Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Differentiating by Layering Meaning

When I taught at-risk students, I used a strategy called layering meaning to help them read and understand our social studies textbook. Because my students were reading below grade level, they struggled with our textbook. So I would find an article or section from another book on the same topic that was easier to read. My students would read that material first, which helped them build background knowledge and learn some of the specialized vocabulary. Then, when we read the textbook, they were more successful. As we progressed through the year, some of my students no longer needed the extra step. Others, however, needed the continued support. Therefore, I differentiated the reading assignments based on the skill level of my students.  Layering meaning works especially well with students at grades four and up.  An excellent website to find sources of text is Newsela.  

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