This summer Reading Apprenticeship and Carnegie Math Pathways collaborated with the Rhode Island Department of Education’s PrepareRI College Readiness Project to create and offer new online courses for students and related professional learning for the course teachers. This unique opportunity combined in-depth learning and capacity-building for teachers with rigorous curriculum to disrupt learning loss for students. Over 1,600 rising 9th and 12th graders across the state participated in digital summer school courses designed to help young people develop the knowledge, strategies, and dispositions they need to become more powerful readers and mathematicians.
Students in 9th and 12th grade Reading Apprenticeship classes investigated their reader identity through questions like, How does your relationship with reading impact your identity and future as a student, a citizen, and a member of your community? Students read, discussed, and analyzed Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah to gain insight into the power of counter narratives to shape social change. Additionally, they built and practiced a range of metacognitive routines to make sense of complex text and worked on strategies to take control of their learning processes.
ELA students and teachers alike found that entering freshman were especially engaged in the challenging work: “This course was designed with student learning at the forefront,” said one 9th grade teacher, adding that “It has been an absolute pleasure teaching this book to this group of students. The journey of the novel itself, coupled with the engaging supplemental materials has been amazing. It has inspired many deep conversations and I think has really moved this group forward for the fall of their 9th grade year. It was extremely helpful to have common language from week one.”
Teachers also appreciated the chance to practice some new collaborative learning skills and tools they can use—both online and in-person. As one participating teacher said, “The curriculum was fantastic. I loved teaching reading skills in the context of social justice thematic texts and media sources. I also love the way that we were able to engage with both full groups and small groups for targeted instruction online.”