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Remarks Tie Reading Apprenticeship to Common Core

“Personally, I wasn’t sure the results would be this dramatic,” said Titusville High School teacher Sara Jones about the school’s new Reading Apprenticeship program. “It has benefitted everybody—the general students, the academic students, the honors students.”

In an interview in the Titusville Herald, Jones explained remarks she made recently to a Harrisburg audience of state-level educators and policy makers. She and a panel of five other teachers and administrators advocated increased attention to Reading Apprenticeship as a powerful support for addressing the Common Core State Standards.

Jones, a grade 11 social studies teacher, pointed out that the Reading Apprenticeship emphasis on deep reading comprehension in subject area classes, and a key routine called “Talking to the Text,” means that students take challenging text and make it their own. “When they read,” she said, “students don’t just highlight or underline certain things, but they write comments and questions and summarize. So, when they do get to the end, they’ve thought about it all along the way.

“I did this all last year,” she added, “with all levels of students, and I saw some tremendous gains in students in terms as basic as not being intimidated by a piece that appeared complicated or lengthy.” On exams, she said, “I have gotten so many deeper, better answers. They’re really telling me what the piece means.”

According to Jones, students develop a new expectation that they should actually understand what they read. “They’ll get a reading assignment and ask, ‘Should we Talk to the Text?’ They know it works for them enough that they do it even when there is not a score attached to it. That’s really how you know things are working.”

Read the complete article by Joshua Sterling.

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