We (the student teacher and I) need to devote another 40-50 minutes in a month or so to reinforce this process. But already we’ve learned a lot about where students get stuck reading and locating information. Just breaking down the “prepare to read” was a huge eye opening experience for me.
I didn’t sign up for this. I come by this honestly to myself (even if I won’t admit it to anybody else), I intended to teach physics to the best and most interested students. I intended to teach math to students that were willing to work. I didn’t sign up to teach reading. And yet here I am, thinking about reading nearly constantly for the past two weeks.
Our school was wise enough to spend some money on a literacy coach, and even smarter to devote several of her days to science and occupational ed teachers. I get the best of the math and science worlds, so I had the pleasure of planning out an entire block period around reading a math textbook. She’s incredible, and her depth of knowledge was evident because in a few minutes we had a very usable process that students can use to read a math textbook. To make it even better, it’s a recursive process!
Now I feel like my eyes have been opened. Everywhere I’m seeing students that don’t know how to read word problems. Students that can’t get information from a text, just run their eyes over it and say “I don’t get it.” And now that I finally recognize their struggle, I can find solutions. I am finding solutions.
So I didn’t sign up to be a reading teacher, but for my students I’ll gladly take on the task.
p.s. If I remember to post before another 3 months elapses, the next post will have that reading process.