In elementary education, content in language teaching is the basis for learning. It is the duty of the teacher to select the appropriate strategies based on abilities, interests and needs of the students. Students should not be required to demonstrate all of the content to show a positive outcome. This paper explains some of the teaching strategies important for teaching how to read and write in classrooms.
Skimming is an important strategy applied when the teacher wants to survey texts and obtain a general idea of what it means (Pintrich & Schunk, 2001). The idea is to ignore detailed information and focus on key ideas. In addition, a teacher can use this strategy to ensure that students pay attention to the organization of the text (NAEYC, 2014). Since reading is an interactive task, the teacher should ensure that construction of meaning of the text is achieved. The teacher should also be attentive and active when skimming a text. Skimming should not be used alone because it tends to ignore the details. It should be used as the initial strategy to provide the teacher with key ideas within the text before using any other strategy (Schickedanz & Collins, 2013).
Metacognitive strategies aim at providing the students with explicit instructions for a specific learning method. For example, the use of meaningful words with each letter standing for a given step in a problem solving process is important in teaching. Students can remember certain words and recognize the meaning in each word. The word should not only be easy to remember, but also interesting to the student.
Moreover, the use of rehearsal strategies in helping students learn how to read and write is an important practice in education (Flint, Kitson, Lowe & Shaw, 2013). A rehearsal strategy uses repetitions of the practice of information being taught in class. They should be asked to say the words or sentences loudly or sub-vocalize the words or sentence (Altieri, 2011). This practice increases their familiarity with the information being taught. They are important in learning relatively short amounts of information.
Although it is an old practice, note taking is an important teaching strategy, especially in reading and writing (Brozo & Flynt, 2007). It is mostly used to record oral presentations. However, it is an important strategy to help students to record notes from written sources. When students are asked to copy notes from a written source such as a blackboard, it is easy to increase their proficiency and familiarity with words, phrases and sentences (Bull & Anstey, 2013). It increases a student’s ability to recognize words. Students should be asked to read what they have written and give the meaning of each word or sentence.
Surmising proves to be an important strategy in teaching reading and writing skills. It involves a number of activities that teachers should involve their students. For instance, a teacher can use “ticket out the door” method to determine the student’s ability to read and write. In this case, the teacher asks the students to describe or explain the key items or concepts they have learnt. It should come at the end of a lesson. A teacher may also use learning logs, which help students explain what they have understood or experienced in a lesson (Winch, 2010).
Finally, it is important to look at the top level structures of books to know how to implement teaching and scaffolds. The idea of scaffolding emerged in the late 1970s and refers to the type of assistance a teacher offers to support the process of learning. In this case, the teacher helps the students master certain concepts or tasks that are initially difficult for individuals to grasp on their own (Pintrich & Schunk, 2001).
Altieri, J. (2011). Content counts! Developing disciplinary literacy skills, K-6. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. Web.
Brozo, W. G., & Flynt, E. S. (2007). Content Literacy: Fundamental Toolkit Elements. The Reading Teacher, 61(2), 192–194. Web.
Bull, G., & Anstey, M. (2013). Evolving Pedagogies: Reading and writing in a multimodal world. Curriculum Press, the education services Australia. Web.
Flint, A. S., Kitson, L., Lowe, K., & Shaw, K. (2013). Literacy in Australia: Pedagogies for engagement. Sydney: John Wiley and Sons. Web.
NAEYC. (2014). Why Read Informational Books? Web.
Pintrich, P. R., & Schunk, D. H. (2001). Motivation in education: Theory, research and applications. Upper Saddle River, N J: Merrill Publishers. Web.
Schickedanz, J. A., & Collins, M. F. (2013). So Much More Than the ABCs: The Early Phases of Reading and Writing. Sydney: National Association for the Education of Young Children. Web.
Winch, C. (2010). Literacy: reading, writing and children’s literature (4th ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford: University Press. Guided Reading in Action p.158. Web.