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Models and Classroom Instruction

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Reading Instruction for Students with Disabilities

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Models and Classroom Instruction
Strategy Instruction

Strategy instruction follows an organized sequence of events that allow students to learn prerequisite skills and move on to performing tasks independently. The following is an example of a general sequence used in the classroom:

    1. Teacher helps students understand the objectives of a lesson and identifies the expectations for performance.
    2. Class reviews necessary skills.
    3. Teacher presents information, gives examples, and demonstrates concepts.
    4. Teacher assesses for understanding and misconceptions by posing questions and probing.
    5. Students participate in group instruction and/or independent practice. They demonstrate new skills and adopt the new concepts on their own.
    6. Teacher assesses performance and gives immediate and delayed feedback in form of discussion, quizzes, etc.
    7. Teacher provides continued practice and review.

    Strategy Instruction Models

POSSE: This specific model uses a teacher created advanced graphic organizer to guide students through five strategies for reading:

    1. Predicting ideas
    2. Organizing predicted ideas and background knowledge based on text structure
    3. Searching for text structure
    4. Summarizing main ideas
    5. Evaluating comprehension

MULTIPASS: This model combines a number of strategies and is used with expository texts, such as newspaper articles, essays, and social studies texts. Students engage in three "passes" through expository material.

  1. The Survey Pass: Students read through titles and introductory paragraphs, review relationships to adjacent chapters, read major subtitles, look at illustrations and captions, read the summary paragraph, and paraphrase information acquired in order to become familiar with the text.

  2. The Size Up Pass: Without fully reading it, students gain specific information and facts in the passage. Students read each question at the end of the chapter. If they can answer it, they check where that information was found and then move through the rest of the chapter to find clues, transform clues in to questions, look at surrounding text to find answers to those questions, and paraphrase the answers.

  3. The Sort Out Pass: Students read and answer each question at the end of the chapter. If they can answer the question, they check it. If not, they look for the answer in the text. This allows students to test themselves.

Other Strategy Instruction Techniques:

  • Story Grammars: This intervention is helpful when teaching narrative text. It is a generic outline of the structure of a story, including story setting, characters, goal or problem, actions, reactions of characters, and outcome. This technique helps students understand the way stories are organized, which in turn helps them understand what they read.

  • Comprehension/Self-Monitoring: This intervention is based on the premise that students with disabilities do not efficiently reflect on their own thinking and do not evaluate how well a reading task is being carried out. Comprehension monitoring techniques allow students to become active readers, rather than inactive readers, by generating questions, identifying interesting words, and cross-referencing inconsistencies. Students without disabilities can also be inactive readers, and may benefit from these strategy interventions, as well.

  • Visual Imagery: Such interventions include activities that allow the reader to visualize what he or she has read or what they are about to read, and are based on the dual-coding theory, asserting that learning may be either verbal or visual. The verbal image strategy requires students to answer comprehension questions one paragraph at a time, after talking to themselves aloud about what they read. In the visual strategy situation, students are asked to close their eyes and make a mental movie about the completed paragraph before answering the questions.

  • Questioning Guided by Narrative Text Structure: Students identify principal parts of the story and use a guide for organization while reading. Students use story outlines, story mapping, and visual imagery. Combined with direct instruction and opportunities for guided and independent practice, this integrated strategy improves comprehension of specific texts and shows some generalization to other reading tasks.

  • Passage Organization: Students use a five-step process to re-organize text including sentence sorting, checking sentences, placing sentences in proper order within paragraphs, and preparing to tell the story.

  • Mapping Organizers: Students write main and supporting ideas onto maps and take notes on maps during tape-recorded presentations of passages. As students progress, the map becomes a coherent outline of the text. These are often called semantic webs.

  • Elaborate Interrogation of Texts: Students reason through the text by asking "why does this make sense?" after each sentence. Students engage in self-questioning while reading the passages and when prompted by the teachers. Study results indicated that this method might produce better results when coupled with intense direct coaching, prompting, and guided practice.

  • Summarization Skills Training: Students use a two-part, nine-step summary skills strategy, with a Summary Writing Guide used to visually organize elements during the process. This is coupled with carefully executed direct teaching approaches. Results show improvement in reading comprehension and summarization skills.

  • Combined Summarization with Self-monitoring Comprehension Training: This method has shown positive results, possibly because the complexity of expository texts requires the use of the self-monitoring techniques in addition to the summarization technique.

  • Mnemonics: Using mnemonic devices is particularly helpful when working with students to improve recall of vocabulary and lists of facts. The use of acronyms, representational imagery, and associations with key words can improve the recall and retrieval items with which students have little prior knowledge. In situations where students do have some prior knowledge of a subject, they may also be taught to generate reasons why new facts are useful, engaging them in active learning.

  • Repeated Reading: This involves allowing students to re-read texts for understanding.

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Instructional Grouping
Strategy Instruction

Direct Instruction

Text Adaptation



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