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About the Links

Page history last edited by fran toomey 11 years ago

2 SETS of Links on the Side Bar.   



TIME ON THE LINKS.  How much time you spend on each link depends on what you want to do with the link.  Some links might only warrant 5 minutes, others could take up to an hour.  Some links you will want to skim, others you will want to process at a deeper level.  Some links you will visit only once, others will invite repeated visits.  Some links you will want to download, others not.  We definitely do not recommend that

you try to visit all of the links in one sitting.



Set 1  These links give an overview of Reading Comprehension for the literature.


Overview of Reading Comprehension provides a very brief view of contemporary approaches to strategy-based instruction.


Models of Reading Comprehension provides a comparison of these strategy-based approaches.


Assessing Reading Comprehension is a power point by Dr. David Pearson, an expert on reading, discussing the state of comprehension assessment. 

This link is not working.  Will check it out (2/23/13)


Need links for Literacy Common Core Standards (2/23/13)


Set 2  Links specific to the SPOKES Model

Part A:   Introducing SPOKES

SPOKES POWER POINT OVERVIEW.ppt is a brief Power Point Introduction to this approach.


Overview of Links  Overview Shows a list of both Internal Links (From the Wiki Author's Word Documents) and External Links from the www).

The Internal Links are either excerpted from the SPOKES Teacher's Manual* or from "handouts" used in a graduate level course or professional development seminars on reading comprehension. The External Links represent a sampling of in-depth articles on reading comprehension or strategies for Self-Management, Purpose, Organization, Knowledge Building, Elaboration, or Stop and Record.


The SPOKES Rubric is a rubric designed as an observation tool for formative assessment based on the S.P.O.K.E.S. instructional principles:  Systematic, Explicit, Authentic, Lively Learning.  As you will see, students will need support or scaffolding in the form of controlled practice reading materials as well as modeling, prompting or cuing in the earlier stages of learning.  Contolled reading materials should consist of short, reading-level appropriate texts, and interesting topics.  Examples may be taken from the S.P.O.K.E.S. Teacher's Manual Appendix, news magazines, booklets designed for easy reading (see some suggestions on resources page), kids magazines, or the www.  As students become more skillful in using strategies, the reading materials should become longer and/or more complex.   In using the rubric as a tool for sequencing instruction, a teacher might work on each of the six tasks at the first level before proceeding to the Novice level; or, alternatively, the teacher might take a student through all four levels for one type of task, purpose, for example, before moving on to the next type of task.  You may find that students are more advanced with one type of task compared to other types from the very beginning.


Part B:   Folders with details about each of the SPOKES six tasks

A series of folders is included on this wiki.  These folders correspond to the topics from the S.P.O.K.E.S. Teachers Manual Chapters.  Each chapter in the Teacher's Manual covers one of the 6 SPOKES.  And each chapter  is divided into the following topics:

                                                                           What is the task? (That is, self-management, purpose, organization....)

                                                                           Why is it important?

                                                                           What does the literature say about the task?

                                                                           How do you teach background knowledge for the task?

                                                                           What strategies could students learn?  

                                                                           How are the task interrelated?


Part C:  Helping students to manage the complexity of developing reading comprehension skills/strategies


Color coding readings

Although it is not essential to using S.P.O.K.E.S., it is sometimes helpful to cue students to use a particular type of strategy by color coding texts.  So, for example, you will see in the Elaboration folder a reading, Exploring the Last Frontier, where elaboration tasks (usually questions) are colored in purple.  In the Stop and Record folder, you will see places in the text marked in red, where the student is asked to stop and record some information or ideas.   Over time, reading selections can be color coded for more than one task/strategy.  Ultimately, we want students to be able to do all 6 types of tasks/using appropriate strategies for all 6 tasks.


 The color coding system used in SPOKES is Yellow for Self-Mangement, Pink for Purpose, Blue for Organization, Green for Knowledge Building, Purple for Elaboration, and Red for Stop and Record.  A word of caution, you would not introduce all of these colors at once in a reading.  When you are initially focused on one type of task--Purpose for example--you would only color code the text for Purpose  words or phrases.  As you can imagine, expecting a student to do all 6 tasks at once is challenging, which is why we start slowly focusing on only one task and one strategy with short, easy to read text.  Certainly you can modify the SPOKES model to meet the needs of your students.  The S.P.O.K.E.S. Rubric suggests ONE way to systematically move from one step or objective to the next.


Teaching and learning principles used to manage the complexity of developing reading comprehension skills and strategies:

SEAL Principles 

Phases of Learning


Formative Assessment

See SPOKES Rubric link above



A few specific files with some of the information and ideas we have included for each SPOKES task.


Metacognitive Interview



Overview of Purpose



Types of Organization


Knowledge Building

Getting Started with Knowledge


The Last Frontier Elaboration Task

Stop and Record

Last Frontier Stop and Record Task 







Resources for Texts


*S.P.O.K.E.S. A Cognitive Approach to Reading Comprehension

Teacher's Manual

Fran Toomey, Bob Scobie, George Toomey

April, 2007






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