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Reading for Staff – The Reading Rationale

We all teach reading.

It would be impossible to successfully teach without teaching language and how to understand it.  Being able to read is an entitlement for our students.

The following are our essential principles in teaching reading at KLA.  This is our Rationale.

  1. We choose texts that are suitable.  We consider the readability of a text before introducing it to classes.  We do this by checking the reading ages of our classes on our SIMs register.  We can use Word as a guide to readability too (see podcast on Readability).
  2. When we introduce a text to a class, we pre-teach any potentially challenging vocabulary.  We do this through the Frayer’s model.  As we discuss vocabulary, we distinguish between Tier One (everyday language), Tier Two (academic language) and Tier Three (specialist language) - using Beck’s Pyramid as our reference model.
  3. When we read aloud, we model what we expect.  This means we emphasise fluency features such as pace, volume, and tone of voice.  We base our ideas of fluency on Rasinki’s rubric (see podcast).  When we read academically in a whole class setting, we get students to track using a ruler.  We readily ask questions about text to unpick comprehension and inference of meaning.
  4. We are explicit about the type of reading that we are undertaking in our lesson.  This might be skimming for speed, scanning for information, or reading closely.  We model these types of reading to the students.
  5. We value books in our classroom. Our conversation about reading and books is unfalteringly positive.  We value the act of reading for knowledge and imagination – as a gateway to understanding ourselves and our world better.