||Merit Software News
Ben Weintraub (212-675-8567)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEClassroom Strategies That Improve Reading Instruction
Teaching text connections is critical to improving students' reading abilities, new report says. Book Punch facilitates recommended actions.
"Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Strategies," a new report from the Institute of Educational Sciences, calls for serious attention to the challenges of improving reading instruction for upper elementary, middle and high school students.
The report recommends several evidence-based strategies to address this issue. Among others, it says that U.S. schools should provide better opportunities for extended discussion of text meaning and interpretation. Book Punch gives teachers the structure, and students the tools, needed to implement this classroom strategy.
Improving reading instruction for older students is a new problem for U.S. schools. Reading scores have improved, but long-term studies show that the academic skills of older students have not kept pace with the increasing demands for literacy in the workplace. Reading ability, the report observes, is a key predictor of math and science achievement - skills critical for success in today's global economy.
This challenge is magnified because reading instruction in U.S. schools typically decreases after the early elementary grades, or addresses needs of English as a Second Language, special education or remedial students. Furthermore, many teachers feel unprepared to help their students or do not think it is their responsibility to teach reading skills in their classes, according to the report.
Book Punch takes pupils through the writing and thinking process with interactive prompts to focus their thinking about a particular book. It encourages critical thinking skills and helps students participate in focused discussions.
Using hundreds of built-in tips, learners organize their thoughts and develop clear and concise responses to the literature they are reading. All the works in the Book Punch series are popular books commonly read in schools.
Book Punch's activities help readers use text content, prior knowledge and reasoning to support their own interpretations and conclusions. Pupils of different abilities, including English language learners and special education and remedial students, benefit from the wide range of expressions fostered by Book Punch.
Classroom management ideas and teaching guides for each book are provided to help teachers use the program. Book Punch can be used in a variety of ways -- with a whiteboard or projector, for the whole class as a reading center activity, or in a mobile or computer lab.
An easy-to-use teacher management system tracks student progress and helps determine areas of strength and weakness.
For more information about Book Punch go to www.bookpunch.com
Click here to access the Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Strategies
Since 1983, Merit Software (www.meritsoftware.com) has been producing educational software that addresses the core competencies that students require to succeed. The emphasis is on strengthening students' ability to read, analyze data and communicate their ideas.
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