Making sense of the Reading Act


"From the standpoint of the child, the great waste in school comes from his inability to utilize the experiences he gets outside of school in any complete and free way; while, on the other hand, he is unable to apply in daily life what he is learning in school"   _____________________, _________


Concepts of Reading

Use and enjoyment of Reading

Reading is an act of communication

Comprehension vs. word calling

Visual acuity

Visual discrimination


Auditory acuity

Auditory discrimination


Phonemic awareness

Phonemic segmentation



Direct & vicarious experience

Eye movement (regression, left-to-right, top-to-bottom, sweeping)

Syntactic cues

Learning to read vs. reading to learn

Affective aspects of reading:  interest, attitude, self-concept, identification

Theories of Reading

Subskill Theory says, "Reading= set of interrelated subskills"


Master subskills, them move on to larger skills, and after mastery, then integrate these into "real reading"


Though word rec. accounts for up to 50% of variability in reading performance, decoding is only one skill

Need to contextualize skills in actual reading


Fluent readers decode automatically (automaticity = ability to perform a task with little attention) and can focus attention on comprehension


Interactive Theory says, "Reading is a combination of top-down and bottom-up parallel processing."


Top-down = begins with reader and overarching meaning


Bottom-up = begins with text and decoding (smaller units to bigger)


Transactive Theory says, "Meaning resides in the interaction between the text and the reader"


efferent                                                             aesthetic


Readers select the fewest, most productive cues necessary to produce guesses which are right the first time (Goodman)."

Cues = semantic, syntactic, graphophonic

Miscues = graphically dissimilar, semantically or syntactically unacceptable, or meaning changing
Whole Language Philosophy

q       Learner centered

q       Teacher roles:  kidwatcher, initiator & mediator of learning experiences, curriculum developer, knowledgeable decision maker, more knowledgeable other

q       Functional language

q       Language is central to all learning

q       Emphasis on comprehension

q       Whole literature selections

q       No pre-packaged materials

q       Students making choices, self-evaluating & taking responsibility

q       Sharing ideas & products publicly

q       Phonics & other skill instruction within reading and writing

q       Children's literature

q       Collaborative learning

q       Sustained silent reading (of choice books)

q       Journal writing

q       Read aloud

q       Literature circles, book clubs, or other small group lit. disc.

q       Thematic planning

q       Project work

q       Student-made books

q       Portfolio assessment

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