But educators have also treated the other component of reading—comprehension—as a set of skills, when in fact it depends primarily on what readers already know. What inferences can you make?
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Rarely do the topics connect: Students might read a book about bridges one day, zebras the next, and clouds the day after that. One of those cognitive scientists spoke on the Tuesday panel: Daniel Willingham, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia who writes about the science behind reading comprehension. If they put all the information in, their writing would be tedious. Students from less educated families are usually the ones who are most handicapped by gaps in knowledge. Another panelist—Ian Rowe, who heads a network of charter schools serving low-income students in New York—provided a real-life example during his remarks.
The unfamiliar word made it hard for her to understand the passage. When Rowe asked her to spell the word, it turned out to be rugby. The implication is clear. Not to mention that learning content like this can be a lot more engaging for both students and teachers than the endless practice of illusory skills.
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According to Shanahan, no evidence backs up that practice. In fact, Shanahan said, recent research indicates that students actually learn more from reading texts that are considered too difficult for them —in other words, those with more than a handful of words and concepts a student doesn't understand. What struggling students need is guidance from a teacher in how to make sense of texts designed for kids at their respective grade levels—the kinds of texts those kids may otherwise see only on standardized tests, when they have to grapple with them on their own.
That view was endorsed by Marilyn Jager Adams, a cognitive and developmental psychologist who is a visiting scholar at Brown University. More affluent students may not learn much in elementary school, but compared to their disadvantaged peers their parents tend to be more educated and have the money to provide knowledge-boosting perks like tutoring and trips to Europe.
As a result, those wealthy children are far more likely to acquire knowledge outside of school.
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The bottom line is that policymakers and advocates who have pushed for more testing in part as a way to narrow the gap between rich and poor have undermined their own efforts. They have created a system that incentivizes teachers to withhold the very thing that could accomplish both objectives: knowledge. All students suffer under this system, but the neediest suffer the most.
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I get antsy sitting for long periods of time, so it is not strange to think our students would as well. As long as students are doing their assignments, not interrupting the students around them, and staying within the required space why can't they stand? Does work only get done sitting? Make eye contact. Sit them in the front of the class where you can maintain eye contact.
Since ADD students have difficulty focusing, keeping distractions like someone in front of them, is key. Teaching Students with Behavior Disorders. We all have had or perhaps have one of these students. Everything is a battle.
I admit, I cringed when I knew this student was coming into my classroom. I could just envision the daily struggle. Funny thing though, this student usually grows on me and I learn to see them totally different by mid-year. Amazing how that works!
Try to understand the reasons behind behaviors. There is something behind the behavior. Everything we do is motivated by something and understanding this motivation is key.
Our job is to try to discover what is motivating the behavior. Are they seeking attention? Do they feel insecure?
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Are there issues at home? Be creative in your discipline. Don't go straight for school policy no, I am not advocating being a rebel, but sometimes a detention will not really get at the heart of the problem. Give clear instructions and consequences. Make sure rules are posted where students can see them.
Understand the development level of the student. Set reasonable goals. Habits have to be changed and can be accomplished through daily goals. Acknowledge positive behavior and changes- even small ones. Identify cultural differences. Are there cultural differences?
Make sure you know your student. Differentiate discipline and avoid disputes. How does the student respond to discipline?
Never argue with a student. It only frustrates you more, you give them control, and let's face it, you are arguing with a child! State the consequence and leave it at that. Know frustration level of your student. Know the environment and plan. You can defuse a situation if you know what to look for. Address potential learning challenges.
All students can learn. The challenge is finding a way to help them learn. Understanding slow or differential learners is key. These students have difficulty thinking abstractly and may have a short attention span. These students function below grade level, have low achievement scores, are frequently immature, and work slowly. Often they have problems transferring what they have learned from one task to another.
Tap into different learning styles. Use computers, classroom centers, audio tapes, and other means of learning to engage students who need more than just oral instruction.
Write directions on the board, keep homework short, and allow for changes. As learning progresses, students are often asked to follow more than one direction.
This can become challenging to some. Keep tasks simple. I believe should be in every classroom.