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Being a Motivator
Considering Readability
Matching Texts to Readers
Use Valid Assessment Strategies
Methods of Responding
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Use Valid Assessment Strategies

Curriculum Strategies for Reading

Strategies for Helping Readers

Use Valid Assessment Strategies

Techniques for Gathering Information

Effective middle school teachers are aware of the variables that make their students different. They use a variety of informal techniques to learn more about their students and what motivates them. The most useful informal techniques are:

  • Observation — Much can be learned by observing students. Observations furnish the best information when they are frequent, purposeful and recorded. Observations can occur in the regular classroom and in other instructional and non-instructional settings in the school, such as: the media center, cafeteria, playground, and during music, art, or physical education.
  • Interviews — Informal, but structured discussions with students can provide a wealth of information about reading habits and preferences at both school and at home. Teachers can ask individuals or groups of students what they think about or do before, during, and after reading. Teachers can use student responses to determine the use and frequency of reading strategies.
  • Interest Inventories — These student response forms reveal interests that can be accessed when ordering and selecting books as well as when planning for instruction and making grouping decisions.
  • Parent Interviews and Questionnaires — Live or phone interviews can provide valuable information on a number of the areas discussed earlier. Questionnaires can also be used to gather student information relevant to motivation.



U.S. Department of Education Star Schools Program