilization of the strategy should allow increasing the students’ abilities to analyze and create poems.
To summarize, the selected strategies play an important role in developing students’ reading and writing abilities. The shared reading strategy generates the interactive experience for students and allows them comprehending the meaning of texts in a more objective way. Moreover, the teacher may use this theory both in relation to specific students and the entire group. In any case, he/she should be able to adjust it to the needs and demands of his/her students. The second strategy is the shared poems one. It allows students comprehending the meaning of words and selecting the stronger and the weaker ones. Ultimately, they should be able to create poems on the basis of the strongest words. It is possible to combine the above two strategies in a way to generate the maximum possible synergic effect. Thus, the teacher should maintain the maximum possible students’ interest and transform it into the well-developed skills.
The discussed two strategies (the shared reading and found poems ones) can be applied successfully to the learning environment of the fifth grade. The major learning objectives include increasing students’ ability to evaluate and analyze texts, as well as create the corresponding basis for creating new poems. It is possible to use the book Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret for this purpose. At the beginning of the lesson, the teacher should read the passage from the book devoted to the description of the polio and its effect on Peg. Then, students should be free to make their predictions and interpretation of the information provided. The teacher should tolerate all their beliefs. Then, subsequent passages should be read, and the students should acquire the general understanding of the problem. When all the students comprehend the meaning of the memoir and the relationships between characters, the teacher may use the illustrative materials. As the discussion of the given poem is based on the analysis of polio, it is reasonable to present the real consequences of polio for some people (Channels Television, 2016).
- Fig. 1. Consequences of Polio
The students may comprehend that the ultimate effects of polio lead to people’s inability to move in their traditional way. Thus, they experience both the substantial physical and emotional pain. In contrast, the traditional presentation of Peg in books tries to conceal the drastically negative effects of polio (Fig. 2) (Audio Books, 2016).
- Fig. 2. Peg’s Representation in Books
Thus, the traditional Peg’s representation orients on the readers’ appeal rather than the objective representation of facts. After the discussion of polio and corresponding challenges associated with it, the teacher should continue applying the shared reading strategy. The students should be encouraged to reread the story and present their analysis and interpretations.
At this stage, the teacher should shift to using the found poems strategy. The students should be asked to determine the strongest words from the memoir The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret. They should develop the list with many words they consider to be strong and relevant. On this basis, they should revise their lists and exclude those words that are repetitive. Finally, the students should reread the text once again and decide what words they may use in their future poems.
After all preliminary stages are completed, the students should be asked to create their small memoir. It means that they should describe some stories and facts from their lives. They are encouraged to utilize the words from the book that they have selected. When all the students prepare their small memoir, they should present them to each other. The teacher should encourage discussion and the professional analysis of memoir according to the discussed principles.
The opposite opinions are welcome, but the teacher should encourage students to arrive at the mutually shared perception of the discussed memoir. After the presentation, the students should be asked to formulate their conclusions about the content of The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret and its relevance for them. They should evaluate both the facts and flow of the memoir, as well as the content and language used by Kehret. The teacher should make the concluding remarks and summarize all the major positive skills acquired by the students during the lesson. Further, the plans for the subsequent lessons should be developed. However, it is reasonable to continue applying the selected two methods in the future to achieve the maximum possible results in the long perspective. The current students’ feedback and reactions should be incorporated into the designed plans.
About the Author: Jimmy Ruiz is an editor at Best Essays Sites. He has a master’s degree in psychology and more than seven years’ experience as a writer and editor. Jimmy is primarily focused on writing about self-improvement.