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How do we bridge the reading gaps? Or gaping canyons?

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Presentation on theme: "How do we bridge the reading gaps? Or gaping canyons?"— Presentation transcript:

1 How do we bridge the reading gaps? Or gaping canyons?

2 ELACC11-12RL10: By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. 11-CCR Current Lexile Band 1070L-1220L 11-CCR Stretch Lexile Band 1185L-1385L _______________________ The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne 1340L-1420L --- My student’s lexiles range from 434L to 1390L. What about yours? What scaffolds or strategies would you need to help your students comprehend this text?

3 An excerpt from The Scarlet Letter’s Introduction, “Custom House”… In my native town of Salem, at the head of what, half a century ago, in the days of old King Derby, was a bustling wharf,—but which is now burdened with decayed wooden warehouses, and exhibits few or no symptoms of commercial life; except, perhaps, a bark or brig, half-way down its melancholy length, discharging hides; or, nearer at hand, a Nova Scotia schooner, pitching out her cargo of firewood,—at the head, I say, of this dilapidated wharf, which the tide often overflows, and along which, at the base and in the rear of the row of buildings, the track of many languid years is seen in a border of unthrifty grass,—here, with a view from its front windows adown this not very enlivening prospect, and thence across the harbour, stands a spacious edifice of brick. From the loftiest point of its roof, during precisely three and a half hours of each forenoon, floats or droops, in breeze or calm, the banner of the republic; but with the thirteen stripes turned vertically, instead of horizontally, and thus indicating that a civil, and not a military post of Uncle Sam’s government, is here established. Its front is ornamented with a portico of half a dozen wooden pillars, supporting a balcony, beneath which a flight of wide granite steps descends towards the street. Over the entrance hovers an enormous specimen of the American eagle, with outspread wings, a shield before her breast, and, if I recollect aright, a bunch of intermingled thunderbolts and barbed arrows in each claw. With the customary infirmity of temper that characterizes this unhappy fowl, she appears, by the fierceness of her beak and eye and the general truculency of her attitude, to threaten mischief to the inoffensive community; and especially to warn all citizens, careful of their safety, against intruding on the premises which she overshadows with her wings. Nevertheless, vixenly as she looks, many people are seeking, at this very moment, to shelter themselves under the wing of the federal eagle; imagining, I presume, that her bosom has all the softness and snugness of an eider- down pillow. But she has no great tenderness, even in her best of moods, and, sooner or later,—oftener soon than late,—is apt to fling off her nestlings with a scratch of her claw, a dab of her beak, or a rankling wound from her barbed arrows.

4 How do we bridge the gaps? Or gaping canyons? ELACC11-12RL6: Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement). ELACC11-12RI6: Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text. If students are expected to analyze the nuances of literature and the beauty and gravitas that effective rhetoric contributes to a work, it certainly helps if the students read at grade level!

5 There are so many great reading strategies and professional intervention programs available! PALS Dialectical Journals Quad Texts SQ3R Cloze Reads and Reading Guides System 44 Read 180 Unfortunately, we still need to dig deeper for more strategies; we need to teach children to find meaning within sentences.

6 So where was Bob when he entered my class? Where do you think he was 16 weeks later?

7 Reading for “gist” does not lead to comprehension… With the blood-soaked banner of religious fanaticism billowing across the skies as one prominent legacy of this millennium, Martin Luther's famous theses against religious absolutism struck me early as a strong candidate for the best idea of the last thousand years. By progressive association, so did the microprocessor and its implications -- the liberalization of access to knowledge, and a quantum boost for the transmission of ideas. There is, however, a nobler idea that has spread by its own power in this millennium and that has now begun to flourish: the idea that certain fundamental rights are inherent to all humanity. “Every Dictator’s Nightmare” 1290L by Wole Soyinka

8 What helps students to access complex texts? ELACC11-12L3: Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening. Understanding how to use grammatical functions to deconstruct/ parse sentences. a.Clauses and phrases (including subordinating conjunctions) b.Schemes/syntax, sentence structures, and patterns c.Punctuation for meaning d.Modifiers (stripping them) e.Grammatical context

9 You need to find the main subject and verb---the core of the sentence Students need to know who did what. They need to know why they did it or how they did it. Basically, students need to be able understand, identify, and analyze how grammar helps to make meaning within sentences

10 Topic: Grammar for Reading Comprehension The main idea of a sentence will always be found in an independent clause. Therefore, a sound comprehension strategy when dealing with dense prose is to identify all the dependent clauses, and nonessential elements (so that you can temporarily eliminate them) in order to discern the main idea or core concept in each sentence. After you determine " Who did what... because" or " What is going on" then you can incorporate the nonessentials back into the sentence in order to gain the full meaning of the sentence. Learning Task: Step 1: Skim the questions, define unknown words, then read the excerpt from A Vindication of the Rights of Women 1420L by Mary Wollstonecraft. Step 2: Search for independent clauses to determine meaning, simultaneously eliminate dependent clauses and nonessential elements. Pre-read questions and resolve unknown terms. Discuss with partner. Step 3: Determine Wollstonecraft's primary purpose, and message. What is her tone? Step 4: Read again for comprehension and answer the questions. Make sure to use POE. Step 5: Turn in for a L3 grade, but keep a copy of your answers.

11 How does your ability to determine the subjects and verbs help you to derive meaning in the following example? He went on till he came to the first milestone, which stood in the bank, half- way up a steep hill. He rested his basket on the top of the stone, placed his elbows on it, and gave way to a convulsive twitch, which was worse than sob, because it was so hard and so dry. -Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Caster bridge 1090L

12 What does it mean to parse a sentence? How can sentence parsing aid reading comprehension? It is vain to expect virtue from women till they are, in some degree, independent of men; nay, it is vain to expect that strength of natural affection, which would make them good wives and mothers. Whilst they are absolutely dependent on their husbands they will be cunning, mean, and selfish, and the men who can be gratified by the fawning fondness of spaniel-like affection, have not much delicacy, for love is not to be bought, in any sense of the words, its silken wings are instantly shrivelled up when any thing beside a return in kind is sought. Yet whilst wealth enervates men; and women live, as it were, by their personal charms, how can we expect them to discharge those ennobling duties which equally require exertion and self-denial. Hereditary property sophisticates the mind, and the unfortunate victims to it, if I may so express myself, swathed from their birth, seldom exert the locomotive faculty of body or mind; and, thus viewing every thing through one medium, and that a false one, they are unable to discern in what true merit and happiness consist. False, indeed, must be the light when the drapery of situation hides the man, and makes him stalk in masquerade, dragging from one scene of dissipation to another the nerveless limbs that hang with stupid listlessness, and rolling round the vacant eye which plainly tells us that there is no mind at home. excerpted from A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1420L) by Mary Wollenstonecraft

13 You will never find the main point of the sentence in a dependent structure or nonessential element. Phrases and dependent clauses can be classified based on their function: Noun Clause Independent Clause Dependent Clauses Adverb Clause Adjective Clause Who (whom) Which That whose even if, whereas, although, though while, even though because, since, as after, before, as soon as, as long as, since, until, while, when, whenever

14 Punctuation helps to deconstruct meaning… Colons: May be used to further explain or introduce a list The further explanation might include a quotation Semi-colons: May be used to join two sentences May be used to clarify items on a list in addition to other punctuation. Commas: May be used with a FANBOY to join independent clauses May be used after and introductory phrase or clause May be used between items in a list May be used to separate nonessential elements May be used to avoid confusion

15 Hint: Use the punctuation! To those who saw him often he seemed almost like two men: one the merry monarch of the hunt and banquet and procession, the friend of children, the patron of every kind of sport; the other the cold, acute observer of the audience chamber or the Council, watching vigilantly, weighing argument, refusing except under the stress of great events to speak his own mind. –Winston Churchill, “King Henry VIII,” Churchill’s History of the English-Speaking


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