COLUMBUS, Ohio–Research shows that an early introduction to informational text can prevent the "fourth grade slump" in students´ achievement test scores. To help teach reading strategies for informational text in Grades 2?6, SRA/McGraw-Hill has published Reading for Information(TM).
In Grades K?1, students are focused on developing the mechanics of reading ? in most cases through exposure to narrative text. Beginning in Grade 2, students are faced with an increasing amount of informational text (presented as expository or non-fiction writing) in subject matters such as Science and Social Studies, which they also encounter on state tests.
Reading for Information helps students transition from learning to read to reading to learn through the development of strategies for understanding informational text, coupled with reading practice in eight Science and Social Studies themes:
1. Life science
2. Earth science
3. Physical science
This flexible program also provides support for teachers to help differentiate instruction. The Student Readers are grouped in three levels: approaching level, on level, and above level. Each of these levels maintains the same content and vocabulary though supporting details differ so students can participate in lively whole-class discussion.
Strategies for reading for information are different from those used for reading stories, according to program author Dr. Douglas Fisher. To outline some of the best practices, Dr. Fisher recently published the white paper, "Helping Elementary Students Read for Information," available at:
In the white paper, Dr. Fisher explains the importance of using supplemental material to teach content-area reading: "A study of basal readers revealed only 20% of the reading selections were informational texts," Dr. Fisher said. "By increasing students´ access to and time with information text, explicitly teaching comprehension strategies, and creating opportunities for students to use informational text for authentic purposes, we can successfully teach students to master content-area reading."
To learn more about Reading for Information, visit: www.SRAonline.com/RFI.
About the Author
Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is a Professor of Language and Literacy Education in the Department of Teacher Education at San Diego State University, the Co-Director for the Center for the Advancement of Reading at the California State University Chancellor´s Office, and the past Director of Professional Development for the City Heights Educational Collaborative. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award, the Farmer Award for excellence in writing from the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Christa McAuliffe Award for excellence in teacher education.
He has published numerous articles on reading and literacy, differentiated instruction, and curriculum design as well as books, such as Reading for Information in Elementary School, Improving Adolescent Literacy: Strategies at Work, and Teaching English Language Learners: A Differentiated Approach. He has taught a variety of courses in SDSU´s teacher-credentialing program, as well as graduate-level courses on English language development and literacy. An early intervention and language development specialist, he also has taught high school English, writing, and literacy development to public school students.
SRA/McGraw-Hill is the top provider of specialized research-based educational programs and professional development for the elementary market. Leading programs include SRA Imagine It! reading program, Direct Instruction, Real Math, and additional core and supplemental programs. SRA is part of McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP). McGraw-Hill Education is a leading global provider of instructional, assessment, and reference solutions that empower professionals and students of all ages. Additional information is available at mheducation.com. For more information on SRA/McGraw-Hill´s products, call 1-888-SRA-4543 and visit www.SRAonline.com.