Please Walk Literacy Down the “Other” Curriculum Roads, for Pete’s Sake



Why can’t teachers teach for strategy use in Science, Social Studies, Math, and other subjects (in which students have to actively read in order to complete class assignments) for active problem solving at the point of difficulty in the reading portion??

There is no reason why they can’t.

The following is taken from the  State Department of Education of South Carolina’s website ( 

Example:  Student  at 6th grade level reads Math word problem:

The new floor in the new school cafeteria is going to be constructed of square tiles that are either gray or white and in the pattern that appears below:

(showing the visual pattern)

Part A:  What is the ratio of gray tiles to white tiles?

Part B:  What is the ratio of white tiles to the total number of tiles in the pattern?

Part C:  If the total cost of the white tiles is $12, what is the unit cost per white tile?


What happens if there is a breakdown in the way a student problem solves at the point of difficulty?  If the student has very few ways to make meaning and make sense of what he/she has just read, well, we all know what happens next, all too often…

But what if the student has some strategies under his/her belt, so to speak, that can be utilized at the point of difficulty?  What if it looks like…

Looking at ratio… and I know /tion/ from words I’ve learned in 6th grade, like nation, ration, migration,etc.  So I can say ra (ray) or ra (as in ran) and add tio (sha).  Chances are the student will get to /ratio/.

Looking at constructed…and I know I can break apart words into chunks like this–con/struct/ed/ and then put the parts back together and read them, blending…

Well, hey, that student has met with success in Math {using Reading Strategies}