Literature….. Response….. What is the difference between retelling a story and summarizing it? Distinguish between re-telling a story and summarizing it. TR Haffner. N+ (Oct. 04), 3-4.
Literature….. Response….. How teach students to read literature? Teaching students to ask questions as they read, questions that they eventually use for discussion in class. “Rich discussion does not rest on a ‘real meaning’ of the text as determined by the teacher. The student-led novel discussions generated genuine give-and-take that exceeded my expectations. My letting go of the control of the questions meant that students were not only empowered but were also discovering how to comprehend text using a strategy. Self-questioning as they read helped them understand the process as a tool that good readers use to understand texts.”  SL Lloyd. JAAL (Oct. 04), 114-124. [File]
Literature….. SciFi….. What is the purpose of science fiction? The role of science fiction: the implications of technology; alternatives for the world’s future; help prevent consequences of uncontrolled technology. [Contradicts what I have always believed about literature, that it accomplishes no social change.] MJ Greenlaw. EE (Apr. 71), 201.
Reading….. Aloud….. Why do teachers read aloud to their students? “The most common reason teachers gave for reading aloud (in middle school) was to model aspects of fluent reading, such as pronunciation, intonation, rhythm, and style. Another frequently cited reason for reading aloud was to make texts more accessible to students. Teachers also specified ensuring all students were exposed to the information in the text. We speculated that these teachers may have been attempting to provide access for students who were unable or unwilling to read the text. Teachers also noted goals of reinforcing content and increasing students’ understanding or comprehension of the text.” LK Albright & M Ariail. JAAL (Apr. 05), 584.
Reading….. Aloud….. What kinds of books are not usually read aloud? Notable lack of nonfiction read alouds in middle school. LK Albright & M Arial. JAAL (Apr. 05), 587.
Reading….. Aloud….. Why should we read aloud to children even after they have learned to read on their own? “And even though children read well on their own, they never outgrow the pleasure of listening to good literature. Fifteen or twenty minutes should be regularly set aside for this.” RE Sabaroff. EE. 399.
Reading….. Basal….. What are some criticisms of basal readers? “Most criticisms directed at basal reader stories concern the unreal characters which tend to depict only middle-class families and use unreal language patterns.” R Ross in CM Kirkton. “Once Upon a Time… Folk Tales and Storytelling.” 1028. “Reading primers are narrative drills, not real books. Students should always have in the classroom real books for pleasure reading, and they should have time to read.” C Suhor. EE (Dec. 71), 921. “It is clear that we do not confine ourselves to reading in the basal reader. However, basal readers do lend themselves to skill development both in word recognition and comprehension and appreciation. But if they are to do so, they must be used intelligently, not mechanically. The given story or selection must be analyzed in advance by the teacher to see what kind of skill development would be suitable to it.” RE Sabaroff. EE. 397.
Reading….. Books vs. computers….. What are the values of printed books over electronic books? “The book is small, lightweight and durable, and can be stuffed in a coat pocket, read in the waiting room, on the plane…. Books give aesthetic and tactile pleasure…from the moment of purchase until the last page is turned. Books speak even when they stand unopened on the shelf. If you would know a man or woman, look at their books, not their software…. Nobody is going to sit down and read a novel on a twitchy little screen. Ever. EA Proulx. Wrt (Nov. 94). Wrt (Nov. 04), 8.
Reading….. Comprehension….. How use both nonfiction and fiction in working with a topic? Use information texts to build up students’ background knowledge on a topic and then use fiction to add a personal dimension to their knowledge of the topic. J Soalt. RT (Apr. 05), 680-683.
Reading….. Comprehension….. How help students improve comprehension? “Background knowledge is an important factor for creating meaning, and teachers should help students activate prior knowledge before reading so that information connected with concepts or topics in the text is more easily accessible during reading.” LS Pardo. RT (Nov. 04), 274. “The author’s intent in writing the text can influence how a reader interacts with that text, particularly if this intent is made known through a foreword, back-cover biography….” LS Pardo. RT (Nov. 04), 275.
N+ = Notes Plus. JAAL = Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. EE = Elementary English. Wrt = The Writer. RT = Reading Teacher.