The Missouri Reader Vol. 42, Issue 2 - Page 39

3. Use the results to identify strengths and differentiate instruction to meet those strengths as possible, within the parameters of your existing literacy mandates (Carbo, 2007).

∙ Consider, “How may I adjust the sound, lighting, temperature, and room design to meet students’ needs?”

∙ Consider, “Is the student motivated, does he/she complete tasks/assigned work, and does he/she need much direction?”

∙ Consider, “How does the student work best - with a group, alone, in pairs, with an adult, etc…?”

∙ Consider, “Would availability of food or drink, altering the timing of reading, and/or incorporating movement impact reading?”

4. Reflect on the effectiveness of the differentiation and modify or continue enhanced instruction.

Conclusion

Decades of research show the importance of employing learning styles for optimal learning. Amidst a multitude of governmental mandates and new standards for learning, scripted programs, testing, test practice, and an incessant fear of failure seem to have permeated many schools and classrooms. Predictably, the desire to read for pleasure tends to decline with each passing year of school (Dillon, 2005). One study found that near 40% of teenagers reported reading for pleasure only one to two times per year. Those who do not read regularly do not enjoy the related benefits of reading volume and its consequential augmentation of the background knowledge of students (Whitten, Labby, & Sullivan, 2016).

However, using reading styles affords a straightforward technique teachers may incorporate to help alleviate the problem of learning to read and students choosing to read. This study showed that incorporating reading styles with traditional reading methods enhanced student performance and attitude. Differentiating based on reading styles definitely helps provide the environmental conditions in which a person is most likely to succeed in reading/literacy. The more students experience success and enjoy reading, the more they tend to be successful in the future. Having students succeed in learning to read, and subsequently choose to read is the goal of all teachers of reading. Use of reading styles is one important tool educators may engage to glean this lofty goal, even in a time unprecedented with governmental mandates and “rigorous” standards.

References

Barber, L., Carbo, M., & Thomason, R. (1998). A comparative study of the reading styles program to extant programs of teaching reading. Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa.

Camera, L. (2018, April 10). NAEP shows little to no gains in math, reading for U.S. students. Retrieved July 8, 2018 from https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2018-04-10/naep-shows-little-to-no-gains-in-math-reading-for-us-students

Carbo, M. (2007). Becoming a great teacher of reading. Corwin Press: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Cooper, J.M., Irizarry, J.G., Leighton, M.S., Sadker, D., Sadker, M., Shostak, R., …Zittleman, K.R. (2014). Classroom teaching skills. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Diaz, C. (2018, June 12). Learning styles - A detriment to effective student learning. Retrieved July 18, 2018, from http://www.learningscientists.org/blog/2018/6/12-1

Dillon, S. (2005, October 20). Education law gets first test in U.S. schools. New York Times. Retrieved July 25, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/20/us/bush-education-law-shows-mixed-results-in-first-test.html

Dunn, R. (1996). How to implement and supervise learning styles program. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Government of New Brunswick, Canada. (2018). Literacy quick facts. Retrieved July 17, 2018 from http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/corporate/public_consultations/NBLiteracyStrategy/Facts.html

Hubbard, R. S., & Power, B. M. (2012). Living the questions: A guide for teacher-researchers. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse.

International Literacy Association. (2018). 2018 what’s hot in literacy report. Retrieved July 3, 2018, from https://www.literacyworldwide.org/get-resources/whats-hot-report

International Reading Association. (2018). Explaining phonics instruction: An educator’s guide. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from https://www.literacyworldwide.org/get-resources/position-statements

McReal, S.A. (2013). The illusory theory of multiple intelligences. Retrieved July 23, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/unique-everybody-else/201311/the-illusory-theory-multiple-intelligences

Oglesby, F. & Suter, W.N. (1995). Matching reading styles and reading instruction. Research in the Schools, 2(1), 11-15.

Powell, R., Cantrell, S.C., & Correll, P. (2017). Power and agency in a high poverty elementary school: How teachers experienced a scripted reading program. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 3(1), 93-124.

Rogowski, B.A., Calhoun, B.N., & Tallal, P. (2015). Matching learning style to instructional method: Effect on comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(1), 64-78.

Strauss, A. & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Walker, B.J. (2011). The diagnostic teaching of reading. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Dr. Sargent is a professor of reading at Northeastern State University (NSU) in Oklahoma, and Director of the University Reading Clinic. Prior to this position, he taught elementary school in Ponca City, Oklahoma.

Drs. Smith and Moreland also are professors at NSU and have previously taught in the public schools of Oklahoma.

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