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Just as our writing curriculum has always been brain-based, Randi Whitney has accomplished it again! She has purposely used both sides of the brain in her unique approach to reading comprehension and retention. The right side of the brain is nourished by students drawing a scroll of the story being read, encouraging their creativity. All the while, she is careful to make the drawings simple and logical as not to leave the left-brain thinkers out! As the left-brain thinker looks back at their own graphical illustrations, they see it makes sense – it is a logical representation of what was read. By going through the process, all types of students benefit from rereading the story in order to complete their scroll. This is a process they can use when reading literature or expository reports. One of our consultant’s husband serves as a member of his city council. He now draws symbols in the margin of his thick city council packet. He reports that he remembers everything, the big picture and details better. Therefore, feels he is able to contribute more at meetings!
Brain research also tells us that modeling assists learning in all subjects. In Tap & Think Reading, the teacher models each portion before having the students engage in their scroll. Brain research also shows that students learn best in small chunks, and then they can see the whole with a deeper understanding. Tap and Think Reading is built on this. Students don’t read a passage and answer questions. They read, complete an activity, read, complete another activity, etc. By the end of scrolling, students have excellent recall, comprehension, and can retain what they have read. If they have questions at the end, it is a piece of cake because they “own” the reading passage.
Brain research supports using colors as a hook for memory. This is built into the Tap and Think Reading approach. Symbols are another hook for the brain which are used extensively in Tap and Think Reading. More importantly, brain research agrees that making reading tactile-kinesthetic and fun produces easier comprehension and more retention because it uses more parts of the brain. Randi Whitney has developed these essential components in Tap and Think Reading, just as she did in her approach to teaching writing. Whitney also agrees that a graphic organizer, such as the unique scroll she has developed, encourages reading comprehension and retention.
Finally, brain research has found that when students receive frequent feedback, they learn more effectively. Tap and Think Reading gives students the chance to get feedback from the teacher at many intervals, some feedback from other students, and most importantly they get feedback from themselves as they color code the finished scroll to indicate which parts of their work they are utilizing to answer questions regarding the passage.