Over the course of nine years at Aspen, Mr. Peterson has experienced this question countless times: “Why doesn’t my teen like to read?” While attending the Writing and Reading Project winter workshop last month at Columbia University (thanks, Annual Fund!) he discussed strategies to create high engagement for reading among middle and high school students. Read on for more!
Literacy and Communications
With an emphasis on communication, public speaking and listening skills, Aspen Academy students are able to clearly explain their thinking and learning, while also listening to the opinions and ideas of others.
Student choice and ownership are at the forefront of our language arts curriculum. At Aspen Academy, all of our language arts teachers pride themselves on tapping into the personal interests and learning styles of each and every one of their students. The workshop model, which consists of a short, whole-group lesson and extended time for differentiated-partner, small group and individual learning time, allows for each student to reach his or her full potential. Providing choice for both reading and writing creates an authentic learning environment full of passion and excitement in each language arts classroom. These choices provide an opportunity for critical thinking, self-reflection and decision-making unmatched among other programs in the nation.
Through our model, students have extensive time to read mentor texts and use these texts to inform their writing. In addition, teachers supplement with targeted phonics, spelling, and grammar skills that meet standards at each grade level. Technology and language arts teachers work together to provide a connection between the classroom and real-life applications of the content. The skills taught are applicable in all subject areas, which means math, social studies, science and language arts teachers collaborate to ensure reading, writing and public speaking expectations are consistent.
Third grade students transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn," in this engaging lesson that encourages them to be thoughtful and analytical readers and authors!
Looking for new ways to get kid excited about books and reading? Host a Book Tasting! Learn more from 4th Grade Language Arts Teacher, Gabriella Fratta.