A Reading Antidote: The Effectiveness of Processes in My Reading Classroom

A What?

A reading antidote is nothing more than a structured strategy used to help scholars read and analyze various types of texts.

What do you mean by Processes?

Processes  here are the series of actions or steps taken during the reading process to assist with and ensure comprehension. The particular steps taken result in the antidote or strategy. 

Think about when you teach a child to tie a shoe. You either opt for the bunny ears or you choose the criss cross method.

Whichever you fancy, they both involve steps to achieve a final product. 

These steps when practiced over and over, result in you effectively teaching the child how to tie their shoe.  

It is a method that they will likely use forever.

Now, I am not saying that the antidote that we use in my classroom  will be used forever or that it is necessary for all scholars.

In fact, as scholars grow and progress through their academic careers,  it can and should be modified to suit their needs. Likewise,  gifted scholars may not need the many steps involved or they may need a few more to further challenge them. Or those with accommodations may skip a step or participate via cloze assistance.

Ok, Tell Me About the Antidote

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Well, we use a strategy( antidote = process) called the PQRSA strategy. We dedicate one day out of every week ( PQRSA Wednesday) to hit  the strategy hard, full out. 

During the rest of the week during shared reading, guided reading, independent practice, stations, collaborative work, etc. scholars have a great grasp on the process and they demonstrate this by using it with the variety of texts that they encounter. 

The Why

  1. Reading strategies are effective because they provide structure.
  2.  Kids thrive in structured environments
  3. This structure allows kids to have a plan of action no matter what genre they are given
  4. Having a plan of action builds their confidence in their  reading ability
  5. Bold and confident readers analyze, synthesize, and are more willing to explore literature in and outside of the classroom

There are a ton of reading strategies or antidotes in the world today.

It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel, but I would encourage you to adapt one to your teaching style and your students’ needs.

That’s all I’ve done with mine and it has proven very effective over the years.

If you would like more information on what exactly we do in my classroom on PQRSA Wednesdays, you can purchase my ebook here.

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Happy reading!