What intervention did you test and how did each person in your cohort try it?
We tested all six of our iterations included in our critical reading packet. We used them at the high school, 2 year, and 4 year level. Through this process we found that students need to be taught how to use this intervention. It is not natural for them to do; the process requires students to engage in critical thinking during times when they typically are resistant to slowing down and looking at sections individually and critically thinking about how individual sections/examples fit into the overall purpose. At this point we will each describe a little bit from our own experiences.
Our Critical Reading Packet
- Lesson Plan Outline
- Film Tool
- Novels Tool
- Non-Scholarly Articles Tool
- Podcasts Tool
- Scholarly Articles Tool
- Short Fiction Tool
Kate Peterson – Eastern Washington University – I used the tools for my upper-level research courses (201), and fundamentals courses (100) and found it to be useful for students of many skill levels and backgrounds. When we used the tool for the podcast or a film I would start and stop the recording so that we could talk as a class about the questions on the worksheet and fill them out together. It was very helpful to use the bubble chart as well so that students could clearly see how all of the sections were connected to one main idea. Once students were familiar with the tool they could work on their own. The tool helped the students to break the podcast/film/article into more manageable sections in order to separate supporting details or plot points from the larger purpose. I found it challenging to get students to think about what questions they had as the text progressed, and so this is something we (my cohort and I) revised as we went along. It was more helpful for the students to try to think about the author’s intentions throughout, and how they made their points clear to their audience.
LouAnn Reamer – Shadle Park High School – At the high school level, the tool needs to be introduced and navigated for the first time. The most effective way to implement the tool is to used it to build meaning of the text individually and then built as a whole class when students share responses for each section before moving to the next section. This approach parallels the use of Socratic Seminars to have a student-centered approach to critical reading and allows students to gain confidence in communicating orally after having a conceptual understanding of the text.
Tim Roe – Spokane Community College – I found that my students needed a lot of scaffolding early on in order to understand the intervention, but they were able to use it on their own fairly quickly after the initial scaffolding. The most successful uses of the intervention came when I began by explaining why we were using the intervention, then working through the process with a film. Essentially, we would watch the film in class, and I would pause it and we would talk through the sections together. Then, students would write on the tool itself. The next step was to have students discuss each section in small groups and then write up the sections. After a couple days of this, students were then expected to complete the tool on their own. I found this level of scaffolding to work well. Students were able to learn how to use the intervention, and then were expected to apply the intervention on their own. Toward the end of the quarter I would stop using the handout, and expect that students utilize the strategies on their own by annotating the texts directly. Students would still receive points for these annotations, but it also helped them learn to utilize the skillset without instruction or a worksheet.