The following article helps clarify why you teach 2 days below grade level and 3 days on. First students are listening and practicing comprehension strategies using listening skills. The material may be too hard but the teacher is giving them opportunities -- strategies -- direct modeling of how to think while dealing with on grade level material. Then the below grade level material is an opportunity for the students to practice the strategy on material they CAN read. The transfer can't happen if:
1. You are not teaching all kids how to read on grade level material
2. You are not allowing a time to practice the strategy with material they can read.
"Transferring comprehension from listening to reading" is an excellent article written by Patricia Cunningham
The Reading Teacher volume 29 date 1975 pages 169-172
WOW! You all should get your hands on her article and read the complete article. I found a copy through the local university. It really explains the listening/reading transfer. I have struggled with how to do listening reading transfer when I read the brief overview in the teacher's guide to 4 blocks and Classrooms That Work so I looked up the references after that chapter.
"One strategy is a listening-reading transfer lesson. The act of listening differs from the act of reading in several ways. Unlike the reader, the listener cannot control the rate at which he receives information or regress to check his listening. Often, the listener must adjust his listening to a speaker's dialect which differs from his own. Finally, the listener cannot re-listen. On the other hand the reader lacks intonation and nonverbal cues to meaning available to the listener. He must also translate the written code to the familiar verbal code. There is, however, one very important similarity between reading and listening: in both the receiver is the object of some message and is trying to construe its meaning. It is estimated that, for good readers, reading ability surpasses listening ability somewhere during the secondary school years; for most elementary children, however, listening ability is superior to reading ability. Elementary children can
understand more when a passage is read to them than when they read it themselves. (pages 169-170)"
"In a listening-reading transfer lesson, the students learn that the kinds of things they can do after listening to a passage are the same kinds of things they are asked to do after reading a passage. To achieve this, the teacher plans two parallel lessons. In the first the students listen and respond in the same ways. Some sample lessons will illustrate this principle. (page 170)"
Sequencing Events Sample Lesson from page 170
Many children have difficulty ordering the events in a story they have read. A listening-reading transfer lesson will help them. There are six steps to this lesson:
1. Set the purpose for listening: "Listen so that when I have finished
reading, you can put the events of the story in the order in which they
2. Read a selection to the students
3. Write the major events of the story on sentence strips and tape them
to the board (nowadays, use a pocket chart). The children physically
should be able to rearrange these strip until they agree that the order
4. Give the children passages to read. Tell them that they will do the
exact same thing reading that they have just done in listening. THey
should read to be able to put the events of a story in order.
5. As the children finish reading, give them a sheet with the main
events of the story. They cut apart the sentences and physically order
6. The children share their orderings and explanation for their
orderings as a whole class or in small groups.
To make this lesson easier Pat includes this:
*The teacher could read the main events to the students
*When the students begin reading, they will have a copy of the main
events ready before reading
To make this lesson harder Pat includes this:
*Having the children listening for main events; they generate the list
of events then writing them (not having the teacher pre-list the main
*During reading they would be asked to read, list, cut the list, and put
it in order
"To achieve the transfer the children should regularly be reminded, "See
what you just did after listening, I want you to do the same thing after
reading." page 170
THESE ARE ALL of Patricia Cunningham's ideas from this article. The mistakes are mine. The talent is hers!