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Harry G. Lang Rachel C. Lewis

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1 Promoting Literacy in the Classroom Through Reading-to-Learn Strategies
Harry G. Lang Rachel C. Lewis National Technical Institute for the Deaf Rochester Institute of Technology

2 Reading-to-Learn Objectives The participant will:
learn strategies for effectively embedding reading strategies into science and mathematics classes. incorporate science and mathematics learning strategies that will enhance reading skills, including: metacognitive skills vocabulary development inferencing skills memory rehearsal

3 Reading-to-Learn Deaf children who do not actively achieve early literacy skills often tend to continue to lag behind hearing peers during the middle and high school years. Every possible effort should be made to strengthen early literacy in deaf children to reduce the need for remediation during the postsecondary years.

4 Reading-to-Learn Embedding “Reading-to-Learn” strategies in such content areas as science, mathematics, and social studies can aid both content learning and general literacy.

5 Reading-to-Learn Why is reading important in Science and Math? In the past, "literacy" usually referred to reading and writing skills of the students. It was considered essential that students be able to read at a sufficient level in English to obtain current information from a newspaper or read a contract in order to understand what they were signing. Now, those same rudimentary skills are not considered enough in this technological world of ours.

6 Reading-to-Learn Why is reading important in Science and Math?
In order to be able to fully participate in society and obtain jobs in an increasingly scientific market, deaf students must have significantly higher literacy skills.

7 Reading-to-Learn Most deaf children progress in reading at only a fraction of the rate of hearing peers. More than 30 percent of deaf students leave school functionally illiterate. However, at the same time, there are clearly many deaf adults and children who are excellent readers. How do we account for such differences?

8 Reading-to-Learn How do we account for such differences?
Few people will argue that practice with reading at all ages can make a difference.

9 Reading-to-Learn In this PowerPoint slide show, we will not go into detail about reading skills. Rather, we will demonstrate some ways that content teachers can embed reading activities that will provide that important practice BUT … will not steal time away from teaching the content.

10 Reading-to-Learn Rather, the embedded reading activities will promote learning of the content while simultaneously addressing various reading needs of deaf learners.

11 Reading-to-Learn We have chosen four areas related to reading skills that deaf students would benefit from more practice in across the curriculum: metacognitive skills vocabulary development inferencing skills memory rehearsal

12 Reading-to-Learn Metacognition in its simplest form is “thinking about thinking.” When children are young or learning is new, they rarely stop to think about what they are learning. For example, a child does not usually explain to us why she knew the color of a her brother’s hair or why she identified an animal as a “dog.” Learning at that stage of life is simple and straightforward. Facts are accepted as given, for the most part. Experience is rarely questioned.

13 Metacognition As children grow older and the amount of learning increases, they actively participate in the control of their own cognitive processes. Our students become aware that they can manipulate and increase their learning by understanding what is important, what can be deleted or purposefully unremembered, what information needs to be placed in conjunction with other information, etc.

14 Metacognition The concept of metacognition requires active involvement of the learners in what they are learning. Learners approach any task and any subject matter with the awareness that they will need to pay attention in order to learn and incorporate new material into previously learned knowledge.

15 Metacognition The simple act of concentration means that the learner will need to filter out competing stimuli. For deaf students this usually means filtering out visual input that is not directly related to the information to be learned. This can include bright colored objects in the room, movement of other people, and even traffic outside of a classroom.

16 Metacognition Filtering out unimportant information is also important to reading. We should give our students practice with brief readings in mathematics and science, challenging them to identify less important information in the paragraph.

17 Reading-to-Learn Realizing that one is not understanding the material, or is unable to utilize it well is also an essential part of metacognition. When this type of awareness is reached, students will be more able to influence their own learning.

18 Metacognition Teachers in mathematics and science should encourage students to think about their own thinking as often as possible. Some teachers have experimented with asking students to think aloud, or sign aloud. The students sign their thoughts as they solve a problem, thus allowing the teacher and peers to see what they are thinking as they progress through the problem.

19 Metacognition Film clip R1 shows a deaf student signing aloud as he solves a Sudoku puzzle. The goal is to place each number 1 to 9 so that it appears once in each row, column, and 3x3 box. The student tries one placement for “2,” sees it won’t work, then figures out the correct placement.

20 Semantic Memory Semantic memory refers to the memory of understandings, meanings, and factual knowledge. Deaf students should be constantly challenged with games, activities, and other mental tasks that will help them represent knowledge in their minds.

21 Memory Rehearsal Memory rehearsal is crucial to reading and learning in general. Introduce many activities on a regular basis. Examples of Activities - Younger Students Make a list of all the things in the classroom. List as many kinds of trees as you know. Name as many colors as you can identify in this classroom.

22 Memory Rehearsal Memory rehearsal is crucial to reading and learning in general. Introduce many activities on a regular basis. Examples of Activities – High School List five parts of your body above the neck that have three or four letters. List the ten largest things that you have touched in the past two weeks. Name as many vegetables as you can.

23 Memory Rehearsal Film Clip R2 illustrates a teacher challenging her students with activities requiring memory rehearsal. Students are asked to list animals whose names begin with vowels.

24 Vocabulary Development
Science and mathematics are excellent areas for developing vocabulary. There are many approaches that can make the lessons fun. The greater the vocabulary especially multiple meanings of words, the easier it will be for deaf students to unpack meaning from long-term memory as they read and discuss their science and mathematics work.

25 Vocabulary Development
Film Clip R3 shows a teacher dealing with multiple meanings of the term “maturity.”

26 Drawing Inferences Another skill that is crucial to reading and that can be developed through regular activities in the classroom is inferencing – the process of deducing new information from information you already know. This can be done by practicing with text, data, diagrams, and other information.

27 Drawing Inferences Film clip R4 illustrates how a teacher is using a graph about two basketball teams to have the students draw inferences about how the teams are different and possible reasons why they are having different seasons.

28 Reading-to-Learn: Summary
These are just a few of the many general skills that can strengthen both reading ability and content learning when embedded into lesson plans on a regular basis.

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