Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Two things. No, wait, three-, no, four things!

Posted by Bob on October 24, 1999, at 23:44:36

In reply to Re: No, no: I'm the recovering accountant..., posted by dj on October 24, 1999, at 23:11:02

As if you were expecting some sort of Spanish Inquisition of something ....

Two things:
I really like Janice's 10 minute thing, particularly with an external timer. I think I may put it into place tomorrow, as a matter of fact. The notion of answering to that alarm going off, of putting the onus on something external, appeals greatly to me. It sounds like a bit of a race. (gahdzooks! "cleaning" as fun?! I must be mentally ill or something...)

Thing two:
Noa, its that brain bin thing again. Stop it. ;^) I've never had insomnia thanks to the Journal of Educational Psychology. But the strategies that Noa suggested are on target.

Let me introduce you to a little something my academic "mom" and "grandma" cooked up in the early 80's -- it's called reciprocal teaching. It's a method of teaching learning disabled kids how to develop the reading strategies that good readers tend to develop naturally (i.e., who knows how, they just do it). Normally its done in groups with a teacher serving as a model, but you're a big boy so you can probably adapt this for yourself. Two things you gotta do -- learn the strategies, and learn the method.

The strategies are: summarize, question, clarify, predict. They may seem a bit obvious, but here's a quick definition anyway. Summarize -- only the chunk that you have just read. Focus on what's proximal in time. Question -- self-test here. Come up with a question about the meaning of the passage read that you can answer. Clarify -- in a group, you'd work with others to clarify things you don't understand ... gotta do this on your own by referring to the text. Predict -- what's going to happen next. This may seem silly for a technical article, but it's actually essential. This is where skepticism comes in ... did the author do enough to set up the next section? Are there holes in the argument? Faulty logic?

The method: A couple issues here are critical. One-- you work with small chunks of text. Technical reading tends to be defined into rather clearly labeled sections -- that should help, but you may even need to chop them down. Two-- you start off doing this in a concrete, overt manner. Keep a "summarize, question, clarify. predict" bookmark in your reading to remind you. State each step outloud for at least a week. Gradually move from an external process to an internal process. Actually, you may not even notice when you do make that transition. The point is to wean yourself off the external cues as you internalize the behaviors.

Oh, the funny thing about reciprocal teaching is that a lot of literature on reading between 1984 and now has focused on how well this approach works with "normal" kids, too. Go figure.





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