Reading Strategies

Homework Part Two - Montessori Blog - Grumble Services Learning Resources Blog Post

Homework Part Two

Last week we began exploring how homework can sometimes benefit students. But, under the wrong set of circumstances, it can sometimes hurt students too.

What the research shows us is the correlation between homework and performance is stronger for older students—in seventh through 12th grade—than for those in younger grades.

I limit the amount of homework I assign to my students. When I do assign homework, I hope to get the most “bang for the buck.” I try to focus on the areas that seem to count most: Reading & vocabulary, mathematical reasoning skills and practical life activities.

Homework - Montessori Blog - Grumble Services Learning Resources Blog Post

Homework Part One

The controversial topic of homework. As a teacher, there seems to always be an end of the year push to quicken learning over the few remaining days. This is especially true during this weird, broken one. We believe, for whatever reason, many students have seemingly fallen behind. There must be a way, we think, to catch them up during these last few weeks?

It can be tempting to turn to homework. On the surface, using homework to pick up the slack seems advantageous. But, it may be less effective of a strategy than most of us think.

Literature Circles Grumble Services Blog elementary Montessori materials and learning resources

Literature Circles

Literature Circles are a lot like Writing Circles. Students do not need to join them with anything prepared ahead of time. Each group can have a variety of reading levels. They can also be randomly assigned.

The idea is for students to get excited to read what their peers are reading. And, with some practice, to get excited to share their own book!

Comprehension Thinking Strategies Montessori Blog - Skilled Reading Part 2: How do we help older students become better readers? Grumble Services Learning Resources blog

Comprehension Thinking Strategies

Written language is a code and children need to be taught how to decode it. Early reading skills include phonics, word recognition, vocabulary, decoding and fluency. But as young readers advance, the development of comprehension skills work differently. Skilled reading is an active process; the reader’s mind is constantly processing information extracted from the text.

There are multiple comprehension thinking strategies available to a struggling reader. Often, many or all of these strategies are working together to assist in comprehension. Here is a breakdown of the seven to which have been found most effective..

Montessori Blog - Skilled Reading Part 1: How do we help older students become better readers? Grumble Services Learning Resources blog

Skilled Reading Part 1

Skilled Reading: How do we help struggling readers? As readers advance, the development of comprehension skills work differently. Research shows older readers possess specific strategies to construct meaning before, during, and after reading a text. I now know this type of reading to be called “skilled reading.”

The key to skilled reading is being capable of recognizing words without relying on context at all. This is one of the most well replicated findings in all current reading research.

Montessori Blog - Word Study blog by Grumble Services - Word Study, it's all Greek to me!

Word Study

What is it and how does it improve spelling and vocabulary? Word study is the study of changes made over time to words in a given language. This can be achieved through looking closely at the etymology of words, their roots & affixes, synonyms & antonyms and compound words. Word study enriches our vocabulary and can be used as a highly effective aid to spelling!

Montessori Blog - Grumble Services elementary learning resources

Dictionaries

Dictionaries. These days you can quickly find most anything online. According to my students, it is so much easier to just ask Alexa than to open a book.

But, while observing my students trying to navigate their way through a printed dictionary in our classroom, they will randomly open to a middle page and then get stuck. I will next suggest, “find the first letter in the word.” That student will often reply, “I don’t know how to.”

Montessori Blog - Grumble Services elementary learning resources

LISTENING ACTIVELY

Listening actively is becoming more and more of a lost art. Why? Today’s world has sped up dramatically. It sometimes even feels as if time is moving faster. Consequently, it is difficult for many of us to slow down, pause and reflect on our days.

As a result, it feels as if some very important life skills have become more and more difficult for many students to understand and master. These include: Slowing down, sitting silently for a prolonged period of time and actively listening when others are speaking.

Montessori Blog - Grumble Services elementary learning resources

Reading 20 Minutes a day!

Focused, challenging reading is so important for everyone (big and small) to do each and every day. Current research supports reading from a printed book format helps even further.

The printed format seems to offer higher levels of comprehension and retention than reading text from a computerized screen: “When reading long, linear, continuous texts over multiple pages that require a certain amount of concentration, referred to as “Deep Reading.”