A Summary of the Book Study


Thank you to everyone who participated in the January Book Study that featured Reading for Understanding: How Reading Apprenticeship Improves Disciplinary Learning in Secondary and College Classrooms.  Your support and thoughtful discussion resulted in considerable learning and sharing much information within the community. 

Members of the Book Study described that:

  • Learners depend on the instructor to provide the information but do not retain the content
  • The classroom lessons often contain re-packaged information in shorter amounts
  • Reading this book made them become aware of their own strategies for reading
  • How this book and the Reading Apprenticeship method can help us to become more skilled Reading instructors
  • It is important to share with the learners personal stories of how reading has influenced their lives
  • Fixed identities is a barrier to learning

I have reread carefully through each message and wanted to highlight some key points that appeared in the conversations about the book.

  • Students must be able to read critically in a variety of texts in order to be successful readers
  • Adult learners have “untapped resources”
  • For any learning to happen, we must first create a “safe place”
  • First and foremost students must learn how to learn
  • Reading Apprenticeship supports a focus on comprehension, an opportunity for collaboration with others and an emphasis on independent student learning
  • Use of the KWL chart as a conversation starter and ask (What do you know?  What do you want to know?  What did you learn?)
  • It is important to share with students that it is okay to be confused.  That is the way to begin real learning.
  • Instructors can help students to learn how to be “word detectives” and select the words that they want to know
  • Use the success that the students have experienced in solving their everyday problems and build on the strategies used in those situations
  • Model the technique of a metacognitive bookmark to breakdown the reading material
  • Talk to the students at the very start about how their brains work and learning occurs
  • Teach students how to use the Think Aloud and Talking to the Text techniques
  • Teach methods for summarizing reading material such as GIST strategy
  • Expose students to strategies for reading complex texts such as chunking, numbering paragraphs, post-it notes, metacognitive logs
  • Use LINK (list, inquire, note, know) as an organizing structure to demonstrate student work
  • Provide a choice of reading materials to the students
  • Share resources to encourage independent reading
  • Offer chances for students to write their own questions

If you are using any parts of Reading Apprenticeship with your classes, please feel free to share the details of what you and the students are experiencing.  If I have missed any points that you want to highlight from our discussion, please add a post.  I want to encourage all of us to continue our discussion.  I am looking forward to more conversation about this book.

Meryl Becker-Prezocki, SME

College and Career Standards