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Bottom-Up and Top-Down

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Amber Leonhardi

on 26 March 2014

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Transcript of Bottom-Up and Top-Down

Bottom-Up and Top-Down
By Amber Leonhardi

Bottom-Up Learning
Top-Down Learning
The Learner Is...

*Utilizing prior knowledge
*Predicting & confirming
*Using context clues
*Discussing with others
*Applying known information to support inferential understanding
Working on phonics skills that the student needs

Bottom-Up Approach
Practicing letters and sounds with flashcards

Bottom-Up Approach
Discussing books with others to clarify words and determine a deeper meaning

Top-Down Approach
Bottom-Up & Top-Down Theories
Bottom-Up Theory
The Bottom-Up Approach “refers to a kind of processing in which meaning is derived from the accurate, sequential processing of words. The emphasis is on the text rather than the reader’s background knowledge or language ability.” Students begin by “learning the parts of language (letters) to understanding whole text (meaning).”
Bottom-Up Theory in action!
Differentiating Among
ALL Learners
How do the Bottom-Up & Top-Down models differ?
Abraham, P. (2000). Skilled reading: Top-Down, bottom-up. Field Notes, 10(2), 1 & 6-8. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/bilingeduc/pages-and-groups/estrategias-de-ensenanza-aprendizaje/bilingual-cooperative-integrated-reading-and-composition-bcirc/reading-model/skilled-reading-top-down-bottom-up

Gunning, T. (2010). Creating literacy instruction for all students. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Pardede, P. (2006, December). A review on reading theories and its implication to the teaching of reading. Paper session presented at the meeting of the Bimonthly Collegiate Forum of the English Department of FKIP-UKI, Indonesia. Abstract retrieved from http://parlindunganpardede.wordpress.com/articles/language-teaching/a-review-on-reading-theories-and-its-implication-to-the-teaching-of-reading/

Reutzel, D.R., & Cooter, R. B. (2013). Bottom-Up theories of the reading process. Retrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/bottom-up-theories-reading-process/
The Learner Is...

*Repeating the teacher
*Engaging in phonics drills
*Practicing phonics skills through projects,
songs, & flashcards
*Using information from the text to demonstrate text-dependent understanding

The Top-Down, Bottom-Up theories depict learning literacy within a continuum. Learning that supports a sub-skill technique falls within the Bottom-Up approach, whereas learning that supports a more holistic method falls within the Top-Down approach.
(Gunning, 2010, p. 7)
(Gunning, 2010, p. 8)
(Reutzel & Cooter, 2013, para. 1).
Progression of Literacy
Shapes of Letters > Names of Letters > Sounds of Consonants > Simple Vowel Sounds > Complex Vowel Sounds > Whole Words > Comprehension
Top-Down Theory
The Top-Down Approach “refers to deriving meaning by using one’s background knowledge, language ability, and expectations. The emphasis is on the reader rather than the text.” Readers look at the text for ”information and contrast it with their world knowledge, helping to make sense of what it written.”
Top-Down Theory in action!
(Gunning, 2010, p. 8)
(Abraham, 2000, p. 1 & 6).
Progression of Literacy
The reader proceeds from sampling of language cues to prediction and to confirmation. Reading means connecting information from the text to knowledge the reader already has.

(Gunning, 2010, p. 10-11)
(Pardede, 2006, The Cognitive View (Top-Down Processing) section, para. 3)
The Teacher Is...

*Heavy emphasis on phonics skills
*Explicit instruction for phonics
*Providing reading experiences to practice phonics skills
*Assessing students to determine the next phonics skill to practice
The Teacher Is...

*Facilitating book studies
*Facilitating literature circles
*Producing meaningful interactive opportunities
*Using KWL charts and anticipation guides to assess prior knowledge
*Providing many opportunities and structures for wide reading

Struggling readers
will benefit most from explicit instruction. Explicit instruction must focus on the phonics skills that the student needs and continue to progress as skills are mastered (bottom-up approach). However, practicing the phonics skills within connected text will promote application which is essential for struggling readers (top-down approach).
Core readers
will benefit most from some direct phonics instruction (bottom-up approach) and a lot of wide reading (top-down approach). Reading decodable and predictable texts will allow the core readers to apply their phonics knowledge to make meaning from text. Additionally, the wide reading will promote predictions and the building of background knowledge.
Advanced readers
will benefit most from sustained silent reading, wide reading, and opportunities for discussion with others (top-down approach). The more these student read and discuss, the more these students will figure out how the English system works. Discussing books with others through literature circles or book studies will support finding meaning beyond text-dependent questions.
Assessments for Bottom-Up and Top-Down Learners
The Advantages & Disadvantages of
Bottom-Up and Top-Down Learning
Real-Life Examples
Using background information, pictures, and predictions to figure out words and to determine meaning from the text

Top-Down Approach
Top-Down Learning
Bottom-Up Learning
*Focus is more on learning to read versus reading to learn
*Instruction follows a rigid sequential order
*Instruction tends to be more isolated versus applied within connected text
*Instructing students at THEIR level
*Explicit instruction is beneficial for beginning readers
*Practice tends to be more concrete
*Promotes auditory, visual, & kinesthetic learning opportunities

*Focus is reading for understanding
*Promotes discovery learning and application of acquired knowledge
*Practice is within connected text
*Guided and scaffolded instruction presented within text
*Many opportunities to read

*Direct instruction is not the focus, resulting in the possibility of confusion with the more complex vowel teams, dipthongs, and digraphs.
*Holes in learning basic reading skills may occur
*One-on-one conferring is needed, therefore, the amount of time available may be insufficient
*Self-monitoring may be a weak area for some students
Bottom-Up Assessments
*Observation during instruction
*Workbook pages

Top-Down Assessments
*Conferring with Students
*Running Records
*Informal Reading Inventories
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