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Attention is the ability to focus on a specific task without being distracted. Attention helps students become better readers and writers because we all perform best when we focus on and thoughtfully practice our developing skills.
Attention is often defined by the type of stimuli being focused on and how it is processed: while Visual Attention refers to focusing on information you see, Auditory Attention refers to focusing on information you hear. In addition, there are different sub-types of visual and auditory Attention, and individuals may show stronger or weaker abilities among these types of Attention, including:
Attending to two or more media activities at once, or media multi-tasking, is becoming more common with the increase in technology, especially in adolescents. Though research is limited, findings suggest that adolescents who report having difficulty with Attention may multi-task more often. In addition, more frequent media multi-tasking in early adolescence may lead to increased Attention problems.
Physically acting out a text or enacting major themes from texts enhances reading comprehension, particularly as texts become more complex.
When annotating, students engage deeply with a text and make their thinking visible while reading.
When adolescents can connect and communicate with authentic audiences about their interests and values, reading and writing become more personally meaningful and relevant.
Students practice making and finding meaning in texts through book discussions moderated by teachers to varying degrees.
Checklists and rubrics help students understand expectations as they navigate more complex tasks and assignments.
When peers are able to work together to plan, draft, edit, and revise during the Composition process, their writing quality improves.
For adolescent learners, the Composition process can become more robust, as learners begin to express ideas through multiple media, which includes visual, audio, and digital production.
When preparing for and debating with peers, students analyze, form, and express verbal arguments, fostering their critical thinking and literacy skills.
As part of a varied curriculum, explicit instruction in reading comprehension strategies from teachers can help older students use strategies meaningfully and flexibly.
Seeing and using new words repeatedly and in many contexts is critical for Vocabulary acquisition.
Interpreting and composing discipline-specific texts requires tailoring literacy strategies, like annotating or asking questions, to the disciplinary goals and practices.
Providing constructive feedback supports students' writing development by letting them know how to improve their writing.
Setting overall goals with actionable steps for achievement can help students feel more confident in their skills and abilities.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthens their recall.
During guided inquiry, teachers foster student autonomy by designing lessons centered on meaningful questions in which students locate, analyze, and present relevant information on their own or in small groups.
Journaling allows students to reflect on their thinking and feelings, process their learning, and connect new information to what they know.
Through short but regular mindfulness activities, students develop their awareness and ability to focus.
Instruction in multiple formats allows students to activate different cognitive skills and Background Knowledge that are necessary to remember procedural and content information.
Providing multiple texts on the same topic or theme allows students to interact with multiple perspectives and develop their critical thinking skills.
Maintaining consistent routines, structures, and supports ensures that students are able to trust and predict what will happen next.
When students write from a non-dominant or marginalized perspective, they consider and give voice to points of view that are often missing.
Providing guiding prompts and questions for students to use when reading or participating in discussions deepens their understanding of texts and gives them space to question and grapple with issues of power, justice, and equity.
When teachers provide students with model texts for their writing, they learn to identify effective elements to incorporate into their own writing.
Reading aloud to adolescents models Reading Fluency as texts become more complex and disciplinary in nature and therefore, more difficult to understand.
Teachers can provide individualized support through one-on-one conferences to assess reading comprehension, understanding of content, and spark further interest in reading.
Sentence frames or stems provide language support for students' writing and participation in academic discussions.
Giving students voice and choice in their learning is critical for making learning meaningful and relevant to them.
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