It is harder now for high school students to focus on and make sense of long, complex texts, particularly the underserved students who were already struggling with reading.
The 24-hour news and entertainment cycle, cellphones, work schedules and family problems are just a few of the pressures competing for teens’ attention. That means when teachers assign the reading of literature for homework and use class time for lectures and quizzes, they may not be providing the engagement necessary to compete with such distractions.
One strong solution is to have teachers read aloud to their classes, then move into leading inquiry-based discussions about texts.
In this shared-experience vision of reading aloud, students are following along, taking notes with old-school technology: a pencil.