Monday, May 31, 2010
In general a little bit of phonics instruction tends to go, and grow, a long way.
[Excerpted below from: Reading/Learning Assessment for Diagnostic-Prescriptive Teaching, 2nd edition (A.V. Manzo, U. Manzo and Julie Albee) Belmont: California, Thomson/Wadsworth Publishers (2004)].
Outline: Teaching Phonics Every Which Way
1. Balanced Also Means Multiple Approaches to Teaching Phonics, Phonetics & Phonemics
2. Strategic Teachers for Strategic Readers
3. Implicit Questions & Issues About Phonics Instruction
4. What is meant by Paradigmatic Approaches to Teaching Phonics
5. Key Instructional Principles & Considerations and Issues in Teaching Phonics
6. Comprehensive Gray Legacy Paradigm
7. Botel’s Discovery Phonics
8. Glass’ No Phonic Rules Phonics
9. What to do with Volunteers, Paraprofessionals (Decoding Stations)
10. Manzo’s Incidental-Instructional Conversation Approach
11. In Summary…
12. References aplenty
Balanced Also Means Multiple Approaches to Teaching Phonics, Phonetics & Phonemics
Over seven decades of research findings have been gathering layers of meanings in this area of teaching-learning. This research includes a powerful, though sometimes forgotten, study by Bleismer and Yarborough (1960) comparing 10 different approaches to beginning reading. The various phonics approaches did best. This study was preceded by several others in the mid and late 1950’s aimed at various comparisons of methods of teaching phonics (e.g., Sparks and Fay, 1957). These were followed in the mid-late 1960’s by the well known First Grade and (lesser known) second and third Grade Studies, and by Jeanne Chall’s (1967) controversial summations of most of the research conducted earlier. Each of these studies and syntheses were necessary in some way to our science. Collectively, they seemed to say that it is necessary to teach phonetic analysis in the schools, and to do so fairly systematically through at least the primary grades, if not higher. Other more recent contemporary writers and researchers, like Snow, Burns and Griffin (1998), and Rayner & Pollatsek (1989) , and most popularly Adams (1990), have similarly concluded the need for explicit and systematic instruction in a phonemic-phonetic system. A report of the National Reading Panel (1998) - chaired, curiously, by an “impartial physicist” - has further re-concluded that phonetic analysis should be taught rather explicitly as part of a “balanced reading” program. In point of fact, it appears that the weight of experimental evidence slightly supports teaching an alphabetic, synthetic, system of separate sounds first (Adams, 1990), despite the fact that this seems counter-intuitive (just try to make the sound of “b” without automatically adding a complicating vowel sound).
Nonetheless, or maybe, for these reasons, there remains something of a vague feeling, even among some veteran teachers, as to just what it means to be professionally prepared for, and how, precisely, to teach phonics. It was in this vein that Patricia Cunningham (1992) addressed the question in an article titled: “What kind of phonics instruction will we have?” We will attempt here to flesh out this elementary question a bit further and look back, just a little, to see how we once taught phonics, so that we might better save the best. There are many implicit questions in gathering these recommendations that deserve to be mentioned as background, even if we can not fully address them here.
Implicit Questions & Issues About Phonics Instruction
Questions abound. Do all who teach phonics need to explicitly know all the rules of phonetics? Does the renewed interest in phonics mean that we all need to teach phonic rules to students, and if so, when and how many ? Does “teaching” mean, or include behaviorally conditioning certain phonetic responses to certain graphemic symbols and/or whole words in “flash” exposures ? Is phonetic analysis merely a matter of teaching students to hear and then make slightly voiced phonemic semblances of speech sounds that remind the ear of each sound byte in each word so that they can blended into a familiar word ? Or, is it necessary to master an exquisite set of rules of phonetics to “properly” pronounce real words, and even psuedo (nonsense) words never before heard (as is suggested for assessment in the CA Frameworks for Reading and Language Arts)?
The National Reading Panel (1998 ) has added a point here that seems to deserve special attention since it goes to the heart of this piece. It says in effect: that the art of teaching is “…knowing when to apply what strategy with which particular students ( p4-47).”
Strategic Teachers for Strategic Readers
The methods described ahead can be easily categorized by their respective emphases on a number of possible primary and secondary, or collateral, objectives. One core method has a significant component stressing phonemic awareness, a speech to sound recognition approach that is especially appropriate for second language learners, and students who tend to have little phonemic sense - Boder (1970) called them dysphonetic. Another method is based on induction , a discovery, or cognitive enrichment approach, for students who are comfortable thinking their way through complex matters, and to a measured degree, for those who are not. A third intentionally relies on a conditioned response approach that tends to circumvent the dilemma of cognitive overload for those struggling to learn (but, more on this momentarily). And, the fourth is powered by an instructional conversation approach that utilizes mental modeling, and that can easily combine and reinforce the others while keeping focus on comprehension. But, first permit address to a few instructional considerations that while implicit in the prior remarks, bear some considerable significance in today’s issues regarding the teaching of the decoding aspects of reading.
Key Instructional Principles & Considerations and Issues in Teaching Phonics
While it can appear to be static and painstakingly incremental, phonics instruction can be organic. For this reason a little bit of phonics instruction tends to go, and grow, a long way. Lessons appear to accumulate and begin to have a synergistic - or, one, plus one = 3 - kind of growth effect on learning. That is to say, learning occasionally makes leaps between lessons, rather than losing ground as is the case with most factual learning. We do not fully understand how this complex process takes place, or gets done. The primary reason appears to be that students talk to themselves about what they are learning, and therefore, continue the process of learning through self-instruction as they encounter environmental and text-based print. This makes sense, since it is clear that teachers can not possibly teach all the sounds and rule combinations of the English language. But the mystery remains of just how this gets done. Importantly,” sound” instruction generally includes a fairly traditional combination of:
• attention to phonemic - or sound elements in the speech stream;
• teaching of phonic elements - or graphemes that represent speech sounds in isolation and in context;
• a bit of direct instruction with isolated, whole word - or flash card training ;
• considerable exposure to words in context in books with a relatively controlled level of difficulty; and,
• by a judicious amount of writing - or attempts to record one’s own thoughts and words in this coded, editable and apparently self-gratifying form.
What is meant by Paradigmatic Approaches to Teaching Phonics
An Instructional Paradigm (par’ a dime) is a core, comprehensive and robust means of teaching a specific subset of essential skills. Instructional Paradigms are especially valuable for teaching the obvious, when it is not so obvious just how to do so in a multi-level class. Paradigms tend to have a built-in assurance of quality since they often reflect generations of research and field practice, often dating back to when there were multiple grades in a single classroom. They also tend to cover all the instructional bases, a definite plus in preserving the goal of today’s heterogeneous classrooms.
Gray’s Comprehensive Legacy Phonics Paradigm
This approach tends to merge synthetic and analytic phonics. It is based on teaching students to recognize words that they already have in their speaking vocabulary. The paradigm for teaching in this way often is attributed to William S. Gray, sometimes called the “founder of modern reading instruction.” This model for synthetic-analytical phonics instruction probably represents the earliest and most complete articulation of this approach to reading instruction, and remains the basis for most subsequent forms of word analysis training (Gray, 1948). Notice as you review this slightly modified version that this four step procedure regularly teaches visual identification of graphemes and aural (or auditory) identification of phonemes (Steps 1 and 2). It then proceeds to teach phonemic/phonetic blending - called an analogic approach because it is uses one of the most basic principles of learning, namely, that of using “known” parts of words to unlock “unknown” parts; as seeing as in has (Step 3). It then comes together in another basic principle of teaching-learning known as application and transfer of training, when it requires a Context-Comprehension Activity (Step 4) which reinforces both word analysis and rapid word identification with relatively simple text (i.e., within a child’s Zone of Proximal Development, as we would refer to it today). This “fail-proof” paradigm is detailed and illustrated below using the “squ” blend.
Complete (Analytic/Synthetic) Phonics Paradigm
Step 1: Visual and Phonemic “Fixing” Through Similarities
a. Raising awareness of a visual distinction: Words are written on the board. The student circles the part(s) that all the words have in common:
squirrel squeeze squeak square squaw
b. Raising awareness of a phonemic distinction : Using the same list as above, the teacher reads each word from the board, giving only slight emphasis to the squ sound. The students try to identify the sound that each word has in common. The auditory step may precede the visual step if the student tends to have an auditory orientation.
Step 2: Visual and Phonemic Distinction Through Discrimination
a. Visual discrimination: Presenting words in groups of three, the student first underlines squ in each word in which he or she finds it. Next, the student attempts to say only those words containing the squ sound:
queen retire squirrel shrimp
squat squirt squirm spring
whom whenever sprint squeaky
b. Auditory - Phonemic/Phonetic - Discrimination: The teacher says three (3) words. Without seeing the words, the student identifies the word(s) containing the squ sound:
squeal squash shield squelch
spur squid square squeak
dig send squash squat
Step 3: Blending (Substitution)
The teacher shows the student how to blend and substitute sounds to form new words.
Example: Substitute the squ sound for the existing sound at the beginning of each word:
ball - b = all + squ = squall wire - w = ire + squ = squire
what - w = at + squ = squat tint - t = int = squ = squint
Step 4: Contextual Application
The student underlines words containing the squ sound, which are embedded in
1. He led a squad of men into battle.
2. He leads a squadron in the army.
3. Try not to squash it, please.
There are several additional enrichment activities that could follow from these essential steps. Children could be encouraged to write further sentences using the squ element. Worksheets could be introduced for 10 minutes of practice with this and previously taught phonetic elements. Children also can be encouraged to read self-selected books in which they might try to note any squ words encountered, or perhaps used in prior Language Experience Stories. This core approach was supported in the past by a basal reading program that provided extensive guidance to teachers in doing this with many other phonetic elements, and by a variety of exercise sheets. Today we are moving toward computer assisted variations complete with sound and animations. The intrinsic value of these new age variations, and other commercial materials can be judged against the degree to which they contain provisions for the essential steps found in this comprehensive paradigm.
Discovery Phonics Paradigm
The Discovery Phonics Paradigm also doubles as a quick technique that can be easily woven into most any phonics lesson. It is a highly cognitive-conceptual approach most often attributed to Morton Botel (1964), but otherwise so intuitive that it is hard to imagine anyone trying to teach phonetic analysis who would not re-discover it in the give and take with students. This paradigmatic method is designed to help students to learn to discover for themselves some of the phonetic and structural patterns, or generalizations, that make many words decodable. The teacher helps students to “discover” these patterns through inductive questioning that develops students’ powers of observation, sensitivity to language, and capacity to form concepts about how sounds and words have come to be encoded.
Steps in( Botel’s) Discovery Technique:
Step 1. The teacher provides accurate sensory experiences
Example: When teaching that some words drop the e before endings are added, the teacher might:
a. Put the following known words on the board:
make -- making hope -- hoping ride -- riding
b. Ask students to enunciate the words accurately
c. Ask students to note how the base words are alike, and what change to the base word took place each time we added the ing. If response comes quickly and accurately, move to Step 2. If not, do not move on to Step 2 for a while. Even when students are ready for Step 2, the teacher always reviews Step 1, at least briefly.
Step 2. Students examine the structural pattern with teacher guidance, but the teacher does not state the rule.
Example: In adding ing to words that end in a silent e, the teacher questions students until they arrive at the following findings:
a. The base words have a silent e preceded by a long vowel sound.
b. The base words drop the e when ing is added.
Step 3. Students collect words that fit the pattern
Students practice finding other words in their word lists and in general reading that fit the pattern, such as:
chase -- chasing close -- closing skate -- skating
Step 4. Students generalize the pattern.
A written or oral statement of the rule is formulated. For example, the rule on dropping the e before adding ing could be stated: “If a base word contains a long vowel sound and ends in a silent e, you drop the e before adding ing.”
Botel adds that it is important to the Discovery Technique to also teach students that rules can have many exceptions. As students begin to apply rules, he points out, they will find words that do not “behave” according to principles. Therefore, teach rules by pointing out that:
“A rule tells us what sound to try first. If the word makes sense in the sentence, it is probably right. If not, try another sound. The final test is always the meaning of the word in context” (Botel, 1964, p. 49).
She is my niece. Mother baked bread for us.
Assume that the underlined words in each of these sentences are unfamiliar at sight to the student. If the child has learned the rule that when two vowels appear together the first is generally long and the second silent, the first attempts to decode the word will be to use a long i sound in niece and the long e sound in bread. In each case, however, if reading is meaning-driven, the student will reject these choices and keep trying to find a context-appropriate alternative.
Glass’ No Rules (Associative Learning) Phonics Paradigm
Gerald G. Glass (1973) developed a simple method for teaching the decoding aspects of reading. This method also a form of analogic phonics, is compatible with strategies used by successful decoders (Glass & Burton, 1973).
In Glass’ Analysis, the act of decoding is isolated from comprehension and word meaning in order to maximize the student’s attention and focus on the target word and word elements. Two verbal “scripts” are used to question students, and encourage word analysis. One script is to ask what sound a given letter or letter cluster makes; the other script is to ask what letter or letter cluster makes a given sound.
Glass has identified 119 letter clusters by their frequency of occurrence in initial reading material, and therefore their utility in helping children to decode more rapidly. These letter clusters (see sample listed in Figure 1), can be used to develop word lists for such explicit instruction. However, most any set of letter clusters, rimes or phonograms will work just as well. Remember, the goal of instruction is draw attention to word parts and to encourage self-teaching, not to teach every conceivable combination of letters.
The Glass Analysis Paradigm method emphasizes the following basic ideas:
• students should look at the target word throughout the lesson
• avoid undue attention to word meaning during the initial emphasis on sound decoding and word recognition
• practice frequently for brief periods at a brisk pace allow choral responding, but occasionally point to one, tow or three students for response
• avoid distracting discussion of phonic rules such as dropping the final “e” before adding a suffix
• avoid breaking up units that logically belong together (e.g., th, wr, ing, st)
• reinforce correct responses, and do not punish incorrect ones. If a student cannot answer a question, merely state the correct response hardly breaking cadence and return to it again before leaving that word.
Steps in Glass Paradigm
Step 1 Check to make sure the student knows the alphabet and most of the letter sounds.
Step 2 Pick a set of word cards that teach a particular letter cluster.
example: the letter cluster “eck”
Step 3 Seat the student beside you, and show the first word card. Ask if the student can pronounce it; if not, pronounce it and have the student repeat it.
example: What is the word? [pecking]
Step 4 Starting with the letter cluster of the packet, focus on as many letters and letter clusters as is reasonable, asking what letters make a given sound.
example: What letters make the eck sound?
What letters make the ing sound?
What letters make the p sound?
For words that contain only the teaching cluster plus an initial letter (e.g., cat), treat the initial letter as you would a cluster so that the student has been exposed to all letter sounds in the word.
Step 5 Focus on sounds next, asking what sound is made by a given letter cluster or letter.
example: What sound does the letter p make?
What sound do the letters p-e-c-k make?
What sound do the letters e-c-k make?
What sound do the letters i-n-g make?
Letter Clusters (by Frequency Level)
First Highest Second Highest Third Highest Fourth Highest Fifth Highest
1.at 1.ed 1.al 1.fowl 1.er
2.ing 2.ig 2.aw 2.us 2.air
3.et 3.ip 3.el 3. il (l) 3.al
4.it 4.ud 4.eck 4.ite 4.ied
5.ot 5.id 5.ice 5.es(s) 5.ew
6.im 6.en 6.ick 6.om 6.ire
7.op 7.ug 7.if(f) 7.oke 7.ear
What to do with Volunteers, Paraprofessionals (Decoding Stations)?
The ease and rapid pace of Glass Analysis seems to offer two special advantages for combating functional illiteracy at any level. The first is that paraprofessionals and volunteer workers can be easily trained to use the method with children or adults. The second is that schools can set up “decoding stations” (just two desks facing one another in a quiet place) where students with word analysis and recognition problems can be scheduled to make stops for 5 to 15 minute training sessions as often as several times a day until they become proficient. This simple arrangement could single handily end “functional illiteracy” in that it quite literally leaves no child behind.
Now consider a more meaning-based approach to teaching the decoding aspects of reading that folds in this essentially “associative learning” approach. This next paradigm relies on a highly professional form of mental modeling, also sometimes known as cognitive apprenticeship.
Manzo’z Incidental-Instructional Conversation Paradigm for Phonetic Instruction
There is a meaning centered approach to teaching phonetic analysis. It uses a comprehension based teaching strategy to teach phonics rather explicitly. It can be used as a vehicle for each of the previously described paradigms, and has some particular attributes of its own, not the least of which is that it is easily and rather naturally customized to individual needs as expressed in on-the-fly teaching-learning interactions. It also reaches out to the most essential of all goals of instruction, self-instruction.
This type of teaching is meant to become part of one’s sources code. That is, to become a self-guided strategy, more so than just an automatic response skill. The borrowed instructional paradigm for doing so, here, is the ReQuest procedure (Manzo, 1969; Manzo and Manzo, 1993). ReQuest, you will recall, was the first method designed to use mental modeling to teach reading comprehension - a mental process that many doubted could be taught because of its very high correlation with IQ measures. It did so, nonetheless through an inquiry approach that scaffolds a students’ efforts to achieve an initial, self-generated purpose for reading the remainder of a selection. The ReQuest paradigm is based on a simple game-like situation: Create a reciprocal interaction with students over the concepts to be learned, have them observe, and then overtly try to emulate a mental model of high competence as students and then teacher ask each other a series of questions about the first few sentences of a selection until a provisional purpose for reading the remainder is generated. Then, the students and teacher read to determine whether they had evolved an appropriate purpose setting question, and only next what the answer might be to that question. The expectation is that the words spoken and heard in this public conversation will become part of students’ internal, or covert, conversation within themselves, and hence, the internal guidance, or strategy, necessary for ongoing self-instruction. Once the teacher and student have established such a cognitive apprenticeship relationship, the teacher can easily shift from modeling comprehension processes to “think alouds” (Davey, 1983) that model the decoding processes. This shifting can be seamlessly achieved in regular classrooms as well as in tutorial settings.
One way to step down into this more basic word decoding function is simply to ask any of the questions from the preceding paradigms. Using either of the two convenient “scripts” of the Glass paradigm, for example, the teacher might ask on encountering and pronouncing the word ‘lakefront’ in a passage: “Which letters make the “ache” sound in lakefront?; Which letters the “fr” sound?; Which make the “ont” sound?” Once the student begins to emulate this decoding strategy, the second, inverse script can be introduced into the process: “What sound do the letters ‘a-k-e’ make in this word (pointing to it) ?; What sound do the letters ‘l-a-k-e’ make?; What about ‘f-r’?; ‘o-n-t’?” And, finally, what is, or how do you say, this word?”
In using this approach, the teacher typically will engage in a great deal of private speech - or, inner-speech that is audible: e.g., “Let’s see now where should this word first be divided? What are the regular sounds? Which are irregular? “ To gain the secret sharing effect of this mental modeling procedure, the teacher has only to mutter loud enough to be overheard engaging in this complex mental process. It is important that the teacher not try to be so smooth that one never considers asking about a cluster of letters that do not often go together very well. The reason is simple: the teacher is modeling problem-solving, and problem-solving is more like a maze than a highway. We watched a teacher engaged in this instructional conversation who looked up at the student, as if to let her in on her thinking, and said: e.g., “Should I ask what sound the letters “e-f” makes in this word(?). No, the ‘e’ clearly belongs to the l-a-k part of the word. Besides, you’d probably know that too easily, wouldn’t you?” Of course, the student probably wouldn’t have easily known this, but the teacher nonetheless re-taught the concepts of compound words and silent ‘e,’, in a ‘stage aside’ that further familiarized the student with both the decoding process, and the process of identifying and framing questions about this quaint, English language puzzle we glibly refer to as graphemic-phonemic correspondence (authors, 2004).
In Sum: Do What Comes Professionally And Embrace What has Been Done Traditionally
To summarize, teaching the decoding aspects of reading is as simple as what comes most naturally to professional teachers, but it also can be guided by highly honed, and time-tested instructional models. The four paradigms described can and should be used in some combined way. The precise proportions that seem most appropriate for a given school, class and individual ought to be guided by pre-assessment and seamless diagnostic-teaching.
Ultimately each of these, and other such essential, methods should result in a greater level of “automaticity” in word recognition, and an increasingly greater release of the mind from the tedium of deciphering of words, and therefore, with greater capacity to grapple with the potentially multiple meanings in words. This is why instruction in decoding also can be called a form of “comprehension instruction.” Good reading instruction not only adds a layer of skill, but it probably helps to grow cognitive capacity, or that sometimes presumed unchangeable, called IQ.
Author. (2003) Crisis or Cambrian Period? Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy
Authors (1993) Literacy Disorders: Holistic Diagnosis and Remediation. Wadsworth Publishing, Belmont: CA
Authors (2004) Reading Assessment for Diagnostic-Prescriptive Teaching. Wadsworth Publishing, Belmont: CA
Adams, M.J., Beginning to read: Thinking and Learning about Print. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Bliesmer, E.P. and B.H. Yarborough. (1965) A comparison of ten different beginning reading programs in first grade, Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 56, pp500-504.
Boder, E. (1970). Developmental dyslexia: A new diagnostic approach based on identification of three subtypes. Journal of School Health, 40, 289-290.
Botel, M. (1964). How to teach reading. Chicago: Follett.
Chall, J. S., (1967) Learning to read: The great debate. New York: Mc Graw-Hill
Cunningham, P.M., (1992) What kind of phonics instruction will we have? In C.K. Kinzer & D.J.Leu (Eds.), Literacy research, theory and Practice: Views from many perspectives. Chicago: National Reading Conference
Davey, B. (1983). Think aloud -- Modeling the cognitive processes of reading comprehension. Journal of Reading, 27, 44-47.
Finn, R. (1991). Different minds. Discover, 12(6), 52-58.
Gillingham, A., & Stillman, B. (1936) Remedial training for children with specific disabilities in reading, spelling and penmanship. New York: Sackett and Wilhelms.
Glass, G. (l973). Teaching decoding as separate from reading.
Garden City, NY: Adelphi University Press.
Glass, G. G., & Burton, E. H. (1973). How do they decode? Verbalization and observed behaviors of successful decoders. Education, 94, 58-64.
Gray, W.S. (1948). On their own in reading. Boston: Scott, Foresman & Co.
Manzo, A. V. (1969). The ReQuest procedure. Journal of Reading, 13, 123-126.
Orton, S.T., (1937). Reading, writing and speech problems in children. New York: Norton
Rayner,K., & Pollatseck, A. (1989) The psychology of reading. Englewood cliffs, NJ:Prentice Hall.
Snow , C. E., Burns, M.S., and Griffin, P. (Eds.) (1998) Preventing reading difficulties in young children. Washington, C.C., National Academy Press.
Sparks, p. and L.C. Fay. (1957) An evaluation of two methods of teaching reading, Elementary School Journal,vol.42, pp. 386-390.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2000) Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching children to read. (NIH Publication No. 00-4769). Washington, D.C.: Author
Yopp, H. K. (1992). Developing phonemic awareness in young children. The Reading Teacher, 45(9), 696-703.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Reciprocity - or give & take between teacher & students - is an often overlooked cornerstone of effective cognitive modeling, or apprenticeship teaching. Mental Modeling is being found to be grounded in the very anatomy of the brain. It is called Mirror Neurons in humans, it appears to allow a movement, gesture or articulated thought to be copied and replicated in the brain from a model. In this way it becomes a reflection that through extension becomes a new lesson. It has been said that Mirror Neurons not only allows a movement or recognition of a novel cognitive act to be copied from a model but the neurons face off at one another allowing an image to be more easily extrapolated to various stages and to infinity. Ironically, the Request Procedure (see example ahead) seems to have provided a proof of this principle about 40 years ahead of the discovery of Mirror Neurons (See blogg entry on Mirror neurons for more on this fascinating development). Generally, instructional reciprocity means providing opportunities for students to assertively, though non-aggressively "poke-back" and both model and influence the direction of a lesson, or dialogue. Importantly, it does not cause the teacher to relinquish responsibility or control over lesson objectives (Manzo & Manzo, 1990a). Reciprocity is a seamless form of diagnostic-teaching that permits teacher and student to home-in on a “zone of proximal development” (Vygotsky, 1978), or the region of greatest receptivity to instruction. Reciprocity also provides a subtle means for students to interject needed breaks, repetitions, and clarifications in instructional conversations . One of the side benefits is that teachers often learns nearly as much about teaching the students before her as do students about learning from each the teacher and each other. See the ReQuest Procedure below for a essential elements example of the use of reciprocity and cognitive modeling in strategy teaching for comprehension improvement.
ReQuest Procedure, in Brief
This procedure was designed to teach students how to set their own purpose for reading almost any selection through a self-directed inquiry, as opposed to the next best form of “frontloading,” whereby the teacher gives students a reason/purpose for which to read.
Steps in the ReQuest Procedure
Step 1 Both teacher and students read the title and first sentence only of the first paragraph of a selection, and look at any pictures or graphics that are part of the introduction.
Step 2 The teacher tells students to ask as many questions as they wish about the first sentence, the title and/or pictures or graphics. The teacher turns his or her copy of the selection face down, but students may continue to look at their copies. Students are told that they should ask the kinds of questions that they think a teacher might ask. (This permits students to ask “ego-protective” questions since they need not reveal whether they know the answers to the questions they ask.)
Step 3 When all student questions have been fully and politely answered, the teacher turns his or her book face up while students are instructed to turn theirs face down. The teacher then asks as many additional questions (about the title, first sentence, and illustrations) as seems appropriate to bring about a sense of focus and purpose for reading the selection. The last of these questions (over the first sentence, and then in subsequent question sets on following sentences) should simply be, “What do you suppose the remainder of this selection will be about?”
Step 4 The next sentences are handled in the same way, with the student again leading off the questioning, followed by teacher questioning, and concluding with the question, “What do you suppose the remainder of this selection will be about?”. The number of sentences covered should be based on teacher judgment: the ReQuest activity should conclude as soon as a plausible purpose for reading has been evolved, but should not last more than about ten minutes.
Step 5 At the conclusion of the ReQuest activity, the student is encouraged to continue reading the selection silently for the purpose that has been developed.
Step 6 Following silent reading, the teacher should first ask the evaluative question: “Did we read for the right purpose?” *
*This final question is asked before the actual question for which a purpose was set. The reasons for this are worth noting: First, it helps to overcome what has been called “confirmation bias” (Garrison & Hoskisson, 1989), or the tendency to conclude only what has been predicted. Second, it helps to keep the focus of instruction on the development of effective strategies for independent reading and learning more so than merely on comprehending a given selection. Third, it further develops the important metacognitive habit of monitoring one’s own comprehension and use of strategies while reading. Manzo, Manzo, Albee, (2004).
See more: Content Area Literacy: A Framework for Reading-Based Instruction (5th edition)
Wiley (2009)and: Reading/Learning Assessment for Diagnostic-Prescriptive Teaching, 2nd edition (w. U. Manzo and Julie Albee) Belmont: California, Thomson/Wadsworth Publishers (2004).
Brief writing following instruction has been known to take an instructional methodology of modest impact, such as KWL - Know, Want to know, Learned - and to convert it into a robust method with the simple addition of a PLUS requiring some form of post-reading processing, such as mapping or summary writing (Carr &Ogle, 1987). Accordingly, we have identified several forms of brief, annotative writing, called REAP (Manzo, Manzo, Albee, 2002). It is a simple classroom based form of teaching multiple means of responding to text, lecture and media experiences, that also is comfortable on the Internet. This multiple perspective form of teaching and responding offers the empirically supported potential for taking ordinary classroom writing to another level that implicitly teaches “complex thinking,” one of the primary objectives of a quality education.
REAP: Background and Backbone
REAP primarily is a cognitive enrichment approach that teaches students to think more precisely and deeply about what they read, by following the four-step strategy symbolized by its title:
READ to get the writer's basic message;
ENCODE the message into your own words while reading;
ANNOTATE your analysis of the message by writing responses from several perspectives, and;
PONDER what you have read and written – first by reviewing it yourself, then by sharing and discussing it with others, and finally by reading the responses of others.
At the heart of the approach is a set of annotation types that range roughly in hierarchical order from a simple summary of the author’s basic message to various perspectives for higher-order critical and creative analysis. The first few REAP annotation types require “reconstructive” thinking – understanding and perceiving the essence of the author’s meaning. The remaining ones require “constructive” thinking – going beyond the author’s intended meaning to form the personal schema connections, applications, and variations that permit the learner to transfer information and ideas from one context to another. This hierarchy aids assessment and gives guidance to students in reaching “up” to higher levels or “down” to more basic ones that may not yet have been mastered. Descriptions and examples of some of the basic annotation types are provided in Figure 1. Other types can be customized and created. For example, several teachers have had rewarding results using a “Humorous” annotation (also in Figure 1).See Figure: iREAP for
Examples of REAP Annotation Types
“Travelers and the Plane-Tree”
Two Travelers were walking along a bare and dusty road in the heat of a mid-summer’s day. Coming upon a large shade tree, they happily stopped to shelter themselves from the burning sun in the shade of its spreading branches. While they rested, looking up into the tree, one of them said to his companion, “What a useless tree this is! It makes no flowers and bears no fruit. Of what use is it to anyone?” The tree itself replied indignantly, “You ungrateful people! You take shelter under me from the scorching sun, and then, in the very act of enjoying the cool shade of my leaves, you abuse me and call me good for nothing!”
Summary: states the basic message in brief form
Travelers take shelter from the sun under a large tree. They criticize the tree for not making flowers or fruit. The tree speaks, and tells them that they are ungrateful people for taking shelter under her leaves and then criticizing her.
Telegram: briefly states the author's basic theme with all unnecessary words removed -- a crisp, telegram-like message
Travelers stop for rest and shade under big tree. Travelers say tree is useless. Tree tells them off.
Heuristic: restates an attention-getting portion of the selection that makes the reader want to respond
In this story, a tree (remove “that”) talks back to people. The tree says, "You ungrateful people! You come and take shelter under me...and then ...abuse me and call me good for nothing!”
Question: turns the main point into an organization question that the selection answers
What if the things we use could talk back?
Personal view: answers the question, "how do your views and feelings compare with what the author says?"
We use resources like coal without thinking. Then we criticize it for damaging our lungs and dirtying our air.
I guess kids sometimes use their parents the way the travelers used the tree, and then criticize them without thinking about their feelings.
Humorous: can vary from bringing a slight smile, usually by flirting with a naughty suggestion, to using jest to bring enlightenment.
I can just see that poor tree thinking “I hope they’re about to stop here to seek shelter and not relief.”
Critical: begins by stating the author's main point, then states whether the reader agrees, disagrees, or agrees in part with the author, and then briefly explains why
Not every word spoken in criticism is meant that way. The travelers were just grumpy from the trip. The tree is too sensitive.
Contrary: states a logical alternative position, even though it may not be the one the student supports
The travelers could be right, a better tree could produce something and also give shade.
Intention: states and briefly explains what the reader thinks was the author's intention, plan, and purpose for writing the selection
The author wants us to be more sensitive to the people and things we depend on -- especially those we see and use often.
Motivation: states what may have caused the author to have written the selection -- the author's personal agenda
It sounds like the author may have felt used, after having a bad experience with friends or family.
Discovery: states one or more practical questions that need to be answered before the selection can be judged for accuracy or worth
I wonder how many of us know when we are being "users." We could take an anonymous poll to see how many class members secretly feel that they have been used and how many see themselves as users.
Creative: suggests different and perhaps better solutions or views and/or connections and applications to prior learning and experiences
_ This fable made me think that teachers are sometimes used unfairly. They give us so much, and then we put them down if they make a little mistakes. They’re only human.
_ We should put this fable on the bulletin board where it will remind us not to be ungrateful “users.”
_ [How would you re-title this fable if you were writing it?] I’d call it “Travelers in the Dark,” to show that we go through life without knowing how many small “gifts” come to us along our way .
In: Instructional Ingredients: Educational Chefs Share Tricks of the Trade
Anthony Manzo & Ula Manzo
California State University-Fullerton
Avmanzo@aol.com & Umanzo@fullerton.edu
Thinking Classrooms (Russian Languag(Journal of the International Reading Association),5,3(July, 2004) pp34-40
And:Content Area Literacy: A Framework for Reading-Based Instruction (5th edition) Wiley (2009)
A translation question typically requires that a student be able to re-represent something presented in one symbolic form in another, or alternate form. This might be a charge to re-state in one’s own words what another student has said, or something written found in text. Translation involves taking one’s ideas, which themselves may be incomplete, and beginning the public process of converting them to a clear communicable form. It could be a charge to convert a picture into descriptive words, or the inverse. Translation of inchoate notions into apprehendible words is one of the most challenging aspects of effective writing. At a “clinical” level, a translation question is a form of diagnostic-teaching and instructional conversation that seamlessly causes a rotation of those who are speaking to the many others who tend to lapse into passivity. Judging by its inherent value it could be easier to grasp, than apparently it is to execute.
There are several studies that have incidentally provided some insight into the typical level of usage by teachers of translation questions. Guszak (1967) found teachers using them less than 9% of the time in a conventional classroom setting. Manzo (1969) found a dramatic difference in utilization in a remedial/clinical setting where those using the Directed Reading Activity (Betts, 1957) – about 1% translation questions, or the ReQuest Procedure- about 9% translation questions (Manzo, 1969a). So, it seems that the teaching approach being used makes a difference in inclination to utilize this question type. One of the goals of the present re-awaking process is to detail more and better ways to promote the fruitful raising of translation questions, by teachers, and ideally, by students of the teacher and of one another.
Adding the Translation Ingredient
There are any number of ways to foster translation questioning. For example, the tutor might say, “Can you tell me in your own words what this phrase, or these words, mean in this sentence ?” (Pointing to, or even reading aloud, the words “Ellen left one of her lives behind…”). Or, “What do you suppose that picture says/illustrates?” Or, if ReQuest is being conducted in a group situation, the classroom teacher might say: “Who can say Trish’s remark to ‘lives behind’ in another way?”
A second way to build the translation question gambit into oral language interactions is to make a personal commitment to ask essentially the same question as previously stated – (“say what someone else has said in other words”)- at least twice in every period of classroom discussion and comprehension checking. This should have the effect of creating a comfortable repetition of a key point or bit of information without taking on the character of drill, and while encouraging greater attention to the discussion; if students begin to anticipate that they might be asked to translate, they are more likely to shift into a more active and possibly interactive mode. Students tend, as do we all when listening, to function in a quasi-passive mode, expecting the speaker to repeat, underscore and even tell us when something is sufficiently important that we should write it down.
Establishing even a leitmotif of translation questions as part of one’s repertoire also provides a rather seamless way to support students with enrich limited language proficiency, as well as those with other language related and/or attention deficit problems. Importantly, this same essential pattern of questioning can be conducted at a pre-reading stage with pictures, where children are asked to simply tell what they see –translate the picture into words – and, along the way to have them re-translate what was said by a prior student as a means of having them listen carefully and learn acceptable (peer) language and poise from one another.
Another natural way to encourage self and students to engage the translation question more fully is to analyze proverbs and idioms, which naturally tend to say one thing at a simple, or literal level and another at a more abstract level (Manzo, 1981). Having a new proverb on the board each week in class or on a class website, with almost no other attention to it until Friday, has proven to be remarkably effective in promoting experience rich discussion, and abstract verbal reasoning (Manzo & Manzo, 1987).
When translation questions are asked, the positive impact on relevance and attention during aural-oral exchanges in a classroom increase palpably. It is difficult to imagine anything that could be done, at any price, that could have as powerful an effect on day-to-day teaching and learning as increasing the proportion of translation questions.
The ingredients described above resemble the Universal Strategies in Content Area Reading that we first articulated sometime ago, and have refined more recently (Manzo, 1985 ; Manzo, Manzo & Thomas, in press). It also was with these ingredients in mind that we developed the Informal Reading-Thinking Inventory (Manzo, Manzo and McKenna, 1995). Built on a familiar frame, this Informal Reading Inventory is designed to simultaneously assess reading of, between, and beyond the lines, as well as several other crucial aspects of cognitive development.
IN: Instructional Ingredients: Educational Chefs Share Tricks of the Trade
Anthony Manzo & Ula Manzo
California State University-Fullerton
Avmanzo@aol.com & Umanzo@fullerton.edu
Thinking Classrooms (Russian Languag(Journal of the International Reading Association),5,3(July, 2004) pp34-40
And: Manzo, A., Manzo, U. & Albee, J ( 2004). Reading Assessment for Diagnostic-Prescriptive Teaching (2nd) Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing
In a study of kindergartners’ ‘manifest curiosity,’ or inquiry modes expressed in questioning behavior, we came across one student who seemed to be totally devoid of all curiosity (Manzo & Legenza, 1975). The child was very attractive and attentive, yet seemed to be intent on standing idly by in neutral. In desperation, the second investigators said to the child, “Here is a question that you could ask, repeat it after me. ... Now ask me that question.” Legenza then proceeded to answer the question fully and thoughtfully as if the child had thought of it herself. After just a few such parroted questions, the child began to initiate her own twists on the strategic questions Legenza had modeled, and thereafter to ask many of her own. The child had been transformed, at least in this situation, from an inert learner to one engaged in what we were calling ‘epistemological inquiry’ - or, expressive knowledge seeking.
Annemaria Palincsar, Ann Brown, and Suzanne Martin (1987) report equally remarkable success in Reciprocal Teaching episodes. They couldn’t seem to impart the idea of a student leading a discussion until they had one student “mimic” the teacher’s discussion-leading statements. Thereafter, the discussion began to flow rather naturally.
These reports also seem to lend further credibility to Facilitative Pretending. There is a larger strategy for promoting classroom participation in this same way called Note Cue (Manzo & Manzo, 1990). In Note Cue students are given cards that essentially tell them precisely what to ask, answer and comment on in a discussion following reading. The Note Cue Cards then are faded to prompts on what they might say, and then eliminated entirely for increasing numbers of children, until students essentially are tutored in the complex art of learning through discussion.
In: Instructional Ingredients: Educational Chefs Share Tricks of the Trade
Anthony Manzo & Ula Manzo
California State University-Fullerton
Avmanzo@aol.com & Umanzo@fullerton.edu
Thinking Classrooms (Russian Language)Journal of the International Reading Association ,5,3(July, 2004) pp34-40
And: • Reading/Learning Assessment for Diagnostic-Prescriptive Teaching, 2nd edition (w. U. Manzo and Julie Albee) Belmont: California, Thomson/Wadsworth Publishers (2004).
While children’s play has been a focus of study for generations, it is only recently, that it again is coming into consideration as a means of promoting literacy and academic learning (Korat, Bahar, Snapir, 2002). However easy and inviting play is as a means of teaching without appearing to teach, it is not easily done. It requires considerable thought and planning on the part of the teacher.
Facilitative Role Play (FRP), or more simply Facilitative Pretending, is based on such an appearance of being a simple idea. The goal is to get students acting-out competent, socially poised, expert readers, writers and thinkers, because then they will more carefully watch and think about what the “experts” do, and better coach themselves. This heightened level of concern coupled with motivated self-teaching seems to raise students’ levels of performance and learning almost immediately. Facilitative Pretending is child to a rich parental history of play therapy, as originally outlined by Virginia Axeline in 1946, and psychodrama therapy, as discussed by J.L. Moreno in 1947. This technique survives today in a more muted form in several reading/language arts methods and practices. These include:
1. Peer teaching, as when a relatively poor reading 5th grader is asked to teach a Kindergartner or first grader to read, and in the process considerably improves his own reading.
2. In the Reciprocal Questioning (ReQuest) procedure (Manzo,1969a, b) where a student is urged to ask questions the way a teacher might, and does so with great alacrity as a result of paying closer attention to how teachers ask questions, and therefore to the material from which the questions are drawn.
3. In Radio Reading where children asked to practice by repeated readings of a section of text with a partner and/or at home until they feel comfortable enough to stand behind the class and read it as if they were a radio announcer.
4. With InQuest (Schmitt, 1988 ) where students play the role of reporters and must question their way to successful understanding of a story or non-fiction piece.
5. With SocioDramatic play (Korat, Bahar, Snapir, 2002) where teachers and adult voices step into the middle of child created plays to direct attention to literacy artifacts.
6. And, in invented spellings and pretend reading, two basic routines of Emergent Literacy that encourage self-teaching, the sine qua non of all instruction.
The essential power of such “role playing” methods seems to be in converting what students do most naturally into enactment of more competent models than they feel themselves capable of outside of the dramatization. This, it has been noted, seems to be instrumental in having children internalize the external coaching of teachers and models of more competent peers (Manzo, 1969b; Manzo and Manzo, 2002; Vygotsky 1978). Facilitative Pretending tends, further, to add an element of practice to tasks that students otherwise try to do without rehearsal, hence adding the simple power of “practice effects.” Consider the potential in a 400 year old European tradition of requiring brief writing, combined with a broadly defined form of Facilitative Pretending that requires thinking from multiple perspectives.
See: Strategic Parroting and Translation Question Magic on other posts.
In: Instructional Ingredients: Educational Chefs Share Tricks of the Trade
Anthony Manzo & Ula Manzo
California State University-Fullerton
Avmanzo@aol.com & Umanzo@fullerton.edu
Thinking Classrooms (Russian Language Journal of the International Reading Association),5,3(July, 2004) pp34-40
Listen-Read-Discuss Heuristic: A Self-Initializing Instructional Method
For Teachers and Students
(In: Manzo, Manzo and Thomas, 2005, Content Area Literacy: Strategic Teaching for Strategic Learning, Wiley Publishers; and 2009, 5th Edition)
The Listen-Read-Discuss (L-R-D) method was created as a “starter” method for bridging from traditional instruction to a more interactive approach. Traditional reading-based instruction typically begins by having students read the assignment, listen to a brief lecture or overview by the teacher, and then discuss their responses to questions. The L-R-D simply inverts the first two steps.
Effective learning, including learning how to be an effective teacher, needs something to get it started, something to keep it going, and something to keep it from becoming random or misguided (Bruner, 1971). The L-R-D method (Manzo & Casale, 1985) tends to meet these requirements for both teachers and students. It is a simple lesson design that can be tried almost immediately and that offers several variations that can be phased in as a personal program of professional development. The L-R-D is a heuristic, or hands-on, activity designed to induce self-discovery about effective teaching by teachers and about effective learning by students.
Steps in the L-R-D
1. Review the reading selection, and prepare a brief, organized overview that points out the basic structure of the material, relevant background information, important information to look for, and generates interest in the topic..
2. Present the summary orally to students. (See Figure 1.1.)
3. Have students read the textbook version of the same material. Students will then be empowered to read material with which they have some familiarity.
4. Discuss the material students have heard and read. Begin the discussion with the information and ideas students were directed to look for.
Example of an L-R-D Prereading Script
The sample prereading script below is based on the article “Dance and Sport: the Elusive Connection,” which follows in this Figure.
Did you know that football coaches sometimes have their players take ballet lessons? Can you see Frank over there in a tutu? (Frank is one of the school’s star football players.) Well, this article tells about where this idea came from, and why it seems to work. Look for seven things dancers learn, and think about why these would be useful for football players. Write these down when you come to them -- there’re listed in one of the first paragraphs. Then the author tells how some sports are more like dance than others. and sport are different. In dance, it is the mastery over one’s movement that is important. In sport, it is the result of mastery over one’s movement that is important. Look for the difference between “open skill” sports and “closed skill” sport, and how one type is more like dance than the other. The title of the article is “Dance and Sport: The Elusive Connection.” Elusive means something that seems to keep slipping away. Read to see why the connection between dance and sport might keep slipping away.
Dance and Sport – The Elusive Connection
Techniques and principles effectively used in teaching dance can be applied to teaching sport
JOPERD May/June (?)
What are the functional connections between dance and sport and the benefits that are derived from participation in both pursuits? This article presents ideas which are applied to both dance and sport in order to enhance performance and reduce injury.
Many well-known people have recognized a connection between dance and sport skills. It may have been this kinship that convinced Knute Rockne, famed football coach at Notre Dame, to require his players to enroll in dance classes. Maybe it was the similarity between dance and sport that caused Woody Hayes, former Ohio state head coach, to expect his players to take dance as part of their practice procedures (Lance, 1981). Lynn Swan, three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver while playing with the four-time World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, studied dance for 14 years and attributed his graceful athletic abilities to dance.
It is possible that each of these individuals witnessed movement competencies shared by dance and sports. Some of these shared abilities include centering, balance, focus, breathing, transfer of weight, relaxation and the ability to use space, time, and energy with mastery. Such abilities are taught specifically in dance classes, while in athletics they are only alluded to as a part of skill instruction.
The basic difference between dance and sport is that sport takes place within the conditions of a game, while dance is performed in other contexts. A game is a contest in which opposing interests are given specific information and are then allowed a choice of moves with the object of maximizing wins and minimizing losses. A game entails dominance over an opponent and the acquisition of some mutually coveted symbol. The athlete, by improving his or her movement abilities, will then improve sport skills.
Dancers, on the other hand, are process-oriented rather than product-oriented. The goal in dance is the improvement of movement quality.
Similarities between dance and sport outweigh their differences. Paqr4ticipants in both areas train to go faster and farther, while moving with increased control. The dancer and the sport participant both work to expand their movement vocabulary so they can use a particular action when the situation demands. Biomechanical analysis has been used for many years by physical educators to help their students learn. In recent years, dancers have also begun to use biomechanics to analyze movement with the goals of sharpening perception of movement, decreasing learning time, and enhancing performance (Laws, 1984). Dance and sport and similar in another respect. While some would say a dance was choreographed but a sport contest was not planned, further examination indicates that all the X’s and O’s used in game strategy simply represent another form of choreography.
Some sport activities are more similar to dance training than others. The concept of open and closed skills helps explain this point. In a closed skill, one strives to master an effective and efficient motor program with the goal of being able to duplicate this program with each repetition. Environmental conditions remain relatively constant, and the performer attempts to be consistent in the execution of the skill. Sports such as the shot put, diving, and gymnastics are closed skills. Open skills exist in a changing environment, and the selection of appropriate movement responses is as variable as the environment itself. Baseball, football, soccer, and basketball are open skill activities (Sage, 1977). Both open and closed skill athletes can benefit from dance training. The abilities which are taught in dance classes used by both kinds of athletes are different, but are not less applicable to their sports’ requirements.
The principle of relaxation can be used as an example. Dancers frequently talk about using the right amount of tension in one part of the body while allowing other body areas to remain relaxed. The main idea is to use energy efficiently and only where needed to perform a movement. Efficient movement is characterized by using the appropriate muscle groups in proper sequence. The use of the wrong muscle group at the wrong time can be deleterious to the skill and possibly to the performer. Another common word heard in dance class is “centering.” Centering is finding the body’s center of weight and manipulating it effectively in relation to gravity. It also brings the mind and body together to produce better concentration. Achieving a heightened perception of and facility with space, time, and energy is another principle used in teaching dance. Dancers are asked to look at the direction or level of a movement, its speed in relation to an underlying pulse, or the quality of energy used to propel actions through space. Such movement descriptions are provided in dance classes to help students see movement more clearly and to enhance understanding of the expressive aspects of each action (Minton, 1984).
The point is that these principles are used in teaching dance, but generally not in teaching sport. In dance, these ideas are singled out in the classroom and used as learning tools. The examples given here are several of the techniques used in teaching dance that could be applied profitably to the teaching of sport.
Lance, J. (1981). Practicing for touchdowns. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 5, 38.
Laws, K. (1984). The physics of dance. New York: Macmillan, Inc.
Minton, S.C. (1984). Modern dance: Body and mind. Englewood, CO: Morton.
Sage, G.H. (1977). Introduction to motor behavior: A neurophychological approach. (2nd edition). Reading, MA: Addison-Wessley.
Sandra Minton is coordinator of the Dance Program at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639. Bradford E. Beckwith is a doctoral candidate, psychological kinesiology, at the same school
Other Values and Benefits of Listen-Read-Discuss
Use of the L-R-D tends to benefit teachers, students, and the school program in ways that are not always immediately apparent. One such value emerges almost immediately in the lesson-planning stage. When teachers select textual material for use in an L-R-D lesson, they find themselves looking at the textbook more carefully and from more points of view than they might otherwise. They begin, quite naturally, to sense where students’ comprehension is likely to falter and to better align the phrasing, facts, and organization of the lecture material they are preparing with the textbook material that students will read. With better alignment and organization, teachers automatically begin to heed a basic dictum of effective reading instruction: to stimulate active reading by preteaching key terms, pivotal questions, and new concepts before reading. Better organization and alignment also are likely to raise teachers’ levels of tolerance for reasonable digressions in the form of comments about how the new information relates to real-life events and experiences. In so doing, teachers help students to better recall and develop relevant background information and appropriate anticipation, both of which have been shown to be natural to proficient readers and of great value in effective comprehension (Crafton, 1983; Harste, 1978; Stevens, 1982).
Careful preparation of L-R-D lessons actually raises students’ ability to read a particular piece beyond their typical reading and thinking levels. This can be a positive and enabling experience for students and teachers. It tends to become a new benchmark for students to strive for in learning from text and for teachers to strive for in helping students to learn from text.
Following the lecture and empowered reading, the lesson design calls for discussion, providing a third repetition and elaboration of the material. This built-in redundancy factor is a most basic—and often overlooked—practice of effective teachers and principle of effective learning.
Finally, a teacher who follows the L-R-D guidelines will have begun to restructure class time and expectations from the typical 90% lecture format to one containing greatly increased proportions of purposeful reading and informed discussion. This achieves yet another important practice of effective teachers and precept of effective learning: increased time on task. Some have argued that the simple lack of attention to reading in typical content classes accounts for a great part of the current higher-literacy crisis in the schools. This conclusion seems justified by the fact that several observational studies of subject teaching at the postelementary levels reveal that virtually no purposeful reading goes on during class time (Feathers & Smith, 1987; Greenewald & Wolf, 1980; Mikulecky, 1982; Ratekin, Simpson, Alvermann, & Dishner, 1985).
Overall, the greatest value of the L-R-D seems to be its ability to provide a simple, hands-on way to introduce and initiate oneself to the principles and practices of content area literacy. The reapportioning of class time offers teachers with defensive teaching styles—who overuse either lecture or seatwork—an opportunity to experiment with reasonable alternatives (Manzo & Manzo, 1996). This tends to leave teachers with more energy and a greater willingness to try more sophisticated teaching methods and potentially benefit more fully from in-service workshops, consultations, and graduate coursework (Watkins, McKenna, Manzo, & Manzo, 1995).
A Self-Instructional Ladder
To help teachers’ self-discovery, that is, to ease their way into the actual use of more sophisticated, interactive teaching methods, and to provide rich alternatives for different learning styles, we have developed a self-instructional ladder for trying variations and elaborations on the basic L-R-D procedure (see Figures 1.2 and 1.3). You can use L-R-D variations and elaborations to develop your sophistication as an interactive teacher and to explore possible diverse student learning style needs. Try ascending this ladder as your own readiness and students’ needs suggest. It’s a good idea to keep notes of your thoughts and questions as you try different variations. Your notes and thoughts will be useful in discussions with your instructor and coursemates and in processing your own teaching experiences.
Ladder of variations and elaborations on Listen-Read-Discuss.
• Have students reread the information covered in the L-R-D format rapidly to increase their speed of reading and thought processing. Reading speed tends to rise as a result of increases in prior knowledge, although it can also be easily improved simply by systematic attention and practice.
• Inform the class that you will lecture, intentionally omitting a few important details that they will need to read their texts to discover. This gives practice in recognizing what is not yet known and experience in careful reading and knowledge seeking.
• Inform the class that your lecture will cover all the details of a lesson but that they will need to read to discover what questions these details answer. This is one way to teach students to actively seek an understanding of the concept base, or central question, around which an area of study is focused.
• Inform the class that a quiz will follow the L-R-D sequence. Allow a short study period. This is recommended to activate a high level of focused attention, give practice in test taking, and set the stage for questions and discussion about how to study effectively.
• Invert the core process occasionally by having the class R-L-D, or read (for about 15 minutes), then listen, and finally discuss. This variation tends to focus and improve listening attention and the ability to learn from an effective lecture. This effect can be further heightened when joined with the other listening training and note-taking techniques covered ahead.
• Watch a videotape, educational film, or multimedia presentation on a text topic before reading about it in the text. Such visual representations are compatible with the habits of contemporary youngsters and can help build new bridges to print. (See Figure 1.3.)
• Ask students which portions of the text struck them as inconsiderate, that is, poorly written, poorly organized, or presuming too much prior knowledge. This activity can help students learn when to ask for help with textual and class material. It also helps the teacher become more aware of student learning needs. Analysis of the writing in texts is also a good way to informally teach some of the basics of effective writing.
• Provide the class with a definitive purpose for reading and discussing that will require critical and/or creative expression or application. State that purpose clearly on the chalkboard for easy reference, for example, “As you read this section on the steam engine, try to determine why it was bound to be replaced by the gasoline engine.” This will serve as a reminder to read actively and with reference to real-life problem solving.
• Hold postreading discussions on teaching and learning strategies. Make the discussion positive by asking students what they or you may have done that resulted in solid learning. Such discussion gives credit to student intuition, develops reciprocity, and furthers metacognitive processing, or thinking about thinking.
• Create research teams, and provide time for students to delve into a topic in greater depth. One group could simply see what other textbooks say on the topic. Another could check with other authoritative references—persons, books, and the InterNet. Another could write a best estimate of which real-life problems the information learned might help solve or answer. Still another group, where appropriate, could try to identify and discuss theme-related stories, poetry, music, or art. Activities such as these provide links between text topics and nonprint resources and among school learning, artistic expression, multicultural perspectives, and the rest of the real world.
Example of L-R-D elaboration 6:
Viewing a videotape or film before reading in a world geography class.
Purposes for Viewing
Teacher: Today we are going to continue our study of Kenya by focusing on the Maisi tribe of Southern Kenya. First, we will watch a 20-minute National Geographic tape on this most unusual tribe of people. Listen carefully as you watch for two things, which you will then read about: the diet of the Maisi and the names of three other tribes of the north whom few people know of but who figure in Kenyan life in a big way.
Brief Review Following Viewing
Teacher: OK, what were the two points we listened for?
Student: The Maisi basically live off their cattle, eating meat and drinking their blood and raw milk.
Student: Well, there were three other tribes mentioned, but I can’t remember any of them.
Teacher: OK, read pages 66 to 71 in your text now to learn more about the Maisi diet, and let’s get the names of those tribes. If you happen to finish reading early, there are a few copies of a recent magazine report on cholesterol here on my desk that might help answer the question “Why aren’t the Maisi dying of clogged arteries and heart failure from their high-fat diet?”
Teacher: What did you understand best from what you watched and read about?
Student: The names of the three other tribes.
Teacher: Say and spell them, and I’ll write them on the board.
Student: Samburu, Turkana, and Hamitic.
Teacher: What did you understand least from what you watched and read about? [When students have understood what they have viewed and read, they will take this question to mean pretty much the same thing as the next one: What questions or thoughts did this lesson raise in your mind?]
Student: I pretty much understood what was said, but I don’t understand why the Maisi don’t raise things the way the other tribes do.
Teacher: The land they live on is not arable. There is poor topsoil and little water. But that really doesn’t explain why they don’t move to where there is arable land.
Student: I was wondering about their high-fat diet, so I read fast to get to the article you talked about. It seems that there are at least two reasons why they don’t have high blood cholesterol. The raw milk has enzymes that break down fat in the blood. Also, they lead very active lives. They burn off the fat as fast as they put it on.
Teacher: If raw milk is so good for you, why do we homogenize and pasteurize ours, I wonder? Why don’t you ask Mrs. Shell in science today if she can help us out with this.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Manzo, Anthony V.
Clearing House; May/Jun98, Vol. 71 Issue 5, p287, 4p
It is ironic that the act of passing on prior inventions and discoveries, or acquired knowledge, seems to diminish the inclination to think creatively. Clearly, the mind is empowered by acquiring the experiences and knowledge accumulated by our predecessors; however, it also can be powerfully constrained by the way in which knowledge is transmitted. In point of fact, there appears to be a host of subtle but pervasive factors woven through the fabric of traditional schooling that tend actually to discourage the type of critical analysis--the thoughtful articulation and decomposition of a problem--that leads to constructive thinking. I take constructive thinking to be the composition and assembly of possible solutions, including some that may need to be invented. Constructive thinking, then, includes both "critical" and "creative" intellectual processes.
Factors That Discourage Constructive Thinking
Think, if you will, of these realities of traditional schooling:
The problems that are most in need of creative solutions often are socially "off limits," and hence difficult even to define and articulate. (President Clinton's call for a national dialogue on race and racism, for example, has become a national nonevent.)
Schools are set up to transmit existing knowledge; this goal tends to conflict with any real attempt to generate new knowledge.
Students, by definition, are quasi-ignorant, and hence, it doesn't seem logical to invite them to think critically, let alone creatively, about what they don't yet fully know about or presumably understand.
As teachers, we have not been educated in a climate conducive to creative thinking ourselves, and so we are understandably unsure of how to encourage or even to allow it.
Most current academic tests reward convergent, or "within the box," thinking, often to the exclusion of divergent, or "outside the box," thinking.
The addition of constructive thinking to the equation defining academic success changes the system of ranking students (Ratanakarn 1992) and, hence, the current academic power structure.
Key Ingredient to Promoting the Constructive Process
It is possible, however, to raise expectations and teach for creative outcomes. The key that most often opens the door to constructive thinking simply is to reach up and ask for it. This simple suggestion may not seem to be a very satisfying solution, but it is a reasonable place to start. A cursory look at schooling, most anywhere on the globe, reveals that there is hardly lip service paid to this constructive, or knowledge building, process. The closest that even the professional literature in education comes to valuing this process is to praise the importance of some related higher-order mental processes such as "transfer of training" (application), critical thinking, or the evaluation of the ideas of others. Even discovery learning approaches, so popular for a while, have tended to fade in importance, perhaps because there was no constructive thinking context to support them. It is very rare to find a school curriculum guide or a professional organization's accreditation standards or a blue-ribbon commission's call for educational reform that makes constructive thinking--especially creativity--a major objective, let alone something to be practiced, with commensurate methodologies and assessment protocols. That is especially unfortunate because there is considerable reason to believe that the simple gesture of establishing creative thinking as a target can bring quick and impressive results, even from the self-declared "uncreative."
Here now are some largely nonintegrative, though sound, suggestions for promoting creative thinking. Note how easily many of these suggestions could be integrated into the curriculum if there were a collective will to do so.
Creative Thinking Activities
These stand-alone activities can establish a climate and a schema for creative thinking in most classrooms. Initially, they might be done on a fixed basis, say for the first twenty minutes of class on "Thinking Thursdays." It is especially useful to explain to youngsters why such activities are being undertaken. To do so tends to ignite pupil interest in and contributions to the overall process as well as to the given activity. (For a regular bulletin with creative thinking activities, subscribe to The Tin Man Times, Box 219, Stanwood, Washington 98292.)
Word creation. Language is constantly changing. To help students to be participants in our living language, provide occasional exercises such as the following:
Define the made-up word squallizmotex; explain how your definition fits the word.
If dried grapes are called raisins, and dried beef is called jerky, what would you call these items if they were dried: lemons, pineapple, watermelon, chicken? (Provided by a favorite teacher, Maria Manzo Wiesner.)
Unusual uses. Have students try to think of as many unusual uses as they can for common objects. Objects may vary from a "red brick" to "used toys." Ask students to identify objects that challenge inventive thinking. Objects that students have suggested or brought to class have included old tennis balls, handballs, and racquetballs; soda water bottles; and old eight-track cassette tapes.
This activity could be easily tied to units on recycling and current events. Newspapers and magazines often carry stories of the clever ways in which some things are being recycled. One such article told the fascinating story of how the tons of rubber from old tires was being used in a mix to make the very asphalt roadbeds that ate them up in the first place. Another, more recent story noted that this solution had created another problem. It appears that as the rubberized roadbeds deteriorate from use, they put more floating rubber molecules into the air, which is already overloaded with such molecules from normal tire wear.
The "what ifs"--or, Circumstances and consequences. "What if" statements build what could be called extant comprehension, or abstracted understandings of the physical world and the social order. This activity and several that follow essentially tap into a key cognitive factor on the widely used Weschler IQ tests. Insights and understanding are gained merely by asking, What if
school was on weekends and not during the week?
people were allowed to tell one lie a day?
all babies looked alike at birth?
there was no perception of color?
This type of activity can be made more academically sophisticated and integrative by upping the caliber of the "what ifs" to situations such as the following:
What if we all had identical genetic make-up?
What if everyone would vote on every issue that now is decided by representatives to Congress?
Rational problem solving. These are questions and problems to which youngsters often can deduce positions, though not necessarily answers, using current levels of knowledge and experience. Similar questions can be raised to urge further study and exploration via Internet chat groups and specialized Web sites. Examples of starter problems or questions that can be considered by rational thinking and exploration are as follows:
Is it possible for someone to fly the way Superman does?
Why do scientists say that it probably isn't possible to go faster than the speed of light?
Why is it unlikely that there are aliens on Earth right now?
Currently, Matt Thomas, a research assistant, and I are experimenting with a related teaching technique based on the use of an algebraic metaphor. The method encourages multifactor, and hence interdisciplinary, thinking on targeted concepts and issues. It is proving to be very evocative from middle to graduate school levels. (For details and updates, contact Matt at: email@example.com.)
Product improvements. Teachers can design questions that basically ask, "What is broken?," the theme of several of the exercises that follow. (Generating these questions requires considerable imagination in itself!) Here are some sample product-improvement-oriented questions:
How might school desks be improved?
How might living room furniture be improved to provide better storage and even a way to exercise while watching television?
How might we take further advantage of all the unused space between walls, above ceilings, and in attics and basements?
How can book-carrying bags be better equipped to handle lunches and other personal needs?
Problem identification. What's the problem? What doesn't work? What's needed? These questions almost always lead to creative thinking. When asked to generate these challenging questions, students have identified problems that included the following:
Some way to deal with the loss of water pressure when the faucet is turned on and someone is in the shower
A place to quickly and easily put toys and stuff in your house
A quick way to check a spelling when you're writing (or shouldn't you bother just yet?)
A way to dry and store wet washcloths and mops
A way parents can get kids to help around the house
Systems and social improvements. Breakthroughs in world order, peace, and sanity often are the result of the creative vision of a few individuals who have pictured innovative social and systems changes (e.g., bicameral government, legally binding marriage, democracy, the post office). To encourage such social inventing, teachers can pose problems and reward plausible solutions to questions such as the following:
What might be a way for every student and parent to know what homework is due?
How can we get ourselves to be courteous to everyone, including those we may tend to ignore?
How can we help people who are not very bright, or are less able due to aging or infirmity, to meet the complex obligations of modern life? (Provide some examples by category, such as owning a car, which requires renewing a driver's license, getting the proper insurance coverage, getting license plates, safety inspections, etc.)
How can school be made more fun without hurting expected learning outcomes?
What are some of your "pet peeves"? What are other social problems that might need attention?
What's good about. . .? This activity is especially useful for establishing a constructive orientation and for helping students to build a mental menu of ideas that are workable:
What's good about bureaucracies?
What's so good about compulsory education?
If language usage pretty much defines how language is used, why do we need books on and study in grammar and standard usage?
Making the Thinking-Curriculum Connection a Habit
Haggard (1976) has suggested four steps to further integrate constructive thinking into the standard school curriculum. Consider this a more detailed way to just "ask for it."
1. Pose a stimulating question. In other words, ask for constructive thought.
2. Brainstorm. Initial responses can be generated in small groups, following standard brainstorming ground rules: All responses are permitted, without criticism; as many ideas as possible are listed; unusual, even "wild," ideas are not discouraged; and new ideas can and should be formed by combining ideas already mentioned.
3. Compare ideas. After brainstorming, each small group should share their ideas with the class for review and evaluation. Students may wish to choose the "funniest" or the "wildest" response generated by each small group. At this point also, ideas are assessed for "reasonableness," or practicality. It is important to point out that all creative solutions are at best just "possibles" until tried and proved.
4. Fuse to curriculum. The whole point of a thinking curriculum is to transfer new knowledge and power to personal problem solving. That process is more likely to occur when real problems are allowed to surface and are the forces behind reading, learning, and thinking. Here are some examples for grade levels 4-12.
Maggie Magpie was determined never to write in cursive. We know that she eventually came to like it, but what might the teacher have done to help her sooner?
Before we find out how Huck saved Jim, think of some possible ways for him to do so.
What new invention (or system) could you come up with that would change the end of this story?
After reading Liange and the Magic Paintbrush: What would you paint if you had a magic paintbrush and whatever you painted would then come to life? (Gross 1990).
What might not work properly today if pi had not been properly calculated?
Describe a problem you are having in reading or studying, and try to create a personal reading-study technique to solve it. (For further guidance with this activity, see "PASS: A Problem-Solving Approach to Study Skills," Manzo and Casale 1980; and "Strategy Families," Dana 1989. Both can be found in Manzo and Manzo 1993, 1997.)
There are several other transfer activities that are especially suitable for typical reading or viewing assignments. Collins-Block (1991) offers seven questions to guide such fusion:
1. Could you give me an example?
2. What do you mean by -----?
3. What is not an example, but similar to the idea that you are describing?
4. Is this what you mean: -----?
5. Would you say more about -----?
6. Why do you believe (feel or think) that -----?
7. What is the main point?
Collins-Block provided a context for these questions by asking students to report times in their lives when they had benefited from asking clarifying questions. Good discussion is also provoked when students are asked to tell about times they got into difficulty for failing to ask clarifying questions. It is best to urge students to practice using these fusion-type questions with one another, such as in cooperative learning groups.
Where to from Here?
There are several possible "next" steps. Here is one that we are taking. Our recent research, looking at possible deficiencies in proficient readers, is suggesting that there are apparently academically strong individuals who have some well-masked weaknesses in the way they are able to think about, or apprehend, what they otherwise seem to adequately comprehend (Manzo et al. 1997). These findings now are causing us to try to better understand an inverse condition, that of the naturally fertile mind. We have begun a project to study the thinking characteristics of such minds, including those creative individuals who may not otherwise be academically talented. If you are or know someone, any age/grade level, who has a particularly fertile-inventive mind, please forward his or her name, address, and phone number to us, and we will take it from there (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or email@example.com). One of the objectives of the Fertile Minds Project is to assemble a cadre of idea makers to advise us on possible ways to make schooling and the workplace more friendly to creative-inventive thinkers. We also can't help getting a bit excited wondering about what synergies might occur as we bring together people who otherwise must feel isolated by a relatively inhospitable environment.
Collins, C. 1991. Reading instruction that increases thinking abilities. Journal of Reading 35:510-16.
Collins-Block, C. 1993. Teaching the language arts: Expanding thinking through student-centered instruction. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Dana, C. 1989. Strategy families for disabled readers. Journal of Reading 33(1): 30-35.
Drake, S. 1982. Creative writing skills, grades 2-3. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Instruction Fair.
Gross, D. 1990. Unlocking and guiding creative potential in writing and problem solving. Unpublished manuscript. Kansas City: University of Missouri-Kansas City, Educational Specialist Project.
Haggard, M. R. 1976. Creative Thinking-Reading Activities (CT-RA) as a means for improving comprehension. Doctoral dissertation, University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Manzo, A. V., A. E. Barnhill, A. Lang, U. Manzo, and M. M. Thomas. 1997. Subtypes of proficient readers. Paper delivered at the College Reading Association Conference, Boston, Mass.
Manzo, A. V., and U. P. Casale. 1980. The five c's: A problem-solving approach to study skills. Reading Horizons 20:281-84.
Manzo, A. V., and U. Manzo. 1993. Literacy disorders: Holistic diagnosis and remediation. Fort Worth, Texas: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers.
-----. 1995. Teaching children to be literate: A reflective approach. Harcourt, Brace.
-----. 1997. Content area literacy: Interactive teaching for active learning. 2nd ed. Columbus, Ohio: Merrill.
Ratanakarn, S. 1992. A comparison of reader classification by traditional text-dependent measures and by addition of text-independent measures. Doctoral dissertation, University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
The ‘Race to the Top’ Accountability Movement has an Unintended Consequence of Leaving Only Teachers Behind - Oddly, There is a Legacy Fix.
The new administration’s role in the Accountability Movement seems to unwittingly shoot itself in the foot with teachers as the collateral damage on a Educational Reform beach that can not be taken without a strategic confrontation among the cross-purposed Allies & Suppliers who only appear to be marching under the same flag.
Teachers & Teacher Education programs need some serious self-reformation if they are ever to halt the control of their story and destiny by every kind of other professional from linguists to sociologists and even retired admirals. There are some great teachers, and even some great Teacher Preparation programs, but these are random occurrences where consistency is essential. The reason is simple: Professional Education is unnoticeably absent fundamental standards found in all other professions. Believe it or not, there is no standard curriculum, no sincere, systemic effort to identify Best Instructional Practices, no guidance in what and how needs to be further researched and developed, and truckloads of weak consultants and players with diluted degrees serving up their own brands of Faculty Development; teachers don’t resent change they resent the farce of the dog & pony shows by entertainers. To be called a profession it is imperative that a profession, one way or another, needs to convene a rolling forum to collect and prioritize the core content of principles and practices that every member ought to know. An honest Grammar of Teaching. Ironically, Teachers worldwide are being held to standards for annual yearly progress (AYP) of their students. Meanwhile, Professors, Learned Societies & commercial schools, and some painfully self-serving non-profit foundations and Universities never even address the fundamental need for solid pedagogic content. The current crop of in-charge “Leaders”& Reformers dangerously resembles the Investment Bankers who remain in charge of the economic systems that they nearly bankrupted. The US Department of Education should hold an ongoing “virtual convention” of the nation’s leading educators to consider and endorse a covenant of principles and more importantly prescriptive practices. Ideally this should be done on a website that transparently allows these to be challenged, tweaked and further specified for different age-grade-situational conditions. Sadly there is no free market in which a teacher can see bids & buys and the best ideas and practices.
While this very un-novel idea works its way through all that is crystallized to hold it in place, there is an action each caring person can take; consider joining the websites below offering a potential catalyst for jump-starting and getting the current system under review and possibly moving in the right direction for all who would teach, and let’s not forget all who need to learn – yes, students are invited to jump in and speak. They like gravity are a weak but all encompassing force; ultimately they trump our best thoughts and science. Taxpayers would be grateful since increasing classroom effectiveness could bring about efficiencies that could save billions of dollars with even the smallest degree of adoption. This is an orphan cause with no natural constituencies. Please join the narrative at: http://teacherprofessoraccountability.ning.com/main/invitation/new?xg_source=msg_wel_network And…http://bestmethodsofinstruction.com/
Say anything, it will be something more than the nothing that continues to get us nowhere.
Anthony V. Manzo, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus firstname.lastname@example.org