Common Core Strategies: Reading for Meaning

  • Common Core State Standards require teachers to have a complete grasp of the strategies needed to help them. And one such strategy is “Reading for Meaning”.

    Reading for Meaning is one of six ways that create independent lifelong learners. It will afford teachers the skills necessary to adjust to the new paradigm and implement Common Core Standards.

    The research-based strategy helps all readers make sense of challenging texts. Regular use of the strategy gives students the opportunity to practice and master the three phases of critical reading that lead to reading success. These include previewing and predicting before reading, actively searching for relevant information during reading and reflecting on learning after reading.

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    Three Reasons for Using Reading for Meaning to Address the Common Core

    1. Reading for Meaning builds in all students the skills used by proficient readers to extract meaning from even the most rigorous texts.
    2. Few strategies put a greater premium on evidence than Reading for Meaning, which provides direct, supported training in how to find, assess, and use relevant textual evidence.
    3. Reading for Meaning helps teachers build and assess the exact skills that the Common Core identifies as crucial to students’ success, including identifying main ideas, making inferences, and supporting interpretations with evidence. Because Reading for Meaning uses teacher-created statements to guide students’ reading, teachers can easily craft statements to address any of the Common Core’s standards for reading.

    The Research Behind Reading for Meaning

    Reading for Meaning is deeply informed by a line of research known as comprehension instruction. Many scholars attribute the beginning of the comprehension instruction movement to Dolores Durkin’s (1978/1979) study “What Classroom Observations Reveal About Reading Comprehension Instruction.” Durkin discovered that most teachers were setting students up for failure by making the false assumption that comprehension—the very thing students were being tested on—did not need to be taught. As long as students were reading the words correctly and fluently, teachers assumed that they were “getting it.”

    Thanks in part to Durkin’s findings, a new generation of researchers began investigating the hidden skills and cognitive processes that underlie reading comprehension. A number of researchers focused their attention on a simple but unexplored question: What do great readers do when they read?

    The strategy is designed around these research findings. It breaks reading into three phases (before, during, and after reading) and develops in students of all ages the processing skills they need during each phase to build deep understanding.

    It is based on six research-based, classroom-proven strategies that will help teachers and students respond to the demands of the Common Core.

    Thanks to more than 40 years of research and hands-on classroom testing, we now know the best strategies to increase student engagement and achievement and prepare students for college and career. Best of all, these strategies can be used across all grade levels and subject areas.

    Learn Reading for Meaning

    A new series designed by Dominican University, will help teachers learn strategies that will significantly improve their ability to teach the Common Core State Standards and improve classroom management. The content learned will afford teachers the skills necessary to implement a research-based strategy to help all readers make sense of challenging texts.

    After completing the course teachers will demonstrate or indicate knowledge of the strategy of Reading for Meaning, knowledge of how Reading for Meaning can help students meet the new standards and the ability to plan lessons or activities that utilize the strategy.

    This strategy can help all readers make sense of challenging texts. By meeting the requirements of this class, participating teachers will earn one semester unit of graduate level extension credit from Dominican University of California, a fully accredited university.

    All six courses in the Core Strategies series require one book entitled, “The Core Six: Essential Strategies for Achieving Excellence with the Common Core” by Harvey Silver, Thomas Dewing, & Matthew Perini.