Remote learning means teachers have to get creative to ensure their students make progress in reading. The context in which they are teaching has changed, but the underlying principles of learning have not.
Aligning assessment, instruction, and practice to both the brain’s cognitive processes and the individual learner’s strengths, needs, and context is still central in online instruction. Here are some areas to target.
1. Manage Attention to Maximize Learning
Attention is the cognitive process of selectively focusing on something. Nothing can be learned without first attending to it, but people’s minds naturally wander 30–50% of the time! For any subject, students need to focus during instruction to avoid missing out on essential information.
When it comes to reading, being able to selectively focus on one thing and suppress irrelevant information is thought to enable development of the brain structures required for decoding and recognizing words. The combination of not having an in-person teacher, the rabbit hole that is the internet, and the unavoidable distractions that come from learning away from school means teachers need to focus even more on managing their students’ attention for remote learning.
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