The teachers who attended the International Dyslexia Association’s (IDA) Annual Reading, Literacy, and Learning Conference returned with new ideas for the classroom, and strategies parents can use at home. It also reaffirmed Trident Academy’s teaching methods.
A common theme at the conference discussed by researches, neuroscientists, and educators, was the importance of oral reading. Small class sizes, individualized instruction, and three daily language classes provide Trident Academy’s students with more opportunities to read aloud than a traditional school model.
“It is so important to have your child read aloud to an adult both at school and at home,” Lower School Teacher Peggy Price says. “When they read aloud, any reading errors can be corrected to help them comprehend what they are reading. Studies have shown once decoding accuracy drops below 95%, reading comprehension significantly declines, too.”
In class, teachers ask questions to monitor the student’s understanding, tie the text to prior knowledge, and facilitate a deeper engagement of the text. Parents can also do this at home to magnify the impact on their child’s reading comprehension skills.
Another boost for reading comprehension isrereading the same text multiple times. One conference workshop suggested rereading the same text five times! Across Trident Academy’s curriculum, in small reading classes, language arts, and LEAD, students are given the opportunity to read the same text multiple times to measure the students’ decoding, fluency, and comprehension.
Parents may see this in their child’s homework assignments. For example, each week social studies, science, or current event articles are sent home with students in Mrs. Price’s class. At home, the students are expected to reread the same article over multiple days, and read through a table of target words which appear in the article before they start the article. (Reading through a list of challenging words before encountering them in the text is another research-based strategy to improve fluency and comprehension.)