Impact & Stories

Voices & Views: Community College

How Did That Go?

In the online Reading Apprenticeship 101 course, community college faculty try out key practices and report back. Their reflections are instructive for everyone.

Re: Making It Real: Talking to the Text
By: Danica Fierman – Thursday, May 16

I had the chance to practice Talking to the Text in my RD 90 class yesterday with the first chapter of our class nonfiction book, The Devil’s Highway. One thing that made it somewhat challenging to stay focused on what kinds of thinking steps I wanted to model was that I asked the class to choose the point in the chapter that they found most confusing. That meant that I was not able to reflect ahead of time on what that section of text would permit me to show.

That said, I felt like it made it pretty authentic because I had to read it in front of them, possibly feeling as “unprepared” as they may have as they read it. In addition, I felt like it meant students were more engaged in watching and listening to me because they had chosen that section of text.

Afterwards, one student asked if their annotations/Talking to the Text should look as detailed as mine. I wish that instead of directly answering him, I had asked the class to look at my annotations together and identify specific words/places where I was questioning, figuring out, wondering, predicting…. That way, I could have maybe helped him discover what I was asking for without me saying how “covered with text” his pages should be.  

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