The Rope of Reading

Hi Everyone,

In a presentation about Decoding and Comprehension Strategy Instruction, Daphne Greenberg of Georgia State University showed the picture below and made several interesting points:

  • Reading involves many underlying skills (the rope strands) which range from the higher level (background knowledge) to the lower (sight word recognition and decoding)
  • Beginning readers have very fragmented skills as shown by the frayed rope at the picture's left side
  • As students learn strategies and apply them automatically, their reading skills weave together and become tighter (the picture's right side)
  • "It's not just a matter of increasing our students' skills; it's also a matter of getting them to do it fluently and automatically."  Dr. Greenburg concluded that we as adult educators often neglect helping our readers learn to read fluently and automatically.

She mentioned that practice is a huge part of improving reading fluency and automaticity.  While we may have our learners in class for several hours per week, class time alone is not enough to build effective reading skills.

How do you get your students to read outside of class?


Thanks in advance for your thoughts,

Steve Schmidt, Moderator

LINCS Reading and Writing Community

Skilled reading shown as strands on a rope