Reading Is Like Driving a Car

 

adult automotive blur car

By Maggie Dail, M.A.

Recently I watched a recorded webinar given by Terri Noland, Vice President, Educator Initiatives of Learning Ally and hosted by EdWeb.com: “Why Reading Is Like Driving a Car: Automaticity Is Critical”  Here are some key points:

When we learn to drive we must think about every little thing that we are doing. As we gain experience many of the tasks involved in driving become second nature and we can do other things while driving.

Like driving, reading requires a number of foundational skills. Our goal is for these skills to become second nature.  Once students use these skills automatically, they can concentrate on other actually enjoying the story or understanding the concepts.

During childhood, we can multiply the age times 10 and get a general idea of how many words per minute he should be reading.

Fluency:

  •  So readers benefit from the pleasure and information that reading provides.
  • Includes: accuracy, automaticity, rate and prosody (expression).
  • Is the most  the most important  impediment in reading problems

Further fluency requires the following proficiencies:

  • Phonological awareness
  • Accurate decoding
  • Vocabulary
  • Recognizing words – automaticity
  • Constructing with prior knowledge
  • Monitoring comprehension
  • Adjusting as necessary

Two things that help with this process:

  • Schema – building pathways in the brain
  • Working memory – “capacity – 7” -remembering long enough to use

Remember that remediation is not replaced by accommodation nor is accommodation replaced with remediation. Our children need explicit instruction (in those skills mentioned above) plus they need access to grade level material.

Some of the neurodevelopmental activities that we use to build these skills include:

  • Audio books (with and without the text)
  • Reading 100 easy books within a set time period
  • Paired Reading (neurological impress method)
  • Auditory Digit Spans
  • Auditory Conceptual Word Sequences
  • Hearbuilder or Cognitive Fun or Lumosity

10 Ways to Motivate Struggling Readers

reading

Terri Noland, Vice President of Learning Ally gave a webinar earlier this school year. I finally found the time to watch. Here is what she presented:

Stories leave endorphins in the brain. This can motivate a struggling reader.

Students need to work on skills, but we must still give them grade level content. Sometimes that means audio books (Learning Ally provides human-read audiobooks) or graphic novels. (We also have access to ‘high interest- low vocabulary books’ – google that phrase and see all that is available.)

Reading achievement is directly linked to motivation – which one causes the other is not clear.

Terri presented these research-based strategies:

1. Provide access to audio books.

2. Model Reading and Reading Behaviors

(Use the 5-Word Rule – reading the first page of a book, if the student cannot read or understand these first 5 words, the person cannot read it independently. Further, if the struggling reader can understand, but not read, he can enjoy it as an audio book.)

3. Reading Aloud – Many students consider this their favorite part of the school day. Reading aloud allows you to provide your child with a variety of content.

4. Incorporate goal setting. Help the child create personal and manageable goals.

5. Provide access to a wide array of materials. They say that a classroom library should have 7 books per student and a school library should have 20 books per student. At home, we must provide children a variety of reading materials.

6. Create time and Space – a worthy goal consists of 20 minutes per day.

7. Opportunity for Self-Selection – a must.

8. Allow time for discussion.

9. Reading has to be relevant.

10. Provide specific feedback such as: “I really like how you do…..” rather than, “Good job.”