Reflection: Intervention and Extension Modeling Infection - Section 4: Student Activity: Reading Primary Sources


When I was first learning Spanish, I came across an amazing book called The Airplane (El Avion). It was designed to help beginning language students read in the language in which they were studying. The method that was used was very simple. The reader started reading in English and by the end of the book, the reader was reading the entire book in Spanish. As the book progressed more of the English words were substituted with Spanish words until all of the words were substituted.  

This caused me to think about the importance of differentiating student readings so that all students are challenged, but at the same time are understanding the text. Science jargon is very similar to a foreign language from many people. Some readers can really struggle when reading a science textbook until they master that jargon. I devised the method shown in this lesson and it has been successful for my students. Many times in my classes, students with post secondary reading level get text for the primary source along with the graphics from the primary source. Students who read at grade level get a modified text with the same graphic from the primary source. Students who are not reading at grade level get a simplified text with the same graphic from the primary source. All of the worksheets have the same formatting so as to not single out any student. All of the questions for the student responses are the same.

To write the modified text, I start by rewording certain passages and substituting certain scientific jargon with more familar words. Once I have completed the modified text. I use a free online source to evaluated the reading level. I like this website because it uses seven different readability tools and then gives a readability consensus. All I need to do is select a 150-600 word section of text and insert it into the text box provided. To get a better idea of the readability of the entire article, I randomly select 3-4 passages from the article or publication and check their readability. I can then determine if I need to make any further modifications to the text.  

There are times when additional modifications to the text are not possible. When this is the case, I allow my student to listen to the text being read to them. My school is a 1 to 1 laptop school so each student has their own computer. By providing students with an electronic copy of the article, they can highlight a section of text and have the computer read the selection to them. Then students can follow along with a paper copy of the article and complete the assignment as the text is being read to them. 

Another way to help struggling readers is to use clock pairing where students are grouped according to ability level by hour on the clock. The most advanced students in class are assigned the number 1 and the least advanced students in class are assigned the number 12. Students are then paired with a partners that is opposite then on the clock dial. (For example, ones are paired with sevens, threes are paired with nines, sixes are paired with twelves.) The more advanced readers can help the struggling readers.    

  Differentiation of Reading Activities
  Intervention and Extension: Differentiation of Reading Activities
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Modeling Infection

Unit 2: Viruses
Lesson 10 of 11

Objective: Students will explain how viruses infect cells using the Hershey-Chase experiment.

Big Idea: Understanding the life cycle of a model organism helps us understand how many viruses reproduce.

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electromicrograph phage infecting
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