“There is nothing here to help me teach reading,” lamented a woman at a recent Discovery Education Day of Discovery in Connecticut. She said this to me after learning that I am a middle school reading specialist and very excited about Discovery resources. She taught struggling high school readers.
While I empathize with this woman because there is no Discovery resource that outlines specific curricula and activities for teaching reading, reading instruction, especially at the secondary level, does not work that way. Student needs are ascertained and materials and activities crafted to meet those needs and, most importantly, engage the students. So, what does Discovery offer and how can teachers use these resources to teach their students reading?
Discovery Education and the DEN offers so much to teachers of reading. As a middle school reading specialist for the past 12 years, secondary education is my frame of reference, so my knowledge of resources is focused at this level. Discovery resources include webinars, videos, pictures, audio clips, and so much more.
The vast majority of students at the secondary level have mastered reading small words, one syllable words. It is the multi-syllabic words that cause difficulties. Having learned about paper slide videos from Lodge McCammon, a content contributor to Discovery, I had my students develop paper slide videos to show the process for decoding multi-syllabic words, model an example, and challenge their viewers to “decode” another long word. Being able to read a word without connecting it to its meaning is worthless. Images on Discovery and video clips can help students connect a word to its meaning and understand it in context. Students then use Flip cams to develop their own skits to help them remember a word in a context meaningful to them. This is just one way in which Discovery resources can help teach students reading skills at the word level. More to come.