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Read and Discuss:


Most educators have heard the phrases “learning to read” and “reading to learn”.
It is a common misunderstanding that the two ideas are separate areas of learning.
Students should be learning to read throughout the school careers. The mistake is in
the definition of teaching reading. The idea comes from the concept that in first through
third grade students are learning how to read. While in fourth grade and up they use
their reading skills to learn. This disregards the fact that students still need to be taught
reading in the older grades. The confusion is that teaching reading is all about
phonetics. Reading is more than just sounding out words. It includes comprehension
strategies that take much longer to learn. The ideas of learning to read and reading to
learn should be thought of as partners not separate strategies. This article was
interesting to me because I always thought the saying was so clever. Because it does
feel like we read to learn as we get older, but this devalues what reading really is.
Reading is much more than stringing words together. This is important for all teachers
to know, but especially for primary school teachers who think reading lessons can stop
after third grade.


When a reader is struggling, the first idea is often to work on phonics. As students get
older and reach middle school, this concept no longer becomes effective. They most
likely already have a basic understanding of phonics and do not need more drills in
phonemic awareness. What these students need is for teachers to look closer and see
just what reading skill they are lacking. They need to be introduced to the books that are
right for them. And they need to be encouraged to read and to enjoy reading. I had no
idea that this was such a problem in middle schools. I think the biggest thing in my
opinion is finding the right reading materials to help students enjoy reading. I was never
a huge fan of reading growing up and I believe that was because nobody helped me
find books I enjoyed. I always liked girly, romance, love story kind of books and can
remember in middle school my reading teacher telling me to find something more
academic and mature. I remember being so embarrassed about my reading choice and
this just made me feel even less inclined to read. I think encouraging students to find
books they like is so important.


There are 6 elements that should be a part of reading instruction every day. The first is
that students will read something of their choice. This is important in fostering their love
for reading as well as teaching them how to pick appropriate books. The next element is
reading accurately. By reading accurately students will be solidifying their reading skills
as well as their enjoyment for reading. This will help build their confidence as a reader.
Next is reading something they understand. The goal of reading is comprehension. We
want students to not only get all of the words correct, but also understand what they
read. The next element talks about writing being meaningful. Writing and reading go
together. They should be taught together. Writing should not be without purpose. We
want kids to find meaning in what they are writing. The last two elements are talking
about reading/writing with peers and listening to teacher read alouds. These six
elements should be done everyday in reading instruction. I personally really like this
take on teaching reading. I think the problem with a lot of education is that students
don’t understand why learning is beneficial for them. We have to make learning more
meaningful than just setting them up to graduate. I think this strategy is a good way to


Close reading is when you look for the deeper meaning in a book. Many teachers
believe they are teaching their students to do this, when they may not be doing it as well
as they could. The idea of close reading has been around but got shadowed by test
preparation. Kid are often taught to look for evidence in the text to answer questions.
The text is not the important part, the answers are. I know when I take a reading
assessment I will skip straight to the questions before even reading the passage. We
need to stop focusing education on testing and make learning the key component again.
One example of this is close reading. Teachers should be teaching students to think
deeper about the books they are reading. To ask and answer more meaningful
questions. The only problem I see with this is that the whole district will need to be on
board. If one teacher decides to focus less on testing that class may seem to be
slacking. I think full cooperation is necessary to make this strategy work.