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Verbal Reasoning is used when we make inferences about things not directly stated in a texts and for understanding figurative language like metaphors. We understand what we read by connecting new details with things we read earlier in the book and with our Background Knowledge. By developing these Verbal Reasoning skills, beginning readers start to make these connections too.
Because most texts require the reader to draw upon Background Knowledge for inferring the full meaning, Verbal Reasoning can break down when the reader lacks the relevant Background Knowledge, possesses incorrect Background Knowledge, or has the applicable Background Knowledge but does not use it to properly form inferences.
Understanding figurative language, including metaphors and idioms, also requires Verbal Reasoning skills. Children who can understand figurative language are able to understand the full meaning of text, particularly when the intended meaning is different from the literal meaning (e.g., the idiom “hold your tongue” means to remain silent, not to literally hold your tongue). Figurative language can be subtle and potentially ambiguous; thus while the skills required to understand figurative language begin to emerge at a young age, they continue to develop into adulthood.
Advance graphic organizers link prior knowledge to upcoming learning to help students anticipate and understand the structure of new information.
Audiobooks allow students to hear fluent reading and to experience books above their reading skills.
Students activate more cognitive processes by exploring and representing their understandings in visual form.
Daily review strengthens previous learning and can lead to fluent recall.
With this interactive technique, teachers help students become story-tellers by listening and questioning.
Free play supports learner interests and allows more complex social interactions to develop.
Adding gestures and motions to complement learning activates more cognitive processes for recall and understanding.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthen recall.
With this interactive technique, teachers help students use their own language for constructing knowledge by listening and questioning.
Spending time with new content helps move concepts into Long-term Memory.
A guided reading strip helps students focus by keeping their place as they read.
Independent reading promotes reading development by emphasizing student choice with teacher support in selecting books, as well as by making time for free reading.
Practicing until achieving several error-free attempts is critical for retention.
Rhyming, alliteration, and other sound devices reinforce language development by activating the mental processes that promote memory.
Providing physical representations of concepts helps learners activate mental processes.
Creating patterns for remembering classroom processes, narrative structures, etc. supports the development of memories.
By talking through their thinking at each step of a process, teachers can model what learning looks like.
Teachers sharing text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections models this schema building.
Reading aloud helps students to hear and practice reading and fluency skills.
Visuals help students recognize relationships within words and sentences to develop reading skills.
Talking with students about what they know about the topic of upcoming work helps activate their Background Knowledge or reveals gaps.
Pretending allows students to step back from a problem or task and think about it from multiple angles.
Reading aloud regularly exposes students to new and familiar vocabulary and texts.
Reading aloud books about skills children are learning provides another model for their development.
When students explain to others, they deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning.
Students build their confidence and skills by reading and rereading books.
Books for vision differences support reading development for learners with visual needs.
Books of varying complexity and reading levels are necessary for all students to experience reading success.
Multicultural and Primary Language books are critical for supporting all students.
With rhyming and creative word use, poetry is a genre that supports the development of early literacy skills in particular.
Books with SEL topics, such as developing friendships and identifying emotions, help teach these skills.
Providing a story map ahead of time or having students create a map during or after reading helps learners understand and practice Narrative Skills.
Transforming written text into audio supports learning by activating different parts of a learner’s brain for comprehension.
Students develop reading skills by listening to and speaking with others in informal ways.
Having students verbally repeat information such as instructions ensures they have heard and supports remembering.
Students with strong early literacy skills benefit from a literacy-rich approach.
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