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Megan Pulley

EDU 3410 Unit II Reflection

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Unit II Reflection Paper


Chapters 5, 6, and 7 of our text have provided me with a wealth of information, which I
will be able to use as I strive to enable my students to become strategic readers. These chapters
covered important topics related to word identification, meaning vocabulary, and comprehension.
Throughout my experience in taking courses dealing with literacy, I have continued to develop in
my knowledge of the complexities of reading instruction. Reading is an essential part of
everyday life; therefore, it is essential that students be prepared with the knowledge and skills
necessary for success socially, academically, and in their future careers.
Chapter five focuses on the various word-identification skills and strategies that skilled,
strategic readers must have. Not only should students have knowledge of these skills and
strategies, but they must also know how to put them into practice within authentic reading
situations. It is important to remember that word identification alone is not reading, but it is a
tool that is to be used to construct meaning from written language. An important point that I take
away from this chapter is that through administration of the five major instructional tasks sight
vocabulary, phonics, fluency, structural analysis, and contextual analysis our students should be
able to 1) understand that reading is a language process, 2) develop and expand sight vocabulary,
3) learn to associate visual symbols with speech sounds, 4) achieve fluency or automaticity in
decoding, and 5) realize that reading is always a meaning-making process and that printed word
symbols represent language (Heilman, Blair, & Rupley, 2002).
Chapter six is all about vocabulary, and the role it plays in allowing students to draw
meaning from the text they are reading. Students need to be given a variety of opportunities to
encounter and use new vocabulary words. It is important that these opportunities be authentic
and meaningful to the students, which will allow for a more effective learning experience.

Megan Pulley

EDU 3410 Unit II Reflection

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Teaching vocabulary is definitely an essential component of reading instruction because it


provides a major contribution to students ability to comprehend what they are reading. A few
significant points about vocabulary instruction that I gained from this chapter are 1)
remembering that vocabulary development is promoted when it is taught within the context of
real books, and when words that are important to a specific content area are taught; and 2)
recognizing that vocabulary instruction is most effective when it relates new words or
derivations of words to existing vocabulary knowledge (Heilman, Blair, & Rupley, 2002, p.
210). Also, not only is it important that students are able to understand the meaning of the word,
but that they are able to understand the word in the context in which it is used.
Chapter seven focuses on a critical piece that should be found in every reading program:
effective instructional methods and strategies for developing students comprehension. The
reading process is dynamic, requiring active, meaningful communication between the author and
the reader (Heilman, Blair, & Rupley, 2002, p. 246). From this chapter, I learned that a vital
component of comprehension instruction is the connection of reading and writing. This
connection assists students in developing strategies that they will use when reading and
interpreting text. According to our text, there are five skills that should be taught, and the
synthesis of those skills results in reading comprehension. Students should be taught to
determine importance, summarize information, draw inferences, generate questions, and monitor
their own comprehension.
Overall, this unit provided a great deal of information about reading instruction, from
what we need to teach to examples of how we can teach it. The unit builds from word
recognition to meaning vocabulary to comprehension in a perfect sequence. After all, a student
cant begin to comprehend if he/she doesnt know the necessary word-recognition strategies. As

Megan Pulley

EDU 3410 Unit II Reflection

Page 3

students are taught various vocabulary words, they are building up a storehouse of knowledge
from which they can pull information when using their comprehension strategies. I feel that this
unit has given me the tools to effectively manage and conquer the complexities of reading
instruction.

References:
Heilman, A. W., Blair, T. R., & Rupley, W. H. (2002). Principles and practices of teaching
reading. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.