[MOSAIC] Dyslexia and comprehension

ljackson ljackson at gwtc.net
Mon Aug 13 08:49:00 EDT 2007

I am not so certain.  It was day four, a great group with only one new to
the district teacher, so trust levels were high.  As I noticed the struggle,
we quickly encouraged them to work in groups--which made an observable
difference in terms of stress levels.  When we debriefed the strategy, just
a couple talked about being uncomfortable with the idea of drawing. Others
talked a lot about struggling to make a mental image.  Know this, we had
worked with visualization with fiction and not met these difficulties.  In
all honesty, I believe that we under-estimated the difficulty these teachers
would have transferring a strategy across genre.  My partner felt she should
have modeled this more explicitly.  There are certainly some lessons to be

1.  Strategies have to be taught ACROSS genres and text types.
2.  The ability to use a strategy well can become genre specific.
3.   Model, model, model!!

Incidentally, this was such a great class to work with!  As a fairly new
district level coach coming from a primary classroom in the district, with a
partner who is very young and somewhat worried by how she would be perceived
because of that--I think we would both say we were nervous working with a
local audience. I have presented at regional and national conferences, and
was far more concerned about this class than any national presentation!! It
is easier to be the expert from 40 miles (or more away) that it is to
sometimes work with local teachers.  Our own concerns were put to rest--we
had an enjoyable week exploring strategy instruction.


On 8/12/07 9:41 PM, "Joy" <jwidmann at rocketmail.com> wrote:

> I wonder if the adults struggled because they didn't want to appear "wrong" in
> front of other adults. Maybe they didn't feel comfortable taking risks. Maybe
> they thought they'd be ridiculed.
> ljackson <ljackson at gwtc.net> wrote:  That is interesting. I recently team
> taught a class with our high school
> literacy coach and she tried a couple of visualization strategies with our
> adult students that she normally uses with the kids she works with--children
> with cognitive impairments, reading disabilities and delayed readers. Her
> kids had had no trouble with them and she was a bit surprised to watch the
> adults struggle. I told her that I wondered if students with difficulties
> reading (and decoding) don't, given the opportunity, rely more successfully
> on alternative strategies. Here are the two activities:
> One: Presented students with diagram (all labels stems there but with no
> words) and supporting text. Students were asked to read and then to figure
> out how to complete the labels on the diagram.
> Two: Students were presented with vivid written descriptions of insect and
> asked to draw them.
> Lori
> On 8/12/07 5:46 PM, "Joy" wrote:
>> Jennifer,
>> My experience with students who have identified learning differences is that
>> they learn the strategies more readily than students who do not struggle. I
>> think it is because they have developed good listening skills to cope with
>> their lack of decoding skills. They "get" the read/think alouds more quickly,
>> and can apply them with ease with text they hear.
>> We can't read reading tests aloud to our students in NC., so until their
>> decoding improves they don't do well at all on standardized reading tests.
>> Once they become more competent with decoding, they soar.
>> Joy/NC/4
>> jwidmann at rocketmail.com
>> How children learn is as important as what they learn: process and content
>> go hand in hand. http://www.responsiveclassroom.org
>> ---------------------------------
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Lori Jackson
District Literacy Coach & Mentor
Todd County School District
Box 87
Mission SD  57555
ph. 605.856.2211

Literacies for All Summer Institute
July 17-20. 2008
Tucson, Arizona

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