Revisiting the Introductory Challenge


The Introductory Challenge for this unit asked you to think about what is basic to the success of reading lessons of all kinds, regardless of whether they are intended to provide experiences in recognizing new words, understanding new words, decoding, analyzing meaningful parts of words, reading aloud, understanding what’s written, or understanding how to learn from written materials.


  1. Read the following characteristics of effective teaching:
    • The teacher scaffolds instruction to help students develop problem-solving strategies.
    • The teacher provides meaningful learning opportunities for students.
    • The teacher makes the learning goals clear to the students.
    • The teacher makes clear what students need to do to succeed in the lesson.
    • The teacher uses a variety of learning resources to increase learning options.
    • The teacher uses differentiated strategies to make learning accessible to all students.
    • The teacher incorporates student experiences, interests, and real-life situations into lessons.
  2. Identify the characteristic above that you would rank as most important for a paraprofessional who works one-on-one and in small groups of struggling readers to give them additional practice on reading skills and knowledge? Reflect on why you chose that item as most important for a paraprofessional in the role described in this item (i.e., working one-on-one and in small groups of struggling readers).
  3. What characteristic seems of least importance for paraprofessionals in the role described above? Why? Reflect on your reasoning, especially as it relates to the paraprofessional’s role.
  4. If you are working through this unit with others, your group facilitator might want you to share your ideas with several of the people in your group or with the group as a whole.


The characteristics of effective teaching are taken from the Kentucky Department of Education’s “Characteristics of Highly Effective Teaching and Learning (CHETL)” at