Academic journal article Reading Improvement

A Teaching of Reading Book Club

Academic journal article Reading Improvement

A Teaching of Reading Book Club

Article excerpt

Several elementary schools in the Kirksville, Missouri area in which the writer supervised student and cooperating teachers have a small professional library for classroom teachers. These libraries subscribe to professional journals such as those published by the Reading Teacher, the Language Arts, The Arithmetic Teacher, Science and Children, and Social Education. There are a few teacher education university level textbooks also available for teacher reading. The reading materials are somewhat minimal, but can provide for inservice education of teachers. All schools should have a good professional library for teachers. These libraries should contain audiovisual materials as well as the latest technology to increase teacher skill, efficacy, and professionalism.

One club that needs to be formed, among others, is a Teaching of Reading Book Club. Here, teachers may select a topic for reading and, perhaps weekly, discuss their findings. The results could be an improved reading curriculum whereby new ideas are tried out and reported back to the Teaching of Reading Book Club.

Choosing the Topic for Discussion

In selecting what to discuss for the first meeting, elementary school teachers and reading supervisors need assess which area of inservice growth has the greatest need. Thus, the focal point is where students need most assistance in the area of reading instruction. Teachers and supervisors need to evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses to come up with which topic to pursue for the first meeting. A checklist may be passed around for reading teachers to mark the topics of first, second, and third in importance. Or in a discussion, teachers may indicate their preferences. The following areas have been used as a guideline for choosing the first topic to be discussed:

1. diagnosing student needs in phonics instruction.

2. helping students with syllabication problems.

3. using configuration clues to unlock new words.

4. teachers reading orally to learners to stimulate interest in children's literature.

5. emphasizing the Big Book, echoic reading, repetitive reading, choral reading, and individualized reading. These topics may be subdivided so that the scope is not too broad.

6. stressing the use of Reading Recovery.

7. diagnosing dyslexia in reading.

8. implementing holism in reading for ideas.

9. using critical and creative thinking as well as problem solving approaches in reading subject matter.

10. students' reading in thought units (Ediger, 2000, 210-211).

Each of the above may be delimited, depending upon the needs of participants. For example area #1 above may deal only with initial consonant sounds or, perhaps, students in class have problems with failure to look at the ending of a word to differentiate it from others.

An adequate supply of current teaching of reading materials need to be in the offing. These need to be readily available for use in the Teaching of Reading Book Club. Each student needs to become a fluent reader. No student should fall through the cracks. How high should reading achievement of students become? That is a good question. The bar can always be raised by those outside the framework of actually doing the teaching of reading, as well as by teachers themselves. An Interesting goal for readers to achieve is stated for the J. E. B. Stuart High School in Fairfax County, Virginia with 11th grade students reading on grade level (Checkley, 2000). The article does not say if it is for all students, including the mentally handicapped. Even for those below average in ability and above the mentally handicapped category, that is a very high goal to achieve for students. If a high school student upon graduation can read seventh grade reading materials and do seventh grade mathematics, that person can achieve much personally as well as in society. There is, no doubt, about raising the bar in school achievement is here with us, and especially in reading progress/accomplishment. …

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