Railroad Cat Story
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Railroad Cat Story
Thursday, April 29, 2010
This year's IRA conference is over and it was a good one. Here are a couple more of my presentations.
The first one is about Response to Intervention. Russell Gerstein and some of his colleagues were presenting the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide on RtI. They asked me to join in and provide a comparison of the guide with the IRA RtI guidelines. I did so and found some interesting differences. The IRA guide says more about Tier I interventions than did the practice guide, but it did more with Tier 2 and Tier 3. Bob Schwartz, from Oakland University, was in the audience and he asked why Reading Recovery evidence had not been included as part of the justification for some of the RtI practices championed in the guide. The answer was not a substantial one (the reason, it appears, was the fear of the Department of Education to look like they were favoring a particular program, as opposed to a practice; that was in the wake of the scandals around Reading First). I agree with the idea of avoiding conflicts of interest, but the point of using such evidence would be to show that a practice works, not that Reading Recovery is the only way to go.
I also talked to a few hundred of my closest friends about reading comprehension. I have posted this before, but here it is again. After this presentation an audience member (from Weekly Reader) was puzzled about my point on our inability to teach question types. He was worried that I was saying that it wasn't important to ask kids different kinds of questions. It is very reasonable to ask students a wide variety of questions as long as they make sense for the passages read. Just don't think that asking a particular kind of question raises that kind of comprehension. The key is the texts themselves, and then using questions to get the students to think effectively about what they have read (rather than trying to teach them to answer a particular type of question).
Here are those presentations: