Lesson 6 focused on getting the most from text. The key points were about using That Reading Thing to supplement texts, levelled readers and those furthering their literary journey.
· Be of interest.
· Not be embarrassing.
· Be encouraged by the teacher or mentor.
· Be of a suitable size of text.
· Be matched to high school students, whether the lowest level or readers, intermediate readers, or those most able.
· Allow students to decode the text.
· Encourage fluency with minimum pausing and misunderstanding of punctuation, etc.
The teacher or reading mentor should:
· Challenge the student appropriately.
· Ask relevant inference questions, e.g., “Can you picture what is going on whilst you are reading?” To visualise the book is a good way to understand it.
· Reread and clarify a selection of key points.
· Encourage the student to connect to prior knowledge, context, and within the text.
· Discuss points of possible empathy.
· Prompt the students to find facts, infer the gist of the main ideas, and summarise them accordingly.
· Encourage questions and predictions from the text.
· Build on enthusiasm and embolden the habit of reading. That energy needs direction.
· Promote the use of a thesaurus and synonyms. Challenging the student to replace words with alternatives can be a useful tool for learning.
[MacOn, Bewell & Vogt, 1991; Beers, 2003]
Combined with my knowledge of reading, Malcolm Pryce’s How to Write a Kick-Ass First Novel website, Jolly Phonics and the best part of my education delivery, I feel that That Reading Thing has stripped back a few basics, highlighted and reinforced some ideas and methods that will not just supplement or enhance my methods of delivery, but add a freshness that always follows any personal development.
Tricia Millar and her That Reading Thing course have made me, like many a good self-development session, want to dig deeper, do better, and expand my own knowledge. That desire is one that I hope carries through every session and class, inspiring readers and writers and perhaps planting the seed of a love for words. Some students may not know it now, but later, when the bulb flashes and the green man at the crossing lights up, a jolly new route may be taken. In closing, I have identified the necessary key parts and take homes of the That Reading Thing training, and now I must deliver them. With the access to materials, a good That Reading Thing guidebook to hand in, and seven weeks of access to the initial course, I feel confident in my ability to improve my output. Wish me luck. And, make sure you join the course, if you’re into that sort of thing…