Friday, December 9, 2016

Fishing for Meaning

Last week, we talked about making our teaching both Visible and Enjoyable—for all students. We want to make teaching:

Visible because children who struggle in any given area will not easily make connections to text and writing. They struggle to gain automaticity, so they must learn each step explicitly. Each Visible skill needs to be practiced repeatedly, both in isolation and connected with other related skills. Repeated skill practice is by nature a dull affair, yet for many children, it cannot be avoided.

Enjoyable because struggling learners spend entire school days engaging in tasks that are difficult and frustrating. They struggle with cognitive fatigue and feelings of shame or embarrassment. Sometimes anger and resentment result. The more we can make skill practice Enjoyable, the easier it is on everyone. More than anything, learning that is Enjoyable supports the educator-student bond—a bond often challenged when reading and writing difficulties define the day.

To help children more fully comprehend text in an easy to follow (Visible) and interesting (Enjoyable) way, I developed a strategy I call Fishing for Meaning. Fishing for Meaning helps kids to understand that words on a page have secret messages and ideas underneath—much the way the surface of the ocean holds an entire word of living creatures below the surface, hidden within its depths.

Fishing for Meaning is both a Visible and Enjoyable metaphor to help you teach children how to interpret deeper meaning within their reading passages. Fishing for Meaning also gives kids another reason to write in Bits and Pieces! Tracy Molitors designed this wonderful visual to share, so be sure to download this free activity to use with your students! Visit my the Rooted in Language home page (www.rootedinlanguage.com) and click the "Download your free activity" button!

~Rita


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