Reading Comprehension Strategies - Opinions?
So I may have the opportunity to work as a private English/Language Arts tutor for an 8th grader struggling with reading comprehension. I have a list of more traditional academic ideas/activities/strategies to use, but also want to try something a little less formal and more basic, just to see if we could attack it from a different angle. Because the tutor time would not be confined to a classroom, we have more freedom. I want to put together at least a couple activities that require comprehension of a text but that are also life-applicable. The less worksheets we use, the better. For example, could recipes, crafts, or other similar activities be used as a springboard to short story, inter-discipline (i.e. science textbooks), and novel comprehension? You can’t just read the words of a recipe - you have to understand what it is telling you to do in order to be able to cook whatever you’re making. Combining it with academics, I can explain the purposes and helpfulness of annotations (underlining/highlighting key words, using post-its, etc.) that will DEFINITELY be useful as she goes into high school.
Is there anything else you’ve learned or taught that seems to really work with kids?
Mr. Arbizo's Traveling Class
Really cool activities here…check out all of the tabs at the top, kids, to find all kinds of games! Let me know what your favorites are.
The Common Core Reading List
The Common Core is rolling out across the country, so we decided to take a look at the “Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, and Range of Student Reading 6–12.” There’s some really great stuff in here, but I’m always cautious of attempts to define a cannon.
Well, here it is!
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott , 1869
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain , 1876
- “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost , 1915
- The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper , 1973
- Dragonwings by Laurence Yep , 1975
- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor , 1976
- “Letter on Thomas Jefferson” by John Adams , 1776
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass , 1845
- “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: Address to Parliament on May 13th, 1940 by Winston Churchill , 1940
- Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry , 1955
- Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck , 1962
- The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare , 1592
- “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley , 1817
- “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe , 1845
- “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry , 1906
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck , 1939
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury , 1953
- The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara , 1975
- “Speech to the Second Virginia Convention” by Patrick Henry , 1775
- “Farewell Address” by George Washington , 1796
- “Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln , 1863
- “State of the Union Address” by Franklin Delano Roosevelt , 1941
- “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr. , 1964
- “Hope, Despair and Memory” by Elie Wiesel , 1997
- “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats , 1820
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë , 1848
- “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson , 1890
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald , 1925
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston , 1937
- A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry , 1959
- The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri , 2003
- Common Sense by Thomas Paine , 1776
- Walden by Henry David Thoreau , 1854
- “Society and Solitude” by Ralph Waldo Emerson , 1857
- “The Fallacy of Success” by G. K. Chesterton , 1909
- Black Boy by Richard Wright , 1945
- “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell , 1946
- “Take the Tortillas Out of Your Poetry” by Rudolfo Anaya , 1995
Core standards pulled from: http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf
Grade 7... Uhoh. Help!
Let me me begin by saying that my teacher education and teaching practicum prepared me for grade 9-12 teaching (or so it claimed). I had very little classroom time dedicated to the younger kids in college or even in my practicums. My first teaching job involved teaching 9-12. My second and third years of teaching involved teaching 9-12. My fourth year of teaching (this year) was a stretch because I was also given a class of grade 8 students to teach.
Next year, apparently because I do so well with the junior high mindset (I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not), I was assigned grade 7-9 classes. Um. I’ve always maintained that grade 7 students are too young for me, both mentally and skill-wise, but in this economy, I have to be thankful that I have a job at all, even if it puts me teaching junior high rather than high school.
But Tumblr teachers who are reading this, I now need help. Please, please, I need your help. Can any of you give me suggestions, resources, or the names of other places to help me figure out the best way to teach Language Arts to these little guys? Management strategies, activities that have worked, advice, or even just some encouragement?
I am actually quite scared.