Recently, I asked teachers to ponder on the following question: How do you change passive, poor readers into active, strategic readers? Our collective thinking led us to believe that through our fail-safe situations within the child’s literacy abilities (reading and writing) allows a child to initiate successful attempts during their individualized instruction. As reflective teachers, we understand the importance of setting up learning situations that govern the child to experience, initiate, and achieve actions while reading and writing. It’s the child in control of what they know, and it is the teacher’s close observations and collective evidence in ways of which child operates during reading and writing that pave the route to learning. The most challenging understanding yet most important is the need to know when and how to hold back and let the active, strategic reader and writer steer the learning path. Thus, the “just right” language selected by teachers is paramount throughout each and every lesson when our goal is to redirect the passive, poor reader’s direction towards a more active, strategic reader.
To further expand our understanding of “just right” teacher language, we explored an article called Powerful Interactions in Writing: Lessons from Reading Recovery Teachers. Specifically, we directed our attention to the variety of teacher-child examples in what to teach and how to teach sections of the article. Consequently, our exploration of these examples enlightened our own understanding and shifted our literacy awareness. In addition to selecting “just right” teacher prompts, another important factor to be thinking about is monitoring changes with teacher-child interactions across a lesson. Improving upon selecting the best language and monitoring changes, during teacher-child interactions will foster passive, poor readers into becoming active, strategic readers.
Reflect: How do you change passive, poor readers into active, strategic readers?