Comprehending/reading/decoding texts

Below are some resources to facilitate exploration of strategies to improve reading/decoding/comprehension of texts.

Great article about a school implementing a method to assist students with strategies for reading challenging texts “A library reading program that addresses ACARA Curriculum demands” by McDonald and Stirling, Volume 47, 3 September, 2014, pp 17,18. Newsletter School Library Association QLD

Links for Top down, bottom up and Links for Freebody

“Are you a top-downer or a bottom-upper? The debate as to the relative importance of these two approaches to understanding spoken or written text has been going on for decades…”

“Luke and Freebody’s Four Resource Model emerged in the 1990s (Anstey and Bull 2004 pp75-101) to encapsulate the multi- literate requirements for reading effectively in a multimodal world. Luke and Freebody define literacy in terms of a repertoire of capabilities (Luke & Freebody 1999). Being literate means being able to decode written text, understand and compose meaningful texts, use texts functionally and analyse texts critically. All four resources are of equal importance as readers engage in several practices together.”

“This paper explains the constructivist approach to reading teaching and shows how a dialogic approach to reading empowers readers to position themselves as participants in making meaning together with the text and its authors, rather than remaining as mute outsiders to the reading process. This shift in constructing reader -roles means that our students need to take a strategic approach to their reading, and will need careful scaffolding to help them develop effective, independent reading strategies and dispositions.”

“Accelerated Literacy (AL) doesn’t simply teach spelling, grammar and vocabulary. It also teaches the ways of thinking – the discourses, or cultural knowledge – that underpin what these mean. This knowledge is an essential part of being able to decode text and therefore succeed educationally. When AL is taught effectively, teachers are able to awaken a sense of the ‘what’, the ‘how’, the ‘when’, the ‘where’, and ultimately the ‘why’, of language choices in a text.”

“This statement is an excerpt from a larger paper, Literacy: Position Paper (Queensland School Curriculum Council, 2002), that seeks to align conceptions of literacy across areas of learning and year levels, to enable policy writers, curriculum developers, schools and teachers to work collaboratively and coherently towards developing students’ literacy capabilities.”

“This chapter lays the foundation for an understanding of what reading comprehension is and how it is conceptualised in the literature.”

“Rasinski (2006) claims that fluency is a reader’s mastery over the surface level of texts read – the ability to accurately and effortlessly decode written words and then to give meaning to those words through appropriate phrasing.”

“Designing and teaching effective reading programs require teachers to consider both what to teach and how to teach. Programs need to be both balanced and integrated and the teaching sequence needs to be systematic and able to scaffold children so that they are challenged, engaged and successful.”

“To develop as effective readers, students must learn to take on a set of roles, or ways of interacting with a text. These roles (described by Freebody and Luke, 1990) indicate the ways a reader can move beyond decoding print to understanding and using text on several levels for a variety of purposes.”

“We all need to be more aware of how we read, if we are to teach children to read fluently and effectively.”

“The active interaction between the reader and the text in one side and the reader and the teacher on the other side is essential. This demands an efficient teacher with new approaches in teaching reading using interesting materials, which cover the new concepts of text processing.”

Four Resources

 Developing Readers by Buehl

Google: filter search by reading level

Database levels

Many databases allow filtering by reading or lexile level e.g.

Is levelling texts a good strategy?

Other diigo links

Interesting resource in reading for meaning:

My Two Blankets by Blackwood

Immersive Fantasy Writing Workshop


Planning for our Immersive Fantasy Writing Workshop is well underway. The image shows how Roma Street Gardens in Brisbane will become The Land of Remorse. Students will visit 8 locations, in rotation, in groups of 4. At each station they will be immersed in the elements of a quest through augmented reality apps, mobile technologies, team building games, and various simulations and activities. Students will carry a journal to record writing at each station.

Each band of 4 heroes will choose one plot, but write an individual story from their character’s point of view. Students will develop their stories with the help of author, Kirralee Barker (The Book of Days) AKA for this workshop as The Supreme Sorceress.

Teachers will survey students and use other evidence to investigate whether the immersive, collaborative and technology techniques used, improve student creative writing.

A presentation on this workshop will be delivered at Edutech 2015 in Brisbane in June:

Library Catalogue as One Stop Shop

Excited about big steps forward in federated searching and ebooks on our library catalogue. Still have couple of single sign-ons to establish. However, this is establishing our catalogue as one-stop-shop – for books, ebooks, instructions, pathfinders, videos, archive materials, sheet music, equipment, links to other internal resources etc. So, here are screen shots of what our library catalogue currently can do and offer…

Scribd versions removed; not as clear:

Ebook reading links

Article on plot recall Print versus screen

Other ebook links

Free ebooks and free audiobooks

SLAQ article E-books for leisure and learning – the Brisbane Boys’ College experience, Access, Volume 28 Issue 3 (Sep 2014) by King, Jenni;dn=589165734818891;res=E-LIBRARY

 My diigo links for ebook reading versus print

If links below do not work, go to May need to sign in to access links. Tags- “ Online reading” “Reading Online” “Print or screen”


This post is partially to obtain access to a free offer from Grammarly. As a teacher I regularly test proofreading options,anyway. The content below is paraphrased from an email from Grammarly. I am also interested in tools to assist with editing, before posting to this blog and other online areas, to better remove errors when publishing online.

Grammarly is a proofreading web application that finds and explains in-depth grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes.

We are looking for education focused bloggers who share our goal of improving writing. You might be interested in a study we conducted with over 400 freelancers to determine what impact writing skills have on career opportunities. The resulting infographic has already been picked up by some websites, including The Huffington Post. ”

Please direct any queries to Grammarly: