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Worth Repeating: Are We Creating Readers or Scavengers?

[Source: SmartBlog on Education]
by Fred Ende
I’m not a big fan of Seek & Finds. You know, the simple puzzles where you look at a word bank and then circle the word in a jumble of random letters and whatnot. It’s not that I don’t find them fun; it’s just that they’re pretty mindless. While I would agree that mindless activity may be necessary from time to time, we activate the lowest part of our cognitive being to complete these puzzles, focusing more on simple letter identification and pattern recognition than meaning and deep processing. Contrast that with crossword puzzles or logic exercises where we can almost feel our synapses firing and neurons carrying signals throughout our brains.
After spending some time over the last few weeks involved in scoring leader training for New York’s state tests, I started to wonder why our kids are approaching reading like a Seek & Find as opposed to a logic puzzle. Truth be told, when I was a classroom teacher, despite my best intentions, many of my students scavenged, rather than read, the literature and informational text materials we explored. Some weren’t fans of science, and, despite my best intentions, never came to love it like I do. Others simply didn’t know how
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