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Another way to look at how to teach students how to read

lesaluna12's picture

At our last class, one of my peers commented on my post about being given a minor role in my first grade's Peter Pan play. My peer's comment was that if my first grade teacher had given me a bigger role in the play, that could have potentially motivated me to practice my reading skills and become a better reader. I had never thought about it that way but I believe she's right. I then read the Jaschke, Leigh article about teaching adults in West Africa how to read through mobile phones. I found the article interesting because by teaching adults how read through mobile phones, they are not only becoming literate but learning how to function an important useful piece of technology. What makes this significant is that the program that makes it possible for these adults to become literate allows them to use a "practical literacy component tied to obtaining market information via text message". This component has been very beneficial for agricultural producers that from what I understood from this article is that in order for them to enjoy the benefits this component offers, it could be safe to say that this can serve as a motivator for adults to learn how to read. This then makes me think back to my own experience, what can we do as educators to motivate our students to learn how to read?


alesnick's picture


I appreciate so much the layering in this journal entry/post: from layering your own memory with new interpretations of an event from childhood, to layering children's learning with adults'.  I agree that DC's point that your teacher could have used the play as a WAY IN for you, rather than a gateway she policed.  The work with adults and mobile phones is oriented to their participation and agency, not to sorting them into "good" and "struggling" readers.  Maybe this is the key message for schools: stop focusing on sorting!

Serendipitaz's picture

finding the value in learning

Motivating myself is a challenging activity, let alone motivating someone else to do something. For the longest time, I had the fear of doing math problems because I used to think I was "slow." I really hated how most of the kids read the problem and understood what to do right away. I used to get easily demotivated, but I always had encouraging teachers who would spend afterschool hours to help me learn the math. In doing so, I was able to keep up with the class. However, in progressing years, I still needed the individual attention from my teachers. The problem was that I didn't have the self-confidence to try the math. Whenever I saw a problem, I would automatically shut down (lol, e-literacy taking over the world!). Math was always tedious to me, but when I did understand how to solve the problems, I felt satisfied. Last semester, I read a paper in Ed Psych that talked about how the importance of math doesn't lie in the fact that it's math and it's GREAT, but rather it is meant to help us develop our problem solving skills. I finally discovered the value of math, and now I really wish I had taken more math classes. Before, math used to be a pointless subject, but after recognizing that is a helpful practice that can help me develop better strategies to cope with my problems, I fascinated by it. So, I think the challenge that a teacher often faces is helping the students discover the value in the work so that it becomes playful and fun. This reminded me of my post about finding the beauty in the color yellow because I disliked it at first, but now I like it because I remember all the happy things in my life like my grandmother or the friend who taught me to garden... :)

lesaluna12's picture

I meant to use this as my Journal Entry!

This post is meant to be my Journal Entry just so everyone knows.