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NCLB Outrages

Tips for Using Direct Instruction

Ohanian Comment: Let's see: I just bought the new translation of War and Peace done by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. It has 1,273 (fairly large) pages. How long do you suppose it would take me to count the number of words in this story? And just what would I have when I'd completed the task?

This item comes from:
Making the Difference: Tips for Teachers from Teachers, December 2007

I signed up for it in the interest of keeping readers of my site informed. I hope you are grateful. It can be a shock to one's equilibrium to be accosted by such tidbits.

"Now that reading fluency is such a big component of reading, I have added reading fluency to support and monitor progress. I have gone through every story in the Story Books for levels 1 and 2, and have marked the number of words on each line and then the total amount for each story. I have the students read the selection first alone and record the number of words read in one minute. Then, I read a sentence, and they read a sentence. This is followed by me reading a paragraph and the students reading a paragraph, and finally a page read by me and then a page read by the students. After these steps are completed, the student reads the selection three more times on his own or to a partner. Then they read with me one last time and I mark the number of words they can now read in a minute.

The results are staggering. Not only are they reading between 40 and 50 more words per minute for the individual lesson, but I also am finding that as they progress through the stories, they also are improving on the first reads by at least 10 words per week. I have designed individual charts for the students to document their reading progress, and they are loving it."

— sra_news@mcgraw-hill.com


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