A Thank You to Rocky

This semester I am undertaking to teach a twenty week course in Extensive reading. I am working under the mentoring of professor Rocky Nelson who has over fifteen years experience in both implementing and running Extensive Reading courses. Unfortunately Rocky will retire in December this year leaving a void at my university.

This blog is intended for me to keep a record for not only myself in the future but also any other teachers or students interested in developing or partaking in a solidly designed Extensive Reading course, especially for those in Korea. I will try to provide a weekly plan synopsis as I teach the classes and provide links to materials and other supplements.

I hope this site is useful for those that visit.

Extensive Reading Central -The New Extensive Reading Portal

I want to put at the top of this blog the new main Portal for Extensive Reading developed by Dr Robert Waring. Please click the link below.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Fourth Week

This week the four hours are basically split into two hours of Sustained Silent Reading, one hour of a reading discussion to build the 'Culture of Reading' and one hour to discuss the work by Beatrice Mikulecky. Additionally there are now two weekly activities and checks that we do, namely:
  • Check page numbers read by students.
  • Timed Repeated Readings (twice a week - takes about eight minutes per time) 
Students are also reminded of the requirement to complete four of the different types of book report from week two by the end of week six. Progress is recorded. 

'Culture of Reading' Discussion

Professor Nelson always stresses the importance of creating a culture of reading so that students will continue to read after the semester is over. To supplement this we use the Reading and You handout. I did the first two questions with the class to model how they can answer the work sheet. The first page was then done as pair work, and students were asked to write short answers. The second page was done as a group discussion exercise with the teacher circulating around groups. The activity is enjoyed by students and makes them think about reading as a culture. 

Beatrice Mikulecky

We have a copy of Mikulecky's 'A Short Course in Teaching Reading Skills' and talk about a lot of the principles in the book. I understand that the book is no longer in print with a revised version called 'A Short Course in Teaching Reading: Practical Techniques for Building Reading Power' being available. We talk about What Reading Is with regards to:
  • Top down and bottom up processing
  • Schema development 
  • Processes of good readers
  • Implications for teachers
For a more in-depth summary of what we discuss about the text refer to Professor Nelson's 'A Short Course in Teaching Reading' power point. Some of the discussion also focuses on reading being 'a psycho-linguistic guessing game'.  We use this passage below (listed as passage 1 in Professor Nelson's power point):

Read the following passage and discover what the topic is.

A newspaper is better than a magazine, and on a seashore is a better place than a street. At first it is better to run than to walk. Also you may have to try several times. It takes some skill but it’s easy to learn. Even young children can enjoy it. Once successful, complications are minimal. Birds seldom get too close. One needs lots of room. Rain soaks in very fast. Too many people doing the same thing can also cause problems. If there are no complications, it can be very peaceful. A rock will serve as an anchor. If things break loose from it, however, you will not get a second chance.

The answer to the topic is that it is about flying a kite. 

Finally time for some Sustained Silent Reading after we show students some different Silent Reading Acronyms for fun. 

That is all for week four. Not a lot really. The nice thing about this week is that it is the first week I too actually get to do some Sustained Silent Reading with the students. 

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