March 9, 2017
March 9, 2017
- Good morning.
- Professional Day tomorrow with no school for our kids and no Town Hall this week.
- Diocesan Principal’s meeting today.
- Here’s one from our author of Teach Like a Champion entitled “How Knowledge Powers Reading” by Doug Lemov in Educational Leadership, February 2017. I’m presenting this excellent piece in full over 2 days:
In this article in
, author/school leader Doug Lemov drives home E.D. Hirsch’s message about the crucial role of background knowledge in building reading comprehension, deep thinking, and creativity. But isn’t knowledge less important now that students can Google pretty much any piece of information? To the contrary, says Lemov: “The brain’s active processing capacity is finite, so unless knowledge is encoded in long-term memory, having to search for it actually crowds out other forms of cognition. Knowing things helps you think and read successfully. At the same time, reading is a primary way to come to know things. Every time we read and comprehend a text, we add to the knowledge that helps us make sense of further texts. In other words, when it comes to reading, knowledge is both the chicken and the egg.”
Possessing and adding to background knowledge is especially important when students read nonfiction – but there’s a problem with motivation. “With the exception of memoir and biography,” says Lemov, “nonfiction rarely tries to win the reader’s interest with an engaging narrative voice. The tone is more often something like, ‘I’ve got some information here; stay with me if you can.’” He suggests three ways to improve students’ success reading and learning from nonfiction
: Here’s #1 • Embed nonfiction in fiction
– Lemov confesses that when he was a teacher working with nonfiction texts, he did what many others did – had his students look for chronological order, organization, evidence, subheads, captions, and other structural elements. Students did not respond well because this approach didn’t make an emotional or intellectual connection to the text. As a counterexample, Lemov describes how fifth graders reading
a novel about a girl in New York City during World War II, were assigned an article on rationing. Students eagerly read an otherwise dry text because they cared about a fictional character who was experiencing rationing. Students also learned new facts (what is “fuel oil” and why was it important in the 1940s) and, as their teacher had them read additional nonfiction articles on victory gardens, blackout curtains, the Nazi bombing of London, spies, and the U.S. decision to enter the war, reading the novel turned into an in-depth study of a historical period.
#2 and 3 on Monday. Have a nice day and God Bless you!