As you teach content areas to ELLs of diverse backgrounds, you may find that they struggle to grasp the content, and that they approach the content from very different perspectives. Drawing on your students’ background knowledge and experiences can be an effective way to bridge those gaps and make content more accessible. This article offers a number of suggestions to classroom teachers as they find ways to tap into the background knowledge that students bring with them.
To comprehend a story or text, young readers need a threshold of knowledge about the topic, and tougher state standards place increasing demands on children’s prior knowledge. This article offers practical classroom strategies to build background knowledge such as using contrasts and comparisons and encouraging topic-focused wide reading.
Exposing young children to informational text early on can help them to handle the literacy demands of fourth grade and beyond. Practical instructional techniques can be used to promote understanding and enjoyment of informational texts. The three techniques described here — Text Impression, Guiding Questions, and the Retelling Pyramid — can help children become familiar with the language and structure of non-fiction books.
Discover some simple hands-on activities and games that can be done at home or in the backyard to help your child develop a deeper understanding of cause and effect — and strengthen reading comprehension and scientific inquiry skills.
As you teach content areas to ELLs of diverse backgrounds, you may find that they struggle to grasp the content, and that they approach the content from very different perspectives. Drawing on your students’ background knowledge and experiences, can be an effective way to bridge those gaps and to make the content more accessible. This article offers a number of suggestions to classroom teachers as they find ways to tap into the background knowledge that students bring with them.
Not everyone lives near Chincoteague lsland off the Maryland and Virginia coastline (Misty of Chincoteague) or has a chance to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder house museum in the Ozarks (Little House on the Prairie). But books can inspire some exciting day trips.
Much vocabulary is learned without formal teaching. We gain words from conversation, observation, television/media, and reading. However, research shows that explicitly teaching vocabulary can measurably improve reading comprehension — if we teach the right words well enough. Here are five key principles to effective vocabulary instruction.
It’s a great time for children’s nonfiction! In recent years, these books have evolved into five distinct categories. Learn more about the characteristics of traditional nonfiction, browse-able nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, expository literature, and active nonfiction.
Nonfiction books give kids a chance to learn new concepts and vocabulary, as well as broaden their view of the world. Learn how to take a “book walk” with a new nonfiction book and how to model active reading.
Improve instruction and help all students achieve at high levels by making these research-based adjustments to your balanced literacy program. This guidance outlines some of the most common challenges of a balanced literacy model, how they can impede students’ learning, and how you can adapt your reading program to better serve students.
Knowledge does much more than just help students hone their thinking skills: It actually makes learning easier. Knowledge is not only cumulative, it grows exponentially. Those with a rich base of factual knowledge find it easier to learn more — the rich get richer.
Many kids love to read about science and nature as well as real people, places, and events. Nonfiction books present information in engaging and interesting ways. Find out how you can help your child learn to navigate all the parts of a nonfiction book — from the table of contents to the diagrams, captions, glossary, and index.
How can classroom reading instruction help poor readers — indeed, all students — become more like good readers? Research suggests that the answer may lie in providing students with instruction that both teaches them the comprehension strategies that work so well for good readers and helps them to develop the necessary metacognitive awareness of how and when to use these strategies.
Learning happens when we connect new information to what we already know. When children have limited knowledge about the world, they have a smaller capacity to learn more about it. Here are four ways teachers can build content knowledge that will expand the opportunity for students to forge new connections — and make them better independent readers and learners.
Every time you pair a book with an experience, you are giving your child an opportunity to learn more about their world. Find suggestions for books and corresponding activities to extend your preschooler’s reading experiences.
Every time you pair a book with an experience, you are giving your child an opportunity to learn more about their world. Below are some suggestions for books and corresponding activities to extend your child’s reading experiences.
Critical thinking, the ability to think deeply about a topic or a book, is an essential skill for children to develop. Here are some helpful tips and recommended books to strengthen your child’s ability to think critically.