1. Spiraled-practice (DISTRIBUTED PRACTICE): Read with
your student's three or four times a day. Read rich literature that has dense complex ideas, the literature should spark Socratic inquiry and discussions. Practice using and discussing grade level or above tier 1, 2, and 3 Academic Vocabulary words and language concepts in context. I read Harry Potter because it exposes my students to the great language and rich erudite vocabulary. Reading and practicing new words and concepts in a multimodal way, with your eyes, your ears, your voice and your hands (pantomime, ESL word gestures that trigger muscle memory, finger spelling, or making and signing mnemonic symbols).
Tier 2 and 3 Academic words are broken down by RIT level and are used by Pearson, PARCC, and Smarter Balanced, 99% of published test use advanced vocabulary to assess a student's standardized reading scores. Students need to work with cooperative partners several times daily reviewing new vocabulary using the 3-6-9 mastery review model. Use the concept a minimum of 3 times in context, ask at least 6 probing questions about the concept (attributes, comparative exemplars, and misconceptions), and retests your understanding of the concept a minimum of 9 times using games! Critical tier 2 and 3 academic vocabulary words need to be studied, rehearsed, and recalled for a minimum of 4 weeks to prepare for any standardized reading test. Students should review at home what was practiced in the class. Working individually doing word work "worksheet drills" without a teacher or peer assistance is not effective.
3. Socratic Seminars (Critical and Flexible Thinking): Reading with a question in your mind and discussing the deeper meaning of complex text using the Socratic questioning techniques. Socratic questioning is disciplined questioning that can be used to pursue thought in many directions and for many purposes, including: to explore complex ideas, to get to the truth of things, to open up issues and problems, to uncover assumptions, to analyze concepts, to distinguish what we know from what we don't know, to follow out logical implications of thought or to control the discussion. The key to distinguishing Socratic questioning from questioning per se is that Socratic questioning is systematic, disciplined, deep and usually focuses on fundamental concepts, principles, theories, issues or problems.