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Week 3 Book Study

Hi to all,

Over the weekend, I reread the entries in our Book Study from the last two weeks. The posts indicate that a lot of learning is taking place from our reading and discussion with one another about Reading Apprenticeship.  I know that I have enjoyed this activity very much.  Thank you for your participation and enthusiasm with this book.

This is the third week of our Book Study.  I have included the general questions once again for your consideration.  For the week of January, we are going to skip to Chapters 7 and 8.

In your post, be sure to indicate which question you are responding to.

Please remember that these questions are general and can be applied to any of the chapters.

  1. How did the ideas in this chapter speak to your experience as a teacher?
  2. What in this chapter particularly caught your attention? Cite a specific phrase, sentence or group of sentences that grabbed you and explain why.
  3. Were there ideas or sections in this chapter you had questions about?  Anything you wanted to know more about?

Chapter 7: The Cognitive Dimension: Assembling a Reading Toolbox

14.   On pages 192-93, the authors suggest that building on learners’ abilities to solve problems can be a good starting place for tapping into the Cognitive         Dimension. Since adults have had many opportunities in their lives to successfully solve problems, how might teachers draw upon this relevant experience to make connections with solving problems in reading?

15. The Chunking the Text strategy is described in detail starting on page 197. Does this seem like a useful strategy for the learners you work with? Why or why not? If it does seem like a useful strategy, how do you imagine introducing this to the learners in your class?

16. The authors emphasize the value of learners generating their own questions about a text rather than the teacher posing most of the questions. What do you see as the benefits – as well as the challenges-- of having students generate their own questions? What are some ways to support learners to generate their own questions about a text they are reading? (See pages 210 and following.)

17. As noted on page 218, it is not unusual for teachers to summarize for students to ensure “they don’t miss the main points” of a text. What are some alternative strategies that might work in your context to support students to learn to summarize a text effectively?

Chapter 8: The Knowledge-Building Dimension: Surfacing and Building Schema in the Disciplines

18. What has been your experience with regard to learners who have misconceptions about a topic? Beginning on page 240, the authors identify some different approaches for handling student misconceptions about a specific issue. What stands out to you, in light of your experience?

19. Surfacing learners’ prior knowledge and experience on a topic is a common teaching practice. Beginning on page 243, you will find a number of teaching activities for activating schema: KWL; LINK; Give One, Get One; Anticipation Guides. Which of these teaching ideas have you used? Which would you like to try out? Why did you select this particular approach to try?

20. On page 268, we read, “Teachers often think of academic language as synonymous with difficult vocabulary, but academic texts are full of complex sentences which multiple concepts and ideas depend on conjunctions, transition words, and other syntactic features to indicate the relationship between concepts and ideas.”   What are your thoughts about this statement and the implications for our practice as teachers?

Comments

shepardjma's picture
Ten

14.   On pages 192-93, the authors suggest that building on learners’ abilities to solve problems can be a good starting place for tapping into the Cognitive Dimension. Since adults have had many opportunities in their lives to successfully solve problems, how might teachers draw upon this relevant experience to make connections with solving problems in reading?

I am first planning to incorporate RA in a cotaught I-BEST/ABE/CNC machining class.  Reading this portion was very exciting for me because in previous (non-ABE) sessions of this class they have already put a lot of emphasis on students problem-solving skills.  It is so encouraging when the instructors say to a student, "No you are a good problem-solver, you are a good programmer.  Yes you've been a stay-at-home mom all of your life but that is hard work; you have to multitask, delegate, etc.  All of your background in cooking and reading recipes will help you write good programs.  Etc."  Whatever background each student has had they are able to build on and use to encourage students to commit themselves to machining.  It is amazing when  students who never would have imagined themselves in the machinist role translate that confidence into success.  This can definitely work and we will be able to tie this into helping students improve their reading strategies.

 

This also takes me to this quote:

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ” -Alvin Toffler
 

Problem-solving is essential to the learning process.  Emphasizing that reading is an exercise in problem solving and basing it off of students' personal experiences, will not only benefit them in reading but in other classes, work, and life.  We can no longer just "give" students information and equate that to learning; they need their own learning toolbox to achieve understanding of the information for themselves. 

 

 

Susan Finn Miller's picture
One hundred

Jennette, You have captured something essential here, i.e., tapping into adult learners' success at solving everyday problems. We can sense your eagerness to apply what you are learning with the students you are working with, and your enthusiasm is contagious!. I firmly believe that every student who walks in the door has tremendous potential. Helping them to believe in themselves is a key to unlocking that potential. The way to do that is, as you say, "support them to develop their own learning toolbox to achieve understanding of the information for themselves" -- instead of--no doubt with the best of intentions-- spoon-feeding.

It's a big shift, isn't it?! I personally sense that I am undergoing some "unlearning and relearning" -- as Toffler put it.

Thank you for your thoughts!

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

Dr. Holly Sawyer's picture
Ten

Susan,

I agree, every student who walks in the door has tremendous potential. I think majority of it is does involve getting them to believe in themselves. I think once this is established, their potential is unlocked. 

Thank you for your thoughts!

Holly

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