A SharpReading Overview
As teachers we know a lot...
Over the last 20 years, our understanding of how we learn to read has blossomed with the volume of cognitive research that has been undertaken ('The Science of Reading'). We now have many increasingly complex models of the learning that occurs.
Has that been helpful?
Maybe...maybe not. As with everything in this new information age, we are often overwhelmed by burgeoning possibilities. Too much information; so many possibilities; so many voices.
Those detailed models of reading provide insights into the process, but we the curriculum and PD developers, the literacy coaches, and the teachers at the chalkface, have to distil this down into workable classroom practice.
How can we make it work in the classroom...
The problem...I am continually adding to my list (it stands at 47) of teaching actions that the researchers have found to improve comprehension. Yes, I can agree with them all, BUT the reality is, if you are looking for a teaching approach that works for you in a busy classroom with a crowded curriculum, you can't do it all. You have to be smart. You have to be SHARP!
What it means to be SHARP!
As our name suggests, our goal has always been to SHARPEN classroom practice so that the best possible outcomes are available for students BUT in a way that is manageable for the teacher. Here are some of our guiding principles.
Teachers need clear direction
Our SharpReading Developmental Progression provides a learning pathway. Granted, it may be a simplification, but we think a much-needed one. Students are kept in the appropriate learning zone by managing the cognitive loading that they can handle as we monitor their progress towards mastery before moving on to the next stage.
Our Scope and Sequence provides the detail for instruction and a suggestion for year levels.
Students hold the 'Locus of Control'
Having a tight lesson structure gives security and confidence to the learner allowing them to take risks and problem-solve their way to success. It also frees you up from all that teacher talk and allows you the luxury to monitor the skill development and make evidence-based decisions on the next learning steps.
Greatly Reduce Your Preparation time
Get your weekends back! The routines embedded in our stages drive the lesson not that 30-minute lesson plan you sweated over. You know what you are looking for as they provide a window into the way they process text and you know exactly what to do to tweak what you see next time around.