I’m passionate about finding ways to simplify comprehension instruction and learning. I’m concerned that we are defining comprehension too narrowly as an accumulation of five or six meta-cognitive strategies when cultivating comprehension involves so much more than that. We need to help children acquire accurate fluent reading skills and strategies; build background knowledge; develop their oral language and vocabulary; make reading-writing connections, and acquire a repertoire of meta-cognitive strategies to use as and if needed.
So I invite you to join me in blogging about this ever-so-important topic. I look forward to hearing your ideas, teaching strategies, book recommendations, classroom stories, etc., basically anything that will inspire a healthy conversation among colleagues.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Yet Another Nod to Background Knowledge
After the session, a teacher shared the title of this YouTube video that I'm now sharing with you. It's by cognitive scientist Daniel T. Willingham and it's called Teaching Content Is Teaching Reading. I highly recommend it. It's only ten minutes long and although the music is a tad annoying, the message—that kids need prior knowledge to comprehend text—is dead on. I hope you enjoy it, share your thoughts, and then, of course, pass it on.