Based on the latest guidelines from the National Reading Panel, this practical guide to teaching reading uses the direct instruction reading approach, a proven program that's especially powerful with the most vulnerable of learners—those at risk because of poverty, disability, and/or a limited command of English. The emphasis is on inclusion, which uses language and demonstrations understood by all children. Nationally known and respected authors don't simply list method after method; rather, they provide a specific repertoire of carefully sequenced procedures that teach decoding, comprehension, content reading, and study skills. Strategies are recommended for each skill to be mastered; discussions of optimal timing and error correction, along with numerous examples, are included. In addition, the authors carefully and thoughtfully examine the relationships among different reading skills. For educators who need a thoughtful, sensitive, and informative book that will enhance their ability to teach reading, to any student in any context.
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In April of 2000, the National Reading Panel, a panel of scientists charged by the U.S. Congress with the responsibility of reviewing research in reading instruction and identifying methods that consistently relate to reading success, issued its long-awaited report.
The findings of the National Reading Panel confirmed the validity of the content and procedures that have been included in Direct Instruction Reading since the first edition. The panel pointed out the importance of teaching phonemic awareness (Chapter 6), letter-sound correspondences (Chapter 7), systematic and explicit phonics (Chapters 9, 10, 11, and 15), fluency (Chapter 18), vocabulary and language skills (Chapters 11 and 20), and strategies for comprehending narrative and content-area text (Chapters 21 to 24). Furthermore, the panel pointed out the importance of systematic and explicit teaching in all areas.
Direct Instruction Reading, unlike most textbooks, has not described multiple approaches to teaching beginning reading but instead has provided and continues to provide the reader with detailed information on how to systematically and explicitly teach essential reading skills. The direct instruction approach is highly congruent with the findings of the National Reading Panel. The approaches described in this text have been shown to benefit all students, but are especially powerful with the most vulnerable learners, children who are at risk because of poverty, disability, or limited knowledge of English.
This textbook is designed to provide teachers and soon-to-be teachers specific information that can help them to be effective with all their students. The text not only provides information on what to do but explains why particular procedures are recommended. Even though publishers have begun to incorporate more research findings into their reading programs, teachers will find great differences among programs regarding their effectiveness with at-risk students and must be prepared to make needed modifications and adjustments to ensure a successful learning experience for all students.
Direct Instruction Reading presents information on how to provide success to students through structuring initial teaching procedures so that the teacher presentation is clear; using language and demonstrations that can be understood by all children; sequencing the content to be sure that all essential skills and knowledge are taught in an aligned and coherent manner; using teacher presentation techniques that foster a high degree of interaction between teacher and student; and providing adequate practice and review to develop high levels of fluency and accuracy.
Direct Instruction Reading attempts to help teachers create-a learning and instructional environment for teaching students in a humane and efficient manner. A learning environment is humane when the environment enhances the student's self-concept. Our experience, and our reading of the research, suggests that competence comes first, leading to increased self-concept. A learning environment is efficient when the maximum amount of learning occurs in the shortest possible time with the fewest resources.
The organization of Direct Instruction Reading has changed somewhat from the third edition. We have organized the chapters to be congruent with the five major areas of reading instruction identified by the National Reading Panel. We continue to devote a disproportionate amount of the book to beginning reading, because the first months of reading instruction are immensely important to later reading success.
The major change in this edition of Direct Instruction Reading is not in the instructional details for how to teach reading, but in the chapters that connect Direct Instruction with the findings of the National Reading Panel, the chapters on how to establish a classroom reading program, and the chapters that present the research base that supports the importance of direct, explicit instruction in reading. We have incorporated the research findings of the National Reading Panel in chapters throughout the text as well as in the research summaries. We have also updated the instructor's guide that accompanies this text.
As with previous editions, this edition is not intended to be a definitive handbook. As we work with students, we continue to learn, and this learning enables us to improve our procedures. Procedures can always be improved. The main purpose of the text is to empower teachers by providing them with specific suggestions for problems they will encounter in the classroom. It is our hope, however, that the systematic procedures recommended here will stimulate the development of even better procedures. Furthermore, we encourage teachers to view learning as an outcome of instruction, rather than a function of inalterable attributes of the learner. We also encourage commercial publishers to design better programs for students. Overall, we hope that this book contributes to better teaching methods for all students, particularly the hard-to-teach and at-risk students.
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