2006 Conference General Sessions





Jason Burke
Don Johnston Incorporated
26799 W. Commerce Drive
Volo IL 60073

Day Phone: 847-740-0749
Email: jburke@donjohnston.com

As students mature, their interests grow and change constantly. They thirst for new information and the curriculum gets more and more challenging. Reading, now and in the future, has always been the cornerstone to helping students keep up with their age-appropriate interests and the curriculum. But, what happens when a student struggles with reading? Are they left out of this medium for learning? No. Learn how students of all abilities can participate in the curriculum by reading narrative and informational text that feature considerate text and provide scaffolding through technology supports. Students feel independent and practice strategies for reading comprehension and fluency.

Pairing struggling readers with considerate text and technology supports can be the key to including students in the curriculum. Considerate text provides the older struggling student with:
* the mature story themes and grade-level curriculum they want and need
* engagement to “hook” students and give them an edge
* new words and idioms to build their comprehension vocabulary
* background knowledge that draws on familiar examples and analogies
* sentence structures that make logical connections between ideas
* text structures that are presented in a predictable format

Avid, fluent readers “acquire new language and vocabulary, new conceptual knowledge, new comprehension challenges and new modes of thought to which they would not otherwise be exposed.” (Adams and Bruck, 1995). Considerate text will get students reading to acquire the same benefits gained by their peers who are avid, fluent readers. Explicit examples of these attributes will be demonstrated and related to the needs of students who struggle with reading to ways these students can access the curriculum to begin learning through reading.

Well-written, considerate text by itself can increase a struggling reader’s success. By adding technology support, the considerate text can be even more effective. A computer book version of the considerate text adds human—recorded speech to model phrasing, rate, intonation and stress, irony, sarcasm, humor and the pronunciations of new names and unfamiliar words. On-screen text is highlighted as it is read to make a one-to—one connection between spoken and written words. Supported Reading Guides instruct, direct and help students extract important information and make text—to—self, text-to-text and text- to—world connections.

Participants will be introduced to the newest product in the Start—to—Finish Publishing family, Start-to-Finish® Core Content, and experience how they can use this considerate informational text along with technology support to implement comprehension instruction methods recommended by the National Reading Panel (2000)2 that include: comprehension monitoring; graphic and semantic organizing; a story structure from which a reader learns to ask and answer who, what, where, when and why questions about the plot, characters and events in stories; question answering; question generation and summarization.

Learning to read and reading to learn have to happen simultaneously £p our older struggling readers. They have a lot of lost time to make up and they can’t have anything stand in the way of their progress. Providing students with the considerate text in the Start—to—Finish Library and Start—to—Finish Core Content gives readers the right variety of text and content to do both—learn to read and read to learn.

Adams, N. & Bruck, N. (1995). Resolving the “Great Debate.” American Educator, Summer,
National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence—based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (National Institute of Health Pub. No. 00—474 9). Washington, DC: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

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