What are some of the criteria that go into planning reading lessons at both the grade school level for elementary and middle school reading lessons? Reading programs that are either are self-initiated or astrology school-initiated should following a general line of thinking:
1. Aim for meaning on a word level.
2. Aim for constant progress. Avoid flat lessons and teach reading lessons which build on previous lessons.
3. Beginning decoders need to do a lot of listening and speaking activities in the beginning.
4. Aim for grading the tasks and a balance between teaching the text and amount of activities.
5. Have a bank of reading strategies available. No reading strategies means students are not sufficiently working on the meaning level.
Planning the actual reading lessons also involves a given set criteria. Depending on the grade and level, you will need to adapt your lessons as follows.
Teaching Reading in Elementary School
1. sensitizing pupils to oral work including the alphabet
2. beginning reading comprehension
3. spending more time on decoding skills
Teaching Reading in Middle School
1. a lot of grammar is done through reading
2. reading is also the source for vocabulary
3. teach independence through work assignments
4. to reinforce the written word
5. many children do not want to talk (less oral work than reading)
Considerations for Planning a Reading Lesson
1. Make use of the textbook
2. What is the ‘core’ of the program? Your ‘core’ is actually the starting point. Depending on where your students are, you might need to start core minus or plus. For example, if they are just emerging reading, you probably will need to do vocabulary work by building on the words and their sounds and having the pupils recognize them in sentences.
3. Decide on a pattern of development in your reading lessons. Example: ABC to words to sentences to paragraph.
4. How much time am I willing to devote to teaching the ABC’s, words, etc?
5. Any reading activity must be linked to prior speaking and listening activities.
6. Establish a threshold. This is connected to the concept of automaticity. This can happen on a word or phrase level. It has to do with decoding, deciphering and identifying. When a child can read on a certain level effortlessly, you have acquired a certain threshold.
7. The concept of a pre – while – post stages of reading are applicable to every level of teaching, even adults. Be varied and find unique ways to motivate all kinds of students.
Over to You: What level and grade of reading do you teach? What are some of your favorite reading ideas?