Archive for the 'Read' Category

21st Century Skills Critical Thinking- Fact? Inference? Judgment?

Many students need help in developing critical thinking skills as part of  the 21st century skills.  A technique that I have used both when I taught Critical Thinking courses at the college level and when I have taught higher level thinking  in my own Spanish or English  classes is Fact-Inference- Judgment.

Look at this picture taken by me  in Costa Rica:

Fact – something that is obviously (physically)  in the picture, text, movie, etc.  Everyone will agree to this fact.  For example, there are four people in the picture.  There are pigeons.

Inference- based on noticing  things in the picture, text, movie, etc., a person  makes an assumption. This assumption is only a short logical  step from the observation.   A person can state what he/she observed and what inference this lead to.  Others can easily understand the logic of going  directly from the observation to the inference.  Inference making people use statements like “Based on observing… I notice … I see and therefore …).  For example, I notice that they have on short sleeves so I infer it is warm.   It looks like there are young children, a young adult and an older adult, I assume that this is a grandmother, a daughter and her children.

A judgment is a value statement or emotional statement. Although something in the picture or text may be a springboard, there is no logical leap.  Judgments take a strong value or emotional stand on the media.  Judgments usually express their viewpoint through  opinion-based adjectives (“handsome”,  “unsafe”) , adverbs  (“dangerously”,   “peacefully”), verbs (“kill”, “love”) and nouns (“murderer”, “saint” ).  A judgment can be easily challenged by others.  Some judgments for this picture are “The family is happy”  (Not really, the little boy began to cry as the mother moved the pigeon closer to her son.” A fact is that the two older women are smiling. ) and  “Costa Rica is overrun by pigeons.” (Fact: Pigeons are in some city parks.)

As we help students to give only  facts and inferences about media, we develop their critical thinking.  As we help students to see that some statements are judgments (pure opinion not based on  facts  or inferences), we develop more critical thinkers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Integrating Thinking Through Reading

As teachers we can incorporate many critical thinking through reading activities into our classroom. We can have students:

Annotate the text

Explain the context of the reading

Outline or Summarize

Predict

Ask questions about the text

Compare/ contrast to other readings

Connect to other readings or other things containing the ideas found in the text

Pre-assessment: Open Eyes or Blinded

This semester I have given many pre-assessments to my students. Last semester, I made many mistakes in instruction because I did not know enough about my students before the beginning of the semester. I taught material that they knew and did not delve into material that they did not know. I assumed that they could read the textbook when their reading rate and comprehension which I tested once I saw a problem revealed an average class reading rate in the low 100s and a comprehension rate of 60% or lower. I thought that since they were college students they could organize their own writing.

So this semester, I have given them writing diagnostic, writing patterns past knowledge diagnostic, grammar diagnostic, vocabulary diagnostic, and reading diagnostic. I can hear the moans about wasting all the time on diagnostic. My students spend 45 minutes on the combined writing and grammatic diagnostic, three minutes on the vocabulary one, four minutes on the past writing patterns and about 15 on the reading one. So in just about one hour and ten minutes I have done six diagnostic tests that have transformed how I teach writing to the students.

What pre-assessments do you give and how do you change your instruction to better improve your students’ learning?

Reading Speed and Comprehension Online Test

Have you every wondering about the reading comprehension of your students?

The following are some sites designed for high school or above to test both reading speed and comprehension. Most of these have about ten paragraphs to read

http://www.readingsoft.com/ – a reading of about 8 paragraphs. Times and then has comprehension questions

Rocket Reader of http://www.rocketreader.com/cgi-bin/portal/fun_tests/perception has a reading test that includes specific vocabulary

ExecuRead of http://www.execuread.com/speedtest.htm has reading test timed and comprehension

Unless we give the students diagnostic reading tests such as these, we may never know their entry level of  reading. Is it really far to assign ten pages of reading to a student who reads less than 100 reads more minute (If a  textbook page has 400 words, it will that that student four minutes per page or a total of 40 minutes to read ten textbook pages.)?

What other reading diagnostics do you give your students?

Improving Reading Skills With Technology

TechLearning

I wrote another article on improving reading skills through technology, Ramping Up Reading With Technology. There are fourteen different easy-to-apply techniques. Try these out in your classroom so that your students can be better readers! Although the examples are in English, many of these will work in ESL and World Language classes.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Reading in the 21st Century

Reading on Computer

I wonder what “reading” means for the 21st century. Does it mean

Getting information from images, graphs and charts, as well as text?

Skimming for links on webpages as well as reading left to right word for word? (I’m sure students read more online than they do offline.)

Following webpage links to more in-depth information about the topic?

Writing down sticky-note comments on the electronic text as a person reads it and those comments are available for others to see?

Questioning the author through emails, blogs, and videoconferencing?

Blogging or videoconferencing with others about the meaning of the text? (Book clubs/literature circles online)

Comparing other sources of the same information such as looking at the same news story from newspapers of several countries?

Writing information to a WIKI about other stories with the same theme, location, or problem?

Getting cultural information that helps in the understanding of the reading material from a person in that country? What would a person from Colombia tell about Hernando Téllez’ “Just Lather, That’s All”?

Reading 50% or more of non-fiction?

Decoding text messages?

Determining the authenticity of the reading material?

Being able to build or do something as a result of reading instructions?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Improve Students’ Inference Reading with PowerPoint

Here are a few ways to use PowerPoint type programs to improve students’ inference reading.

* Show students a Flickr or Google picture with the question words next to it. The question of When will probably be an inference question since they will have to figure out the season, the time of day, etc. Do for several pictures until everyone can answer the inference questions for a passage.

* Students write inference questions about a short displayed passage (a paragraph). They can start with using synonyms for the words already in the passage. The boy goes to the store. Where did the youth go?

* Students go up to the Smartboard and circle the critical words in the projected passage question and then circle the corresponding words in the passage.

*Students see two side by side newspaper articles about the same topic. They circle the words that show the author’s bias – red for the left side article and green for the right side article.

How do you improve students’ inference reading with PowerPoint type programs?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Improving Reading Comprehension Through PowerPoint

Teachers can improve their students’ literal reading through common technology such as PowerPoint like programs.

 

* Show a picture and have the students take turns asking and answering Who. Where, When, What, and Why questions about the picture.

* Haven them read a short projected passage and the orally answer Who, Where, When, What about the passage.

* Project a passage from PowerPoint on a Smartboard and have students circle the literal answers to questions about the passage.

* Have students read a short passage and then select the corresponding picture from four possible Flickr or Google choices.

How do you improve students’ reading comprehension through PowerPoint type programs?

 

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

 

Reading for Meaning Through Technology

Reading T-chart

When I was in middle school and high school, I remember that reading Social Studies and Science textbooks was a matter of finding the answer in the passage. For the math textbook, I had to understand and solve problems by applying the formula or concept. For the English textbooks, I had to do literary analysis, a very specific type of reading. There was the textbook and myself, sometimes a weak combination.

So how do we help students to read for meaning today through the use of technology?

Do we

Model our thinking process as we read a passage to the students? An English teacher may ask “If Don Quixote becomes crazy by reading books, will we become crazy by watching tv?” We can digitally record this thinking for the first chapter of the book and then have students record their thinking aloud for subsequent chapters. These digital recordings can become podcasts or web movies that capture the deep thinking in the reading.

Have students answer questions as they go through the text, readings, or websites? In Social Studies, a question can be “What other rivers have been the center of civilizations?” In Science, a question may be ” What other reactions have required heat? Why?” Students can respond in a class blog so that students can see the many possible answers.

Ask students to compare/contrast what they are reading to a previous reading using a T-chart in a Word chart form or in an Inspiration-like form? In what ways are Don Quixote and A Midsummer Night’s Dream similar?

Assign students to find images that prove the idea that they are talking about using Google or Flickr? Images of “bread” from around the world show the universal need for food.

Ask students high-level thinking questions about the topic and have them respond with a personal response system. Sancho is most like which other sidekick? A- B- C- D-

Have them use a Smartboard-like device to underline all the words that show the same meaning or emphasis? Students can read a website passage and underline all the words or phrases that show the author’s bias.

How else do you have your students read for deep meaning through technology? Share your ideas. If I get them within the week, I might include them in an article I’m writing on reading and technology.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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Reading Vocabulary and Technology

 

Reading

Vocabulary is the basis for good reading not only in English but in other subject areas.

English teachers can show the students a thematic based picture of vocabulary items at the start of each lesson. For example, the teacher may show a Google picture of twenty different animals and have the students, in groups of two, identify each of these. The teacher can have a whole class review. This brief daily vocabulary review helps the students increase their vocabulary.

When students identify which word in a group does not fit, they are sharpening their vocabulary reading skills. The teacher can show four words such as A-Robber B-Thief C- Villain D- Crook and the students respond with their Personal Response System clickers.

 

Students can be given a word and they create an Inspiration map with meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and the word used in a sentence. Students can compare each other’s maps. In addition, students can create associated word maps for a given word such as war. They can use the Flickr third party program of airtightinteractive to see various other words (tags) associated with the initial word.

As students use electronic talking books, the books read to them and pronounce words. These books can be CD-ROM or online.

How else do you use technology to improve students’ reading?

 

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

 

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RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
    hgtuttle
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
    hgtuttle
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
    hgtuttle
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
    hgtuttle
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
    hgtuttle

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