Strengthening Students’ Literacy and Learning through Reading Apprenticeship ® FTLA Winter/ Spring 2012 http://www.WestEd.org/ReadingApprenticeship
Dimensions of Reading Apprenticeship
Capturing your Reading Process
Read the text silently as you normally would when you want to understand something.
You’ll have about seven minutes to read, and we’ll do a short writing piece afterward.
Please reread if you finish early.
Capturing your Reading Process
What strategies did you use to make sense of the text?
What got in the way of your reading?
What, if any, comprehension problems did you solve?
Which, if any, problems still remain?
Opening a window into our thinking:
What did I do?
Where did I do it?
How did that affect my reading and understanding?
Debrief: Reading Process Analysis
What did you notice about your or someone else’s reading that is new or surprising?
What are some of the benefits and challenges of doing RPA with your students?
What modifications would you make?
How can you begin a metacognitive conversation with students about their own literacy experiences?
Helps students to notice and say when they are confused, and use each other as resources for making meaning
Helps you to practice making your thinking visible, so you can model effective ways of reading texts in your discipline for students
Helps to give names to the cognitive strategies that we use to comprehend text
Helps to notice text structures and how we navigate various genres to build confidence, range, and stamina
Debrief Think Aloud
What was the Think-Aloud experience like?
What did you notice you or your partner doing?
Could you see yourself trying a Think Aloud with your students and your class text(s)?
Talking to the Text
This strategy is basically a think aloud on paper. It differs from think aloud in two key ways:
the individual reflection on the reading process is written, not spoken
the metacognitive conversation is delayed until after the individual reading and reflecting
What are our goals in looking at case studies of students reading?
To see how students understand and approach the kinds of challenging reading materials and tasks they encounter in school
To see the resources—knowledge, strategies, experiences, habits of mind, interests and motivations—students bring to these challenging reading materials and tasks
To see how well these resources serve them
To see what kinds of instructional support students will need to meet this challenging reading more successfully and to continue to develop as readers
“ If a fish were an anthropologist, the last thing he would discover is water.” -Margaret Mead
Throw me a line—I’m drowning!
. . . think about the student who is having difficulty in a certain subject area not as one who is dumb or lacking in aptitude, but rather as someone standing outside of the conventions, rituals, and expectations of discourse in that field—all of which are second nature to the specialist but to a newcomer can be undecipherable.
*Tobias, Sheila. (Winter, 1988). Insiders and outsiders. Academic Connections. New York, Office of Academic Affairs, The College Board, pp. 275-279.
We might consider teachers as insiders (experts) and students as outsiders (novices) in a subject area. Insiders/experts in a subject area really know their field, BUT. . . they may have an expert blind spot *. . . They know their field so well that they may be blind to the learning needs and challenges students face in trying to learn topics, processes, and concepts in that field. *Nathan, Mitchell and Petrosino, Anthony. (Winter 2003). Expert blind spot among preservice teachers. American Educational Research Journal, 40, 4, pp. 905-928.
Help students learn to read and think like insiders (experts) in a subject area
Overcome our own expert blind spot – blending subject-area knowledge with important understandings of how novices acquire the conventions, rituals, and expectations of discourse in that field
In Reading Apprenticeship we work on both of these goals by:
Making our own invisible thinking and reading processes visible and accessible to students: modeling early and often, (with goals in mind), is key!!!
Giving students access to their own and each other’s thinking and reading processes: guided practice as a regular classroom routine is key!!!
Facilitating classroom conversation—metacognitive conversation—about these reading processes
This conversation is a critical dynamic in the classroom:
Students learn from the teacher and from each other new ways to engage with and comprehend academic text.
Teachers learn from students what they are currently doing to make sense of a text, what knowledge they bring to the text, and what difficulties they are having.
The metacognitive conversation provides a powerful and productive window :
For students , into the teacher’s and other students’ reading processes, so they can broaden their repertoire of strategies and deepen their subject area knowledge.
For teachers into students’ reading processes, so they can plan instruction to focus on students’ actual learning needs.
RA helps to develop more powerful readers
Engaging students in more reading– for recreation, subject-area learning, and self-challenge
Making the teacher’s discipline-based reading processes visible to the students;
Making students’ reading processes, motivations, strategies, knowledge, and understanding visible to the teacher and to one another;
Helping students gain insight into their own reading processes; and
Helping them develop a repertoire of problem solving strategies for overcoming obstacles and deepening comprehension of texts from various academic disciplines
In a Reading Apprenticeship Classroom, one will notice:
The teacher briefly modeling to make his or her thinking visible
The students engaging in guided practice of what the teacher has modeled
Students talking with one another about their experiences with the reading
In Reading Apprenticeship Classrooms, Teachers
Focus on comprehension and metacognitive conversation
Create a climate of collaboration
Provide appropriate support while emphasizing student independence
Do you recognize these students?
Are inexperienced but not beginning readers
View reading as only a school-based activity
Lack confidence and are mentally passive with reading
Appear to have limited knowledge of topics in school texts
Have limited comprehension when they do read academic texts
Are not held accountable for much reading
Expend a lot of energy covering up what they don’t understand
Thinking about your Personal Reading History and the insights that came to you from Capturing your Reading Process and creating a Reader’s Strategies List, reflect on yourself as a facilitator of students’ reading in your content area. Coming into FTLA, what was your understanding of how texts function in your discipline and what your role is in fostering student engagement with and understanding of the text? How do you think this understanding intersects with your own reader identity and experiences as a reader (in general and in your discipline)? Has your understanding of these issues begun to shift at all?