Friday, 22 May 2020

Professional Reading Two: The Challenge of Challenging Text

Share three pieces of academic or professional reading and explain how they and other sources helped your form hypotheses about aspects of teaching that might contribute to current patterns of learning. (WFQ 7)
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Professional Reading Two: The Challenge of Challenging Text by Timothy Shanahan, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey

This text is interesting in the way it compares reading to lifting weights. It discuss the idea that as we build up our ability to lift weights we add more weights and suggest we do the same in reading. 
I guess this is why we have levelled reading systems in our school. 

My question is what if you have been lifting 5kgs for 3 years but according to standard tests can't lift 10kgs yet. Do you stick with five and hope it build enough muscle our struggle with ten? If we put that question in terms of reading, if you have been reading level 5 since year 1 and are now in year 4 should you keep being given level 5 books or be pushed to a higher level with support? 

Reading this article was interesting here are some of the main ideas I learned from it:
  • Student should be purposefully moved through reading at different challenge levels to help them gain skills. 
  • Texts are made challenging not only by words but the way the form sentences. 
  • We often focus on topic specific words and not the more general terms that skill challenge learners. 
  • "complex sentence structures are necessary to communicate complexity of information itself..."
  • Demand if placed on students working memory when faced with challenging texts. 
What are my thought after reading this text? 
What is a challenge for one kid may be easy for another, this is why we differentiate right? But when students are differentiate does it mean they miss the opportunity to build complex knowledge? How can we build working memory complicity for our learners to increase ability to read longer sentences. Can vocabulary be taught outside of sentences and skill support reading, maybe not? 

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