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A ground-breaking new initiative to improve the reading and literacy skills of primary school children is being managed by Edge Hill University.
The Department for Education has chosen the University to provide Reading Support, a new programme which will help primary schools to improve the reading of their lowest attaining pupils.
Reading Support is designed to raise standards in reading and literacy through interventions for children who struggle to read and through wider support for the teaching of reading and literacy for all children.
Reading Support will include programmes provided across the country by Edge Hill University and by partner organisations, all designed to raise achievement in reading.
Robert Smedley, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Faculty of Education, at the University, said: "It is fantastic news that the DfE have selected us as the only provider in the country to run this new initiative. Edge Hill University is committed to working with schools to improve reading and literacy. The University is the largest provider of teacher training and education and has an outstanding reputation for the quality of its work. It has hundreds of partnerships with schools and organisations that share its vision and commitment to changing the lives of young people for the better.
"Reading Support builds on the strengths of Every Child Counts, the University's numeracy programme that has provided highly effective intervention support to over 30,000 children who have difficulties with mathematics in over 2,000 primary schools in England."
We asked you how to fix the economy and were flooded with responses. We'll be running these in the coming days. To contribute to the debate hit the green button below.
In spite of higher unemployment there is a shortage of skilled workers.
In spite of a fabulous boom, 1/8 th of Australia's citizens live below the poverty line.
About 70 per cent of New Zealanders and Australians cannot read with understanding beyond a reading age of 9-10.
As one must have a memory of language to read with comprehension, 45 per cent of Aucklanders are from a non-English speaking background and have low English language skills.
Many of these people will never have the opportunity to learn to read fluently and remember what they were reading about.
In addition, one person in six has an Auditory Processing Disorder caused by New Zealand's notoriously low housing standards (glue ear), or genetics.
At present teachers assess letters, words and basic comprehension. Reading is really "metacognition" - the synthesising of listening, speaking and reading.
There are no schools in New Zealand which effectively co-ordinate literacy and linguistics. I know because, as a relieving teacher, I went into most of Auckland's schools.
However, new theory and practice has been developed by New Zealand teachers and researchers over the past 30 years.
As an educator I am working towards the day when all people will be able to place food on their table, and all mothers can be proud of their children.
In addition to the humble book, publishers have launched an array of reading programs designed to help readers of all types acquire the skills they need — Here’s a selection of the most innovative
Academy of READING
The Academy of READING is an intensive, online intervention program for struggling readers in grades 2-12 which instructs students in the five critical areas of reading — Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. Continuous assessment and progress monitoring provide robust data to inform instruction and illustrate students’ reading gains.
The program breaks the complex task of reading into manageable pieces. Students learn using a structured and sequential approach, increasing their automaticity and building higher order comprehension skills.
Each student is given individualized instruction based on real-time formative data. Assessment and progress monitoring tools create goals and give each student a personalized learning plan. The dynamic learning environment provides positive feedback and coaching, motivating the most reluctant students.
Real-time, web-based reports allow teachers and administrators to monitor student progress and document reading gains. Teachers can access student and class level data, while administrators can view performance at the school and district level.
Dynamic Vision Training — Eyes in Conflict
The Gemstone Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation, offers Dynamic Vision Training (DVT) to help students age nine and up who skip lines, lose their place, see words wiggle or jump around, or even see double on occasion. Proven effective in classroom situations from grade 3 through adult, DVT uses 3D technology in an online interactive format, so it feels like playing a game. Each session is 15 minutes long and the entire program contains 30 sessions. DVT is perfect for a pull-out or after school program for students who read below grade level yet have no known reading disorder and have passed school vision screening. Between 20% and 50% of poor readers like this have Eyes in Conflict, a condition where the two eyes are not well coordinated. The problem is easily identified and can be remedied by DVT in most children regardless of ESL or Special Education status, because no reading is required.
English 9A is a newly refreshed course from PLATO Learning that is now fully aligned to Common Core State Standards. The program gives the instructor a variety of ways to engage different learning modalities and to give the student an opportunity to experience a range of standards and objectives to ensure academic success. Learning activities include tutorials, lesson activities, online discussions, and unit activities to deepen understanding of key unit objectives.
The course also includes comprehensive assessment tools like unit pretests, mastery tests, unit post-tests, and end-of-semester tests. These assessments combined with instructor-evaluated unit and lesson activities provide multiple data points that result in a more accurate evaluation of a student’s strengths and needs.
Reading assignments cover a wide range of authors, periods, and genres, from The Sport of Biathlon to The Iliad; from Sport Utility Vehicles and Safety to Paradise Lost. Unit activities include Visualizing as you Read, Understanding Figurative Language, Using Prior Knowledge to Read Expository Text, and Analyzing Personal Narratives.
The growth pattern of long-range connections in the brain predicts how a child’s reading skills will develop, according to research published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1.
Literacy requires the integration of activity in brain areas involved in vision, hearing and language. These areas are distributed throughout the brain, so efficient communication between them is essential for proficient reading.
Jason Yeatman, a neuroscientist at Stanford University in California, and his colleagues studied how the development of reading ability relates to growth in the brain’s white-matter tracts, the bundles of nerve fibres that connect distant regions of the brain.
They tested how the reading skills of 55 children aged between 7 and 12 years old developed over a three-year period. There were big differences in reading ability between the children, and these differences persisted — the children who were weak readers relative to their peers at the beginning of the study were still weak three years later.
The researchers also scanned the brains of 39 of the children at least three times during the same period, to visualize the growth of two major white-matter tracts: the arcuate fasciculus, which conects the brain's language centres, and the inferior longitudinal fasciculus, which links the language centres with the parts of the brain that process visual information.
Neuroscience: Making connections
Dyslexia: Lost for words
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Differences in the growth of both tracts could predict the variations in reading ability. Strong readers started off with a weak signal in both tracts on the left side of the brain, which got stronger over the three years. Weaker readers exhibited the opposite pattern.
Educated workers 'have more trouble with reading skills'
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By Paul Melia
Monday September 24 2012
Workers who have completed the Junior Certificate are more likely to have reading and numeracy problems than those with no formal qualifications.
A major study from the ESRI found that, surprisingly, employees who left school after passing the exam reported higher rates of difficulties than those who never sat it at all.
Literacy and numeracy skill have a dramatic effect on earnings. While more men than women have problems with reading and maths, the study found the financial impact was greater on female workers. They earned up to 6.3pc less than colleagues, compared with 4.3pc for men.
The study, called 'Literacy and Numeracy Difficulties in the Irish Workplace', was commissioned by the National Adult Literacy Agency, and this is the first time such research has been carried out in Ireland. It is published this morning as part of National Adult Literacy Awareness Week.
The report found that 1.5pc of all workers indicated they had problems reading, which could include a simple task such as reading instructions on a bottle of aspirin, while 2pc reported a numeracy difficulty. This resulted in them earning an average of 4.6pc less than their colleagues, but in the private sector this was as much as 8pc.
The study found that some 6pc of workers with a Junior Cert qualification reported literacy difficulties, and 9pc indicated they had a numeracy problem. This compares with rates of 5pc and 7pc for those with no formal qualification.
The study was based on data the Central Statistics Office collected from more than 50,000 workers in 4,200 firms. It found there was a greater prevalence of difficulties among people with Junior Certificate qualifications, which was "contrary to expectations".
by Srianthri Perera - Sept. 20, 2012 01:06 PM
The Republic | azcentral.com
Gilbert libraries wound up their summer reading program recently after more than 138,000 visited the Southeast Regional Library during June and July, and about 96,000 visited the Perry Branch.
WHAT THE PROGRAM AIMS TO ACCOMPLISH
Summer Reading 2012 ran late May through July. Its main purpose to encourage reading pleasure, according to Cathy Ormsby, manager at Perry Branch. She and Troy Reed, manager at Southeast Regional, presented an update on the program to the Parks, Recreation and Library Services board during its September meeting.Ormsby said the program promotes reading and literacy, develops positive attitudes toward books and reading, helps children maintain reading skills during the summer and encourages regular use of the library.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/gilbert/articles/20120918gilbert-summer-reading-popular.html?nclick_check=1#ixzz27s1VsS7V
Raise-a-Reader: The magic of words
Lions star Geroy Simon discovered a love of books as an adult and is trying to instilthat passion in his children, as a way to keep them entertained and in touch with their heritage
BY YVONNE ZACHARIAS, VANCOUVER SUN SEPTEMBER 20, 2012
STORYPHOTOS ( 1 )
BC Lions’ Geroy Simon spends time reading with his kids Jordan (Right) and Jaden and with wife Tracy at their home in Surrey, B.C., Sept 18, 2012. For Raise-A-Reader story.
Photograph by: Arlen Redekop , Vancouver Sun
B.C. Lions slotback Geroy Simon makes no pretence about the fact he didn’t read much while growing up in Johnstown, Penn.
It was big steel and coal country, a rough kind of place where money was scarce and crime was plentiful.
Like most talented young athletes, Simon picked up the odd sports magazine and often the newspaper, but picked up books only if he had to read one for school.
He was driven to succeed on the basketball court, the baseball field, the track field, the football field and just about any playing field. Over and over, he felt compelled to prove himself to the older guys. Confident but never cocky, he was a blazing star in a gritty town that suffered the collapse of both big industries. His humble roots made him tough. They gave him heart. For as Simon says, his hometown was “full of good people.”
Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Raise+Reader+magic+words/7268994/story.html#ixzz27rv8mD2Z
Eddie Taylor, CEO of the Northern Santa Barbara County United Way, is giving me a tutorial on one of his organization’s new education programs. ...
After 10 mindless weeks of Rat On A Snowboard, Fruit Ninja HD, Triple Town, Presidents vs. Aliens, Where's My Water? and To-Fu 2, our bored little gamins - gamers all - finally are going back to school.
What they will find there this fall are saintly but overstressed teachers, tubs of crayons, printed worksheets and dog-eared texts: relics of an analogue age, tools of instruction barely altered since the Greeks.
Among the sylphs whose cerebrums have been powered-down since June - except for the occasional click on MathBlaster or JumpStart - is my own daughter. Lizzie started second grade in Maryland on Monday, ready or not.
Confronted by this dichotomy - classical learning in the schoolhouse, an unquenchable yearning to diddle away vacation days playing video games on the iPad - a father looks to the experts to tell him about his child's digital destiny. But an afternoon with people who are doing some Big Thinking about the role of video games in elementary education leaves all of us scratching our heads.
The setting is a Washington think-tank called the New America Foundation. The session is entitled What Kids' Gaming, Tweeting, Streaming and Sharing Tells Us About the Future of Elementary Ed.
The panellists are a second-grade teacher from a Manhattan private school, a couple of fellows of the foundation, and a woman named Alice Wilder who helped to write a popular television program for preschoolers called Blue's Clues.
I’m a big fan of structuring lessons so that students can figure things out on their own. In the education world, what I am talking about is sometimes called the constructionist approach, sometimes called inquiry-based learning, sometimes called—well, whatever the name, lessons learned this way usually stick—and in the act of discovery, students are empowered as learners.
Here’s an example of what I mean: a reading comprehension lesson involving allusions—in this case, in the context of one of my favorite books, To Kill a Mockingbird. The goal is to show students how allusions enrich the meaning of a text—how to spot them, how to decode them, how to make meaning of what is frequently an analogy.
Ron Beck, principal of Carson High School, re cently reported changes at the high school.
The study examined the role of oral language skills in reading comprehension and listening comprehension levels of 125 monolingual (L1) and bilingual (L2) English-speaking learners (M = 121.5 months, SD = 4.65) in England. All testing was conducted in English. The L1 learners outperformed their L2 peers on the measures of oral language and text comprehension, but the two groups performed at comparable levels on word-reading accuracy and speed. Oral language, indexed by vocabulary and morphosyntactic skills, emerged as the most powerful unique predictor of both reading and listening comprehension levels. Although there was a tendency of oral language to be more strongly related to L2 reading comprehension, its relationship with listening comprehension was comparable across the two language groups. Finally, individual differences in oral language skills emerged as the primary factor that explained the language group differences in text comprehension levels. Educational implications of these findings were discussed.
A summary of the 2012 International Literacy Day events.
International Literacy Day is September 8th but this year it falls on a Saturday which means instead of just one day dedicated to literacy and reading, we have two or maybe even three!
Here’s an overview of the major happenings and if we missed any then please leave a comment with information below.
GPE/USAID/Brookings “All Children Reading” Event
This event will feature leaders and celebrities speaking about how literacy must be elevated on the world stage. Winners of the ‘All Children Reading Grand Challenge’ will also be announced. The event will be at the Ronald Reagan Building on September 7th from 9am-3pm.
Want to attend? Register for tickets here
GPE Reading Changed my Life Photo & Video Contest
We are launching the first-ever “Reading Changed my Life” photo and video contest at the All Children Reading event. The contest is designed to draw attention to the critical importance of literacy and education for individuals around the world. The contest will open for submissions on September 7th at readingchangedmylife.org where individuals will be encouraged to submit a photograph or video that answers the question “how has reading changed your life or the life of somebody you know?” for a chance to win an e-reader and photography or video equipment.
Worrying findings about the abilities of Welsh school leavers were made public today on the day thousands of teenagers were set to receive their GCSE results.
The Federation of Small Businesses in Wales said 82% of businesses it surveyed were worried about the basic skills of young people leaving school at 16.
In particular the small and medium-sized companies questioned were concerned about the literacy and numeracy of school leavers.
One firm in Swansea said it routinely asked foreign interns to look over writing done by young recruits in Wales as the grammar of the second-language English speakers was usually superior.
Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2012/08/23/school-leavers-lack-basic-reading-and-writing-skills-say-welsh-businesses-91466-31677477/#ixzz24QbStFZs
Recently, I met a young Perth woman who had had both her knees broken with a crowbar by her boyfriend.
He followed this up by putting a gun to her head, demanding a reason why he shouldn't kill her and, when her mother phoned her for the first time in months, he looked at her mobile's glowing display screen, said ''there it is'', and blew his head off in front of her.
She now teaches abused women to read and told me ''you can't change your life if you can't read'', which sounds obvious, until you pick it apart.
Then it becomes a tolling truth that echoes in your head each time you pick up a book or newspaper, fill out a form, read a street sign, go shopping or send a text.
This woman says she'd be dead today from drugs if she hadn't attended a good school. ''I knew there was a better life because I'd seen it growing up, but most of the women I work with have not,'' she says.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/reading-is-a-right-that-needs-to-be-addressed-20120818-24f0i.html#ixzz248Kd6gmR
Students entering grades K-6 have been meeting with teachers each weekday to improve reading and writing skills.
The summer has been an optimal time for English as a Second Language (ESL) students to improve their reading and writing skills during the Levittown School District’s ESL Summer Program.
For three weeks, students entering grades K-6 have met with teachers for one-and-a-half hours each weekday to improve their reading comprehension and writing skills in preparation for the fall semester.
Curriculum Associate for Foreign Language and ESL Michele Ortiz explained that the program is funded through a Title III grant, which pays for supplies and salaries. The program’s focus is to prevent the regression of literacy skills over the summer in the district’s ESL students.
“Not only do participants strengthen their skills, they gain confidence in their abilities for the upcoming school year,” Ortiz said.
I am a massive fan of keeping up to date with what is happening in the world, and I always try to convince my international students of the importance of reading and listening to the news. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is the very best way of improving your English, as well as giving you lots of ideas and information for writing essays and doing various types of academic speaking.
The problem, for many learners, is that it's just too difficult - the news articles they find are too long and complicated, and they can't see any improvement quickly enough. They just give up.
I read the literary classics with no difficulty. Charles Dickens, James Fennimore Cooper and Herman Melville can all be read without translation by 21 ...
So how should a test taker approach a reading comprehension passage in order to best handle the detail questions that will inevitably come up?
1. Stop. Stop is a word that we use a lot at Veritas Prep when talking about Reading Comprehension. It is an acronym that helps students to organize their thoughts about a passage. But today I am using the word in a literal sense. Stop at the end of each paragraph and determine the main idea of that paragraph.
2. Create an area code. Write down the main idea of each paragraph (I would say no more than 6 to 12 words). This is your area code. If the paragraph is really long (and the GMAT has been offering some monster paragraphs lately) then you will need to break it into two area codes. It is much more helpful to know that the information you need is within a 15-line portion of the text rather than a giant 30-line paragraph.
As the world becomes more and more digital, Kindles and Nooks are replacing classroom textbooks as learning aids. But new research shows that students should hold onto their hardcovers if they want to remember what they read.
Studies show that people have a harder time remembering facts and recalling the names of characters and details when reading an e-book. Researchers think this has to do with the way we evolved to remember things.
In one study by Kate Garland, a psychology lecturer at the University of Leicester in England, participants got a crash course in economics–a subject nobody understood. Those who were instructed to learn on an e-book required more repetition of the information before they could retain it. Participants learning on a hard book were able to understand the material more fully, meaning they were able to know the material so well that it just came to them.
A recent New York Times article entitled, ‘Your Brain on Fiction’ by Annie Murphy Paul highlighted emerging research into the neuroscience of reading. This article brought up several points which ...
Spotlight covers the intersections of technology and education, going behind the research to show how digital media is used in and out of classrooms to expand learning.
to prepare for the reading comprehension, dedicate at least 30 minutes a day on reading intellectual magazines or journals. The most common topics in the LSAT RC are:
- Humanities (art, painting, writer reviews)
Recommended reading material
Humanities: The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The New Yorker Book Reviews.
Social Sciences: Foreign Affairs, Smithsonian, Psychology today. (I'll personally recommend The Economist too)
Natural sciences: Scientific American, Natural something (didn't write the whole name)
Law:ABA Journal, Law Practice, Criminal Justice
Although the material is dense(high ratio of facts to words), the complex vocabulary usually has clues around the passage to suggest their meaning, so concentrate on your reading comprehension instead of learning new words.
It is suggested you take 8-9 minutes per passage,
easy ones might be possible in 7 minutes
harder ones, 10 minutes at most
While reading and after reading, stay alert to what is the author trying to convey?;
what facts, examples, statistics, illustrations, or other information did the author use;
how did he organized the material? It organizational structure.
Offers effective teaching strategies, activities, lessons, lesson plans, worksheets, exercises, skills, tests, assessments for reading comprehension, language arts, literacy, fluency, phonics and phonemic awareness for children, especially those...
Learning the alphabet, its corresponding sounds, and how to blend letter sounds into words, is just one aspect of becoming a capable reader. The ability to understand the meaning within sentences, is the goal of every reading experience. Many children still struggle to understand stories and text passages. Reading comprehension activities are created to teach students how to monitor their understanding, while reading stories and textbook materials.
Here are five steps parents and teachers can teach their children or students, to help them increase their reading comprehension abilities:
Step 1. Activate Prior Knowledge – Talk with your child or student about what they already know about the topic they’re going to read about. This helps children attach already known knowledge to the particular topic they’re going to read about—which increased their understanding,
Step 2. Pre-Teach Vocabulary – Parents and teacher need to preview the story, or textbook materials/passages before their children or students begin reading. Then, identify words your children or student are likely to be unfamiliar with. Next, define the words and give examples of their use in real-life situations—when applicable,
Step 3. Preview the story – Flip through the story, informational book, or textbook chapter. Based on the pictures, chapter title and sub-titles have your children or students make viable predictions (based on the words and pictures they see while previewing) about what they’re going to be reading about.