For the next few weeks I will be participating in #cyberpd, a virtual book study group. You can find out more information about #cyberpd here. I am excited to take part in this community of educators for the second year. This year we are reading and discussing Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading: Shifting to a Problem-Based Approach by Vicki Vinton. I will be posting weekly reflections on the chapters we are reading. I am looking forward to learning from everyone in the #cyberpd community.
My ReflectionDynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading is a much needed book on reading instruction. Vicki Vinton mentions the Common Core State Standards within the book, but whether you teach in a state that has adopted the standards or not, you have probably crossed paths with educators, administrators, policy makers, or publishers who promote reading instruction that is oversimplified, prescriptive, and/or inauthentic. Vinton reminds us that reading is a complex process and because of this the instruction of reading is complex, even challenging and, at times, messy. Vinton makes the case for teaching a problem-based approach to reading, one in which readers are solving problems they face in their reading and figuring out for themselves who the characters are, what is happening, and what they author is trying to show them. This is an approach to reading instruction that mirrors the complex, messy process that real-world readers engage in.
- We shortchange our students when we scaffold students' learning by giving them shortcuts or "skillifying" reading.
- Readers make sense of a text as a whole. They reason, notice patterns, form ideas, and revise their thinking about a text as they read. Students should be immersed in this authentic work of readers.
- Overscaffolding results in readers who don't have to figure things out for themselves and therefore don't think as they read. We want readers to think!
- As students engage in a problem-based approach to reading they will also experience productive struggle, but this deep thinking is what will result in deep understanding.
- Much of today's reading instruction focuses on teaching students to extract from a text (analyze and find evidence to support claims), but reading is a process of transaction, in which readers engage their minds and hearts in making meaning.
- If we honor different ways of thinking, we promote not just critical thinking, but also creative thinking, thinking that is open-ended and changes as new information is encountered.
- In a problem-based approach to reading instruction, teachers model the complex thinking that is the reading process.