Skilled Skim Reader

As I was re-writing my Spiral of Literacy assignment, the title of this post popped into my head when I was confessing that I had a difficult time finishing an entire book.  I read enough to make it through and get an A in the class.  This happened all the way through college.  I loved school.  I loved learning.  I just did not value my own learning.  I missed out on all those other details I was not tested on. I missed out on the personal “aha” moments we tend to have when we embrace the unfamiliar and all of a sudden Vygotsky’s ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) becomes a reality in the midst of capturing words.  Vygotsky’s ZPD shares the reality of many children in schools who are asked to make connections in another language without the links.  Those of us who are not physic savvy may feel lost in the Quantum Theory and the numerical attributes associated with the physics electricity formula for Equivalent Resistance:

Req = R1R2R3

R1 + R2 + R3

How could we not understand?  It has all the symbols in our language.  I mean EVERYONE knows the symbols (the letter R, the + sign, the numbers, etc).  Still, to decode the combination of these familiar symbols, we need to have some fundamental knowledge.  Someone needs to help us understand what each symbol represents and how the combination applies in the world of physics.  R= the amount of resistance, and the numbers represent each added variant resistance.

Vygotsky’s ZPD states that optimal learning occurs when the students are offered new information that is approximately close to their zone of learning (new but close enough to stretch and reach out for it to connect).  Steve Krashen shares this concept with his comprehensible input and i+1 idea.  We learn using our past experiences and connecting with the unfamiliar to make interlocking chains of information that helps us connect to the next level.  It’s not a horizontal or vertical chain, but a central and extend out in all directions.  Learning is not up or down, left or right.  Learning is holistic whether we like it or not.  I understand I cannot skim through life because I will miss out on precious links that interconnect me with the unfamiliar.

How about you?  Have you gone through life skim reading what surrounds you and missing out in your personal “aha” moments?

Req = R1R2R3

R1 + R2 + R3

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