The article starts out with a vignette about a nouns boy named Jaime who is disenchanted with reading. Jaime has a lot of personal issues that take away from his schooling, and is not interested in becoming a reader. By working with a tutor who focuses on these strategies Jaime is able to overcome his problems and learn to love to read. The author states that “Regardless of whether causes of reading problems are cognitive, emotional, or otherwise teachers must continue to use creative instructional strategies to help students become more proficient readers” (Am be, 2007).
The objective of the article is to open up the reader’s mind as an educator to he necessity of creativity when approaching struggling readers. It is imperative that as a classroom teacher or reading specialist we find ways to motivate struggling readers, or any student for that matter. Some ways that Amber suggests educators motivate their students are by staying positive and encouraging the reader, no matter how small or insignificant the achievement. It is very important to build self-esteem in these struggling readers.
Amber also suggests using a variety of literary works such as, trade books, journal articles, expository texts, and picture books. In guards to building prior knowledge Amber recommends the use of story books. By starting out with a low level, interesting book such as a story book, it provides a basis of understanding, or the background knowledge necessary for future reading. If the story book is on the same topic, it builds interest for the reader for whatever he or she may read next. Amber also stresses the importance of vocabulary and using context clues.
When discussing the vocabulary deficits of some struggling readers, Amber states: “The lack of automatic recognition of words that are likely to be encountered in grade- bevel reading materials often leads to poor comprehension of texts [ . These behaviors begin a negative cycle of slow and laborious reading, poor interaction with text, less text covered, limited background knowledge acquired from information found in texts, lack of motivation to engage in reading, and slow progress in reading achievement” (2007). According to the author, when teaching vocabulary, it is most important to teach it using context clues.
This will expose the reader to a small number of words taught intensely, and provide more exposure to the word. The author also focuses n the importance of improving comprehension. Amber stresses the success of The Directed Reading Thinking Activity or DRAT. Amber writes that the use of prediction, questioning, and purpose setting is effective with any type of text. Ultimately the author states that the use of these intervention strategies is extremely successful for the purpose of motivating young reluctant readers.
She also discusses that these strategies could be used one on one or in small groups, and still produce a successful outcome. Reflection: This was an interesting article on some ways to motivate struggling readers, ND get them interested in literature. The structure of the article was engaging due to the fact that it offered a vignette that provided a look into the relationship between a reading tutor and tutee. The vignette portrayed the struggles that the student, Jaime, was facing both in and out of school.
It then stemmed into the author’s discussion of strategies that can be used to motivate a student like Jaime, ultimately wrapping up with the story of Jasmine’s success. As a teacher and future reading specialist this was encouraging to read. However, it did come across as though the author thought that these were he only successful strategies to engage a reluctant reader. It is written as though the only approach is a systematic one, and it must be followed as it is written here, yet in contrast focuses on the need for teacher creativity.
While, it is clearly a successful approach and would be very useful as a teacher, or reading specialist, there is more than one way to engage a reluctant reader. Amber does certainly touch on the foundations and components of engaging readers. As she says it is most certainly essential to choose material that is interesting to the student. It is also imperative to focus on areas such as alluding background knowledge, vocabulary, and comprehension. These are the things that will allow a reader to become interested and engaged.
One of the most interesting suggestions in this authors discussion was the use of trademarks and picture books to motivate and build background knowledge. This is a great idea. Most often we use other methods to build background knowledge heading into a book, but as a teacher I never think to provide students with something like this that can really lay a strong foundation for further reading and promote interest in the topic. What better way to get a tuned interested in an expository text, that can often be boring and hard to understand then by giving them a successful experience with the same topic.
This is something that will come in handy as a reading specialist. Amber also discusses the necessity of developing knowledge of the specialized vocabulary in a text. This is imperative to the understanding and comprehension of a text. If the student cannot understand the words within a text or certain passage there is no way he or she can grasp the full meaning or depth of it either. So many times as teachers we are desensitizing to the official words in our field. We are so familiar with them and they are so common to our everyday language that we forget they are not the same for our students.
Amber focuses on teaching vocabulary in context, which is very important. However do not agree with having the students make up their own sentences with the vocabulary words, this can often be a meaningless activity for students, and if they are using the word incorrectly, they are only learning to use the word incorrectly. Everything else Amber suggests is critical to building a strong foundation for reading. In regards to improving comprehension the author states the importance of predicting, questioning, making connections, and purpose setting.
These are all the underlying components of comprehension. When a student is able to set a purpose for the reading and understand its importance they are much more likely to access the desired comprehension goal. Through predicting and questioning a student is able to interact with the text and assess their comprehension as they read. Most importantly are the connections that a reader makes, such as how does this relate to me, or the world I live in, what o I know about this already, what are some similar circumstances, and so on.
These are all things to keep in mind and utilize as both a teacher and a reading specialist. All of the strategies mentioned in this article are puzzle pieces for reading when used in conjunction they will teach a student good reading habits, provide teachers with a guideline to help their students, and lead to more motivated readers. However, I do not think this is the approach for every single student. Believe that as a teacher or reading specialist you need to address the learning needs of each student as they come to you.