Excellent post on this topic, which is below my own musings
(lack of technical aptitude that they are out of sync, not anything else…)
audio books… at bedtime particularly… were revelatory for my son and reignited his love of stories, which led – if not immediately – to his return to reading. one thing i would like to see further research on is the impact of reading aloud in class on ‘love’ (or not) of / and confidence in reading: if children think that ‘reading aloud’ is reading, no wonder some of them decide its not for them.
Apart from the embarrassment factor of doing something in front of others (on which they will all judge you), just how easy is it to ‘make meaning’ when reading aloud – in public? surely, for most children (and adults?) concentration is centred around each sound / word and not on the sentence: i.e. the meaning, the rhythmn, the emotions and ideas packed into each rich sentence..?
When it comes to many dyslexic people, we need to make meaning of something, so reading through something, mulling it over, asking ourselves / being asked questions about what the author was trying to say, whether its interesting / relevant / bogus or enlightening in some way takes a qualitative approach, measured in time, effort and much skill…
On a slightly different note, but still about learning, motivation, excitement. nowadays, i teach reflection: critical reflection and reflective professional practice (there’s more than a ‘blogsworth’ in there). It leads me to wonder about how children are supported in writing reflective logs, about whether they want to use them for organic, authentic learning, where they can spill their innermost thoughts, ideas, queries, concerns – or whether they are only too aware that they are being monitored, graded in some way, making caution and duty the drivers instead?
How do we enable diverse learners / individuals to thrive, learn, explore, reach their full potential through such activities? Perhaps we could learn ourselves from a model in which learners are honestly and openly urged to be truly ‘unruly’ in their learning processes and products (within obvious boundaries) – and be as creative or unusual / original in their thinking / planning / decision-making and in their ways of writing / capturing thoughts / making something that represents what they want to say, how and as they want?
What does that look, feel, sound like? what effects does such a model have on learners and their learning? How do we know? What has changed recently in working towards this as a mainstream model? Should it? Would it be disastrous? How? Why? Questions, always questions: as in reading to make meaning…
Indeed, nothing we do is for ‘all’, everyone is and learns differently and for different reasons, which is why the multi-modal, multi-sensory approaches which are learner-centred rule for those with and without SpLDs
All for all
I met my first book abandoner my very first year of teaching. Yet, he was not your average run of the mill book abandoner. No, he was the “look you straight in the eye and ask you what you are going to do about it” kind of abandoner. So I did what I knew best; forced him to read the book and not allow him to abandon it. And he did what he knew best; fake read for a good amount of time, skimmed a few pages, and failed the book report as well as the presentation. Repeat with every book. I don’t think he ever read anything beside Diary of A Wimpy Kid that year.
Everyone has these types of readers. The ones that abandon because they hate to read. The ones that abandon because they cannot find a great book. The ones that abandon because they get bored…
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