By Teachers, For Teachers
As educators, we are always looking for new techniques to help our struggling readers. Our job is to find learning strategies that will not only help our students succeed, but that will make it easier for them to learn, and develop a love for reading. While on your quest to present the best learning strategies that will be optimally learnable for all students, try a few of the following activities in your classroom. These instructional techniques can be used with all reading levels and represent a variety of ways to encourage proficient reading.
The Directed Listening-Thinking Activity (DLTA) is an instructional technique that was developed for students who have not yet mastered independent reading. Its format is used to develop students’ predictive listing and comprehension skills. Teachers use this learning strategy to help students establish a purpose for what they are reading. This technique involves pre-reading, during reading, and post- reading discussions where students will predict what will happen in the text, talk about what happened in the text, and discuss how they knew what happened in the text.
This technique is best for students who need to check for understanding, who need to practice active thinking strategies, and for passive readers who need help in making predictions.
The Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy (VSS) is a technique that is used to help students advance and stimulate their word knowledge. Students are put into small cooperative learning groups where they select words they would like to study, and discuss why these words are important to the topic of study.
This technique is best for students who like to learn from their peers, as well as those who prefer to use his/her own personal interest to develop word meanings.
The Imagery Instruction Technique was developed to increase students’ active comprehension, and active their background knowledge about main ideas and characters in a story, and/or the key concepts in an expository text.
The teacher selects a text and identifies the important events, characters, or key concepts in the text.
This technique is best for students who are passive readers who do not use their prior knowledge or real-world connections to the text. It is also for students who are extremely imaginative and who like to use images to construct meaning.
These instructional techniques can be modified and used in different ways in order to engage students in literacy. In order to make these modifications, the teacher must observe and evaluate how the struggling reader(s) respond the strategy, as well as how he/she instructs the technique.
Do you use any of the above instructional techniques with your students? Share with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear your thoughts.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.