Archive for May, 2010

In this article by Beck and McKeown, there were two studies conducted. The purpose of the  first study was to compare the number of higher-order words learned through direct instruction with those who were not taught the advanced words. Four kindergarten classes and four first grade classes from the same school participated in this study, but they could only collect enough data from 98 children (52  in experimental class rooms). The children who received direct instruction were taught based on a read aloud project, Text Talk. In order for the comparison group to be exposed to the same vocabulary, they participated in daily read alouds. All students were given a pre-test and a vocab post-test. The experiment showed that there was a significant difference in the number of learned vocabulary words between the experimental group that received direct instruction and the comparison group which received no instruction.

The purpose of study 2 was to compare the number of learned vocab words with the amount of time that instruction was given. Three kindergarten classes (36 children) and three first grade classes (40 children) from a different school in the district of the school from the first study participated in the study. All students were African American, and 81% were eligible for free/reduced lunch. Instruction was delivered through Text Talk read alouds, but one group received 3 days of instruction and the others received 6 days of instruction (More Rich). These students were also given pre-tests and post-tests to measure their progress. This study found that more instruction was very beneficial.

Both of these studies show how important it is that we include vocabulary lessons in our curriculum. Not only should we teach and test the vocab, but we should have them “use” it in their writings and in their speech. We can’t just teach these words a couple of times, we must keep reviewing it and practicing them. As i’m sure you have all witnessed, repetition is the key for learning new information, and makes information more likely to be recalled.

All of the models that we have read about thus far mention the importance of vocabulary. It has been proven that students with a richer vocabulary are better readers and can usually comprehend what they read. With all the research conducted about vocabulary, comprehension, and reading, why is a vocabulary lesson not included in our daily schedule? It would only benefit the students.


Vocabulary (May 21)

This was a very easy read and I really enjoyed it. It fascinates me that children’s success in school, sometimes, depends on the family and how important literacy is to them. I know this is true, and i’m sure every teacher can see that. I wish all parents would read to their children every day, beginning when they are babies. They will develop and use more vocabulary, and hopefully they will see reading as a happy, positive activity. It is also very obvious that students who read more do build more vocabulary that students who do not. As for trying to get students to talk and write with their receptive vocabulary instead of their expressive, I need to work on that as well!

This model definitely fits into the Adams’s model. One of the processors was meaning, and that is where vocabulary would fit. Not only do students need to recognize the word, but they must also know the meaning of the word. Vocabulary is a very important component in reading, but the meaning processor must work with all other processors for successful reading. If you lack in one processor, the others will suffer.

There were a couple of things that stood out to me in this article. The fifth component of the Automatic Information Processing Model is attention, and there are two different types of attention. External attention is where your eyes and ears are focused, and internal attention which is what is happening in the individual’s mind. It talked about how students would read an assigned chapter, but couldn’t remember what they read because they weren’t really “paying attention” and their minds were wandering. I have this problem all the time! I never thought about the fact that I had a million other things going on in my mind while I was trying to read. If I have this problem, I wonder how many students have a lack of internal attention, and we might misinterpret that as lacking comprehension skills.

This article stated that guided reading was one of the best way to monitor children’s reading skills and development, and I totally agree. It is very difficult to pinpoint each student’s weaknesses when you are teaching 22 students. Having a smaller group of students is so beneficial to the students. They can get better individualized instruction that they need. During my student teaching, I witnessed how beneficial small group guided reading was. Each time students were assessed using running records they would move up a level each time.

I’ve always been told that round- robin reading is a no-no, but i’ve never really been given an explanation. Is it because some students may be embarrassed to read in front of their peers? Any input would be greatly appreciated!

 It amazes me that reading is such a complex process – I guess because I haven’t really thought about it before this class. Gough’s model (bottoms-up model) states that basic or lower level skills must be mastered before advancing to higher order skills. I believe that in reading, as well as math, all skills are built upon the foundation. Students must learn phonemic awareness and decoding before they can begin to focus on comprehension.

Rumelhart’s Interactive Model shows that different processors work simultaneously when reading. In his research he found that often times higher order skills would help lower order skills, such as using context clues to recognize a word. 

Rumelhart’s Interactive Model is most similar to Adams’s model because Adams also believed that there were many processors working simultaneously while reading. All the reading models show that reading is a complex process, but I believe that Adams’s model is the most developed, and is the most reliable.

Larson believes that we recognize letters in the word, and then use those letters to recognize the word.

Larson’s research proved that teaching word-shape models did not help students recognize words. There are many words that may have the same word-shape, and I feel that it would sort of be a guessing game to recognize words. As I have discovered, I am not very familiar with the rules of spelling and language, and I believe it would be more beneficial for students to learn the rules of spelling. This would make it easier for students to spell and read.

I do not believe that we should teach struggling readers typical eye-movements. First of all, I wouldn’t even know how to teach it to them. I feel that it would be very confusing to students, and I don’t really see how teaching struggling readers typical eye-movements would improve their reading.

As I read this article, I found that it had many similarities to Adam’s model. They both state that our eyes fixate on words briefly before leaping to the next word while we read. I had never watched someone’s eyes while they read until Wednesday, and that was so interesting. They both also talk about how reading is a complex process, and reading uses many different parts of our brain simultaneously. It’s hard to believe that so many things are going on at one time, and we don’t even realize it!

This was a very interesting article! I have already learned so much new information. During my student teaching, I saw that some of the students would have to draw shapes around their spelling words, and now I understand why. I agree mostly with the parallel letter recognition model. As I read, I do believe that I recognize letters simultaneously, therefore recognizing the word that I am reading. I really did not understand neural network model. I read it a few times, but it is still confusing. Can anybody explain it?

May 12

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