Blogs About Reading
Sound It Out
Dr. Joanne Meier
Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.
The value of mixed practice in teaching reading
Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits is a timely reminder about a few techniques that can reliably improve how much a student learns from studying. Techniques include alternating study environments, spacing study sessions, self testing, and mixing content. The research on these techniques suggests that "forcing the brain to make multiple associations with the same material may, in effect, give that information more neural scaffolding." If the context changes, the information is enriched, and forgetting slows down. Sounds like what we know about good vocabulary instruction!
I think the same is true for teaching reading. As teachers, we need to make sure we're providing enough mixed practice for our kids. Practically speaking, it means finding time across the week for different types of reading. This includes:
- Silent and oral reading
- Fiction and nonfiction reading, including poetry
- Reading material for the first time
- Rereading material
- Navigating texts with various structures
- Reading for speed
- Reading for pleasure
- Shared reading and/or choral reading
That's a pretty healthy list of reading practice types! But I believe that the variation of material and format will help develop more flexible, successful readers. What do you think? What's missing from my list?