Strategies for ALL Learners
My last blog post was regarding taking the stigma away from using strategies that help our students succeed in school. This post will build on this theme to discuss how all students can benefit from strategies.
There is a school near us that allows our services to be done in the school environment. The school welcomes us, and the teachers are willing to listen to our strategies and techniques. But they go one step further and begin implementing the strategies with all their students! In a previous post, I wrote about the highlighting strategy. In a future post, I will go in detail about vocabulary strategies. Students of all backgrounds and needs began using the highlighting strategy, and the results were an increase in reading comprehension, more discussion about the books, and decreased time to answer comprehension questions. Students who were not struggling in school or had a diagnosed language impairment, also benefited from a strategy used for those students who struggle. The goal was everyone was expected to use the strategy, and no one was singled out or seen as different. The aftermath was everyone in the class improved!
Some teachers gave the students the option of doing different strategies. This gave students we worked with the chance to "choose" to use the strategy and peers not know that it was necessary for their success in class. Their peers even began choosing to use the strategies as they saw friends doing better.
If you think about your day to day and how often you misread something, imagine now you have highlighted as you read (side note: it takes NO extra time once you have learned how to do it). As you highlight, you focus on what you read more and therefore can comprehend better what you read. This applies for typically developing students too.
A more personal example is how I rarely obtained the grade I wanted on reading passages because I read the books, but I didn't know what was important to know. I would try to store all the information I read, and in the end, forget most of it. Once I began highlighting the material (in college!), the material stayed with me longer, and I could pick out what was important to know.
This was a long way of saying, all students can benefit from using strategies in the classroom like highlighting and vocabulary. This is one way to decrease the stigma of being different.