Many freshmen coming into one of Nashville’s top public high schools are competent and fluent readers, but have a hard time reading deeply, making ninth grade a challenging year.
In general, English teacher Emily Moore said, nearly all of the freshmen she teaches at Hume-Fogg Academic High School — a magnet school in downtown Nashville a few blocks from Music City’s famed honky-tonks — have no experience in text analysis.
“They’re all great readers,” she said, noting that nearly 90 percent are reading at grade level. “But I have a hard time getting them to engage with the text, read for understanding and deeper meaning. I have a hard time getting them to read and think and write critically about fiction and nonfiction alike.”
There’s no doubt that the experience of reading online is different than reading in print, but does it affect comprehension? While several studies have found student comprehension and retention are lower on digital devices, could it be that students just need to learn the right tools to enhance their digital reading? Maria Konnikova explores the research and theories behind reading in her New Yorker column.
“ The first time linguist and game studies theorist James Gee played a video game, he failed many times over. But instead of giving up, he merrily persevered, choosing to exercise “learning muscles” he hadn’t worked out since his grad school days. “Lots of young people pay lots of money to engage in an activity that is hard, long, and complex,” he realized. Games were evidence that humans love learning. But why do they seem to love it more during Minecraft than in the classroom? A game, most simply defined, is nothing more than a set of problems that a player must solve in order to win. And whether played on a board, cards, a computer, an iPad, or a console, games have the ability to intrinsically shape the way we teach and learn language and literacy.”
Via John Evans
Elizabeth Hutchinson's insight:
Not sure what I think about this. If it encourages reading for pleasure then it's good, if it encourages more computer game play then maybe not so good. I do think there is room for every type of reading and if this works we should encourage it.
Primary teachers (and in fact all teachers) are always on the look out for quality reading options for their students. This is true for digital format books as well as more traditional book forms. When my six and seven-year old students read independently on their iPads, I want to offer them good options as well. Fortunately, I have found three worthwhile options for my six and seven year olds.
"Looking for some good titles to read this summer? The resources below will probably be of some help. These are collections of books curated with teachers and educators in mind. They span a plethora of education-related themes and topics and some of them also touch on the area of personal development and motivation. Sift through the titles and see if there is anything worth your reading time which I am pretty sure there are many. Enjoy."
Kids (and adults) usually gravitate towards fiction or non-fiction. But it's important to read and develop skills with both. So whether or not you have a non-fiction fan at your house or not, see if your kids would be interested in any one of these books that I'm recommending to you today.
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