Reading to Learn

Louise Phillips

Reference Article:   The Reading Gap – Alex Quigley

I thought this was a particularly pertinent article for this time of the year when we are in the process of grade 6 to 7 transition and looking at vocab. The article attached makes a lot of sense; that we focus heavily on the “fitting in” aspect (and rightly so) but don’t give a lot of thought to the structure our grade 6s have come from and how it impacts their success (or not) in secondary.

In our focus on vocab, we have looked at the definition of tier 1, 2, and 3 words and many of us have focused on the specialised tier 3 words that relate to a specific topic or subject. But the gap suggests that we  perhaps take student knowledge of the tier 2 words for granted.

I used the Frayer model so my students could understand what an entrepreneur is (and then evaluate one entrepreneurial enterprise) but they still couldn’t do the task as they didn’t understand how to “evaluate”.

The idea of children moving from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’ is something I think we often take for granted. We assume that because we taught them the specific tier 3 words, they should be able to do the task. And some kids will. And some won’t. We need to keep in mind that it’s not just the tier 3 words they need. Some children may only need to understand a few other words. For other students, it’s many other words.

Anyway, worth a read!

The Reading Gap – Alex Quigley



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