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Supporting Struggling Readers with Developing Comprehension

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on 7 June 2018

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Transcript of Supporting Struggling Readers with Developing Comprehension

Supporting Struggling Readers
Technology in the Classroom
Technology motivates and encourages, it gives students choice for what they want to read, it provides flexible learning environments and promotes new ways of learning.
Supporting English Learners
Teacher Disposition
"Books give
a soul to the universe,
wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
and life to everything."

- Plato
Inquiry Focus: Developing Comprehension
Students will use built in features to explore their reading abilities and interests
Students are given choice about which device they use, allowing them to chose where they want to work and how their work is recorded
APPS to use: Read Me Stories, Marbleminds Phonics, Question Builder, Sight Words, StoryKit, Word Domino, My Word Wall, StoryPatch
Connecting social literacy to the classroom
Where do we start?
Presented by: Denise, Jocelyn, Mara & Tori


Resources (free online access to e-books)

Technology in the home
How to assess comprehension
This Prezi will explore how we as educators can ensure, support and develop
in struggling readers through the following ways:

Technology in the classroom
Technology at home
EL struggling readers
Assessment of struggling readers
New techniques to use in your classroom
Reading comprehension

is the ability to read text, process it and understand it's meaning.
New Techniques for your classroom
Many students have access at home to the internet and electronic devices such as computers, tablets or cell phones
students are highly motivated to read using an electronic device


reading comprehension increases with motivation
Bainbridge, J., & Heydon, R. (2013). Constructing meaning: Teaching the language arts K-8 (5th ed.). Toronto: Nelson Canada.

Bainbridge, J., Heydon, R., & Malicky, G. (2009). Constructing meaning: Balancing
Elementary Language Arts (4th ed.). Toronto: Nelson Education Ltd.

Beers, Kylene. (2003). When Kids Can't Read What Teachers Can Do, A Guide For Teachers 6-12. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Blue, Elfreda, V. (2012) Cultural Text Support for Diverse Learners: Introduction. Reading and Writing Quarterly, 28 (2), 121-122.

Brooks, Katie, and Karathanos, Katya. (2009). Building on the cultural and linguistic capital of English learner (EL) students. Multicultural Education, 16 (4), 47.

Ciampa, K. (2013). ICANREAD: The Effects of an Online Reading Program on Grade 1 Students' Engagement and Comprehension Strategy Use. Educational Research Quarterly, 37 (1), 24-46.

Jimenez, Robert, T., David, Sam., Pacheco, Mark., Risko, Victoria J., Pray, Lisa., Fagan, Keenan., and Gonzalez, Marc., (2015) Supporting Teachers of English Learners by Leveraging Students' Linguistic Strenghts. The Reading Teacher. 68 (6), 406-412.

Kuhn, Melanie R., & Schwanenflugel, Paula J., Aligning Theory and Assessment of Reading Fluency: Automaticity, Prosody and Definitions of Fluency. Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.proxy1.lib.uwo.ca/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=209773cf-d50a-458b-88cf-48779ba27669%sessionmgr4004&vid=21&hid=4114 (April 1, 2010)

Ontario Ministry of Education. (2004). Me Read? No Way! A Practical Guide to Improving Boys' Literacy Skills. Retrieved from: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/brochure/meread/meread.pdf (March, 2015)

Souto-Manning, Mariana., (2010) Teaching English Learners: Building on Cultural and Linguistic Strengths. English Education. 42 (3), 248-268.

Spencer, Ryan, and Tori Smullen. "Future reading: using technology in the
classroom." Practically Primary 19.2 (2014): 28+. Academic OneFile. Web. 22 Feb.

Sylvester, Ruth., Kragler, Sherry., and Liontas, John. (2014) Vocabulary Instruction for Young, Diverse Learners. Childhood Education. 90 (6), 434-445.

Listening to e-books allows students to concentrate on constructing meaning from the text rather than focusing on decoding, and that the interactive nature of the program improves comprehension, engagement and motivation to read. (Ciampa, 2013)
Students were motivated to read e-books because of personal interest, text features such as digitized speech and highlighting of words, the interactive nature of answering questions during reading, and the immediate feedback the program provided to embedded comprehension questions. (Ciampa, 2013)
Children spend an average of two hours a day using internet, mobile devices, or video games (Ciampa, 2013).
Students can create their own reading material using a digital camera and Photo Story 3 computer software
Having older students create reading material for younger students would generate high interest, low vocabulary reading material for struggling readers.

Students use a digital camera or tablet device to take their own photos
Students write a story using their pictures
Students use Photo Story 3 (free software) to create a digital book that incorporates sound effects, music, voice, pictures and text
Have students read each other's books using computers or tablets at home.
Based on the Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT) scores, after using ICANRead e-books, average comprehension scores increased from a pre-test mean score of 49.2% to a post-test mean of 71.7% (Ciampa, 2013).
features that support developing comprehension:
- voice/highlighted words
- built in questions
"Educators and parents may have been too quick to dismiss boys’ preoccupation with computers as a diversion from their own book-based literacy, not recognizing the computer’s capacity to empower users to gain access to, and control of, information."

Work Samples
Teachers may collect samples of students read-alouds, shared, guided and independent reading activities. This collection may include:
artifacts (checklists,interview data, reading logs, reading response journals, running records, projects, tests)
anecdotal records
student's portfolios
Teachers may conference with students and families to discover their interests, attitude, knowledge of strategies, and engagement with reading. Teachers may use:
conference logs
anecdotal records
story collection
"Educators can mix and match strategies, contexts, and ways of recording information to suit their needs. When interpreting assessment results, they can triangulate their data, that is, check to see how the information they have collected from various sources compares to each other and whether it is consistent"
(Bainbridge & Heydon, 3013).
Teachers observe their students during
read-alouds, shared, guided and independent reading activities throughout the day and may record data using:
anecdotal records
reading logs
running records

"Educators must be careful to select assessment measures that can provide as full a picture as possible of learners' reading practices and to see learners as at-promise" (Bainbridge & Heydon, 2013).
Assessing Comprehension Strategies
Teachers who assess that students are struggling with comprehension need to provide explicit instruction in order to help their struggling students develop reading comprehension strategies. In,
When Kids Can't Read What Teachers Can Do
, Kylene Beers offers advice for teaching students who may be struggling with one or more of the following comprehension strategies:
comparing and contrasting
connecting to prior experiences
questioning the text
recognizing the author's purpose
seeing causal relationships
Leap Pad

Provide readily

accessible reading material
at is interesting to the child using the device
Engages student
immediately as it is a technological device, catering to their individual needs
Beneficial for students
who need to read through larger text, definitions of words read aloud and assistance with reading longer novels
Kid-smart, kid-safe, and kid-tough educational tablets
job offers
live literacy
information waterfalls
digital literacy
real-time engagement
Check comprehension while reading and when the reading task is completed. Monitoring comprehension helps students detect inconsistencies and comprehension failures, helping them learn to use alternate strategies.
"Fluency combines accuracy, automaticity and oral reading prosody, which, taken together, facilitate the reader's construction of meaning. It is demonstrated during oral reading through ease of word recognition, appropriate pacing, phrasing and intonation. It is a factor in both oral and silent reading that can limit or support comprehension" (p.240)
Aligning Theory and Assessment of Reading Fluency: Automaticity, Prosody and Definitions of Fluency, Melanie R. Kuhn & Paula J. Schwanenflugel, 2010,
An informative and educational video about implementing technology in the classroom.

It may seem long, but well worth a few minutes of your time.

Oral Language
Vocabulary Development
Using Funds of Knowledge
Other techniques to increase reading comprehension.
Transferring knowledge
One of the greatest challenges it seems to develop reading comprehension levels of EL students is changing the disposition of the educator.
"Students... have frequently been misinterpreted as [having a] lack of academic ability or effort, and teachers' interactions with students have reflected a pattern of low expectations which become self-fulfilling." (Brooks & Karathanos. pg.2)
"Teachers... often have lower expectations for ELs and other minority students." (Jimenez, David, Pacheco, Risko, Pray, Fagan, Gonzales. 2015)
Shifting disposition of deficit thinking to positive expectations.
Expectations of the students can positively impact student achievement (Bainbridge & Heydon pg. 23) Teachers can instill self-fulfilling prophecies, we need to be aware of the perception we carry towards our students.
How to change our view?
In Jimemez, David, Pacheco, Risko, Pray, Fagan and Gonzalez's article,
Supporting Teachers of English Learners by Leveraging Students' Linguistic Strengths
, three suggestions are made:
1. Carefully supervising tutoring experiences.
2. Having direct involvement with children.
3. Complete at least two years of foreign language study of at least one other language. (Alternatively, at least a semester living abroad learning another language also provides teachers with experiences necessary to understand and empathize with persons learning a new language.)
"Educators often expect EL students to succeed in the classroom without considering the ways in which these students' experiences, cultures, and languages shape their schema." (Brooks & Karathanos, pg. 2) Essentially, "...students are expected to learn in a experimental vacuum." (Brooks & Karathanos, pg. 2)
Reading comprehension cannot be made without meaning making. In order to take meaning from text which will then increase grade levels of academic concepts, a student needs to be able to make connections with new information. This is done by "...cognitively [connecting] new information to their native languages, cultures, and experiences." (Brooks & Karathanos, pg. 3)
"... the disparity between word-level skills (decoding, word recognition, and spelling) and text-level skills (reading comprehension and writing) among language minority students is their oral English proficiency." (Sylvester, Kragler and Liontas, pg. 443)
Funds of knowledge described by Bainsbridge & Heydon: the various 'resources' they bring with them to school .... [that] can be cultural, intellectual, physical, and the like. .... instead of seeing learners in deficit terms, or in terms of what they do not know or are not, we see all learners as "at promise"." (Bainsbridge & Heydon, pg.12)
"Schools pose as culture-free zones yet are shaped by culturally specific knowledge, creating insiders and outsiders and identifying successful children according to the alignment between home and school discourses" (Souto-Manning, pg. 255). Studies found that students less proficient in Mainstream American English were shut off immediately by their teachers and peers after initiating interactions(Souto-Manning, pg. 251)
As teachers, we need to make an effort to understand our students, as they use discourse to construct their own identities in the classroom- "as capable or incapable" (Souto-Manning, pg. 251).
To do so teachers can create 'Pedagogical Third Spaces.' They can do this by blurring the role between teacher and student thus eliminating the fictitious line that is drawn between at-school and at-home literacies. To do this teachers need to, "... reposition [themselves] as learners and the students as experts." (Souto-Manning, pg. 258)
Overcoming Challenges
Every day, students from diverse backgrounds fail academically because their teachers cannot recognize their knowledge and their brilliance (Souto-Manning, pg. 260).
In Sylvester, Kragler and Liontas's article, "Vocabulary Instruction for Young, Diverse Learners," vocabulary is identified as playing a significant role in academic achievement. Brooks and Karathanos specify that, "Vocabulary development in the second language is critical because it is a primary meaning making factor in reading comprehension" Brooks & Karathanos, pg. 3).
Most vocabulary is learned due to incidental and cumulative exposure (Sylvester, Kragler and Liontas, pg. 437), repetition is key to retaining the words. Following that, students needs at least 12 opportunities to produce a word before they can independently use it. Visual support will enhance comprehension even more with the aid of things like pictures and video (Sylvester, Kragler and Liontas, pg. 441).
Students need to reflect on the processes they use in the development of their vocabulary. In the case of the use of categorizing and sorting, "...children make connections between their learning and prior knowledge and retain new information." (Sylvester, Kragler and Liontas, pg. 442)
"Literacy skills such as decoding, or making inferences transfer between languages. As a result, students benefit from explicit instruction that shows them ways they can apply literacy skills learned in their first languages to literacy tasks in their second language (Brooks & Karathanos, pg. 3)
This is based on the The Theory of Common Underlying Proficiency is: provided sufficient exposure to the second language, the literacy and cognitive development of the first language transfers to the second language." (Brooks & Karathanos, pg. 3)
What techniques can be transferred?
Coding: noting schematic connections during reading. Comprehension skills develop more quickly than writing skills, so these can be used as reference during the writing process (Brooks & Karathanos, pg. 4)
Code-switching: Switching between languages as they speak or write. This helps students to express their ideas more thoroughly. (Brooks & Karathanos, pg. 5)
Recognition and use of cognates: words that have the same root word in two different languages. The ability to identify cognates distinguished struggling and strong readers (Brooks & Karathanos, pg. 6).
Use visual support to understand text (Brooks & Karathanos, pg. 6)
"Bilingualism is more likely to lead to cognitive advantages than disadvantages" (Bainbridge & Heydon, pg. 74)
Translation: When used as a part of instructional activity, translating has the potential to improve the English reading comprehension of ELs (Jimenez, David, Pacheco, Risko, Pray, Fagan and Gonzales, pg. 409)
Including other cultures as integral components versus additions to multicultural education (Brooks & Karathanos, pg. 2) "Research suggests that typically achieving students read better text that is embedded with familiar cultural cues than text without such cultural cues." (Blue, pg. 121)
Use multilingual word walls and books (Bainbridge & Heydon, pg. 74)
Have students read text first in their first language, then in their second (Bainbridge & Heydon, pg. 74)
Have parents support literacy by developing first language proficiency in the home (Brooks & Karathanos, pg. 4)
Have older EL sudents or parent volunteers produce books in more than one language that can be used in the classroom (Brooks & Karathanos, pg. 4)
Assessment for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse learners
To increase success in assessemtn, here are ome modifications that can be applied: incorporation of visual aids, providing sufficient time, reviewing relevant work before assessment, ensuring clear instruction, offering guidance in answering questions, modifying assessments to maximize the use of prior knowledge (Bainbridge & Heydon, pg. 226).
Use subtitle features when watching movies to act as a read aloud. Using subtitles in English as well as a first language is beneficial to language development.
Full transcript