PARCC Non-Fiction Reading:
It’s time to taking reading seriously.
Are you interested in your child becoming a better reader? Ever wish your child read more books — instead of just watching TV or playing videogames? Or perhaps you wish your child would read more difficult books and articles and be able to present their opinions convincingly?
MEK Review’s new Non-Fiction Reading class solves the number one problem students face: high-level reading comprehension. Designed for grades 4-7, Non-Fiction Reading:
- exposes students to robust, content-rich texts
- teaches students to think critically about non-fiction text
- heightens awareness of current events in society, economics, and politics
- acclimates students to public speaking and classroom presentations
- encourages healthy debate and discussion
The key benefit: public speaking & student presentations.
The road to high-level reading involves more than merely consuming information. Strong readers are formed when students consume and then express their understanding (and opinions) of what was read.
This is why we utilize classroom presentations and require them from every student. This engages each student in focused reading, develops research skills (which serve them well in school), and decreases the fear of public speaking. Your child will experience all these benefits under the guidance of our instructors, and within a lively group-learning environment.
What happens in Non-Fiction Reading class?
Your child will follow a two-day routine, based on a major topic to broaden their perspectives and pique their interest. For example, a recent topic in class was immigration.
Theme Introduction: students answer questions that reveal the breadth of their knowledge regarding the topic (in this case, immigration). This allows our instructors to assess the class’s current status, and stirs up student interest in the issue.
Breaking Down the Facts: students read up to 3 content-rich articles based on the topic. Every student must use a graphic organizer, which is a guide on how to read, analyze, and understand the articles. Your child will develop the habit of using these questions for every piece he or she reads at school. Confidence will build, and grades will improve.
Presentation Brainstorming: students are given discussion questions to encourage healthy debate and provide a starting point for their class presentation. In this case, the question was “Should immigration be allowed for everyone? Or should it not be allowed?” Students then brainstorm with the teacher — and fellow classmates — to best prepare for a solid presentation.
Live Presentation (no notes allowed!): every student is given up to 5 minutes to give a presentation. Notes are not permitted, in order to encourage eye contact and clear voice. Your child’s instructor and classmates will fill out a review form, providing valuable encouragement and feedback.
Wrap-Up Activity: students bring closure to the topic by completing follow-up questions in their graphic organizers. Students also share current events with each other, and often determine the next topic they want to discuss in the upcoming class.
“Students have been sharing a lot of interesting issues going on in the world, big or small. They are more curious and eager to find out what is happening outside their own lives … their view of the world expands.”
– Ms. Sarah Kim, English Program Coordinator
Why reading alone is NOT enough.
You’ve tried your best to encourage your child to read. You’ve insisted he or she read more difficult material. Perhaps you have even sat beside them and read books together.
The missing ingredient is a systematic and interdisciplinary approach that engages the other faculties of your child’s intellect. Strong readers are not just readers. They are strong thinkers, shaped through a long, intentional process that expands their capabilities. Unlike math, reading comprehension is not something that can be quickly accomplished through drills and practice problems.
The newly implemented Common Core State Standards and PARCC tests require students read robust, content-rich pieces. Students must develop research skills and apply critical thinking to succeed. Eventually, these skills will be tested on the 2016 Redesigned SAT.
Take action today.
Hesitation to expose your child (especially at a young age) to these kind of critical thinking skills stacks the deck against them. Grades suffer, confidence plummets, poor habits become nearly impossible to change, and a would-be high achiever settles with mediocrity.
When your child reaches high school, he or she will have to “catch up” in critical thinking and reading comprehension. This is a painful (and often unsuccessful) process. Attention span is poor. Bad habits are ingrained. Vocabulary is weak. Meanwhile, schoolwork will get busier and the pressure to perform will mount.
Our instructors (including Ms. Sarah Kim quoted above) have logged thousands of hours to curate content-rich pieces that draw from current events. Act today, and position your child for success with this innovative and valuable course.