Student Voices: A Senior’s Perspective on a Unfamiliar Text, Using the Reading Process Paper

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In today’s post I bring you another student’s, Ali (name is changed to protect identity), reading process paper. What is unique about Ali’s paper is he is a senior at my school who has never done this sort of writing exercise. What I particularly enjoyed about reading Ali’s final draft was the honesty he appeared to put forth as he processed what he was reading and reflecting on the process over all. Ali would be considered ‘high-flyer,’ so I know it might be easy for teachers to dismiss this post as simply showing off a great student’s work. But I would argue, while Ali had the tools to do this work already, we should not discount the metacognitive work he was asked to do. This is the sort of mental work Ali has not had to do much. He’s good at school. Some information comes easily to him; he meets deadlines, and he is willing to study for subjects he finds troublesome. Still, the reflective process the reading process paper demands was foreign to Ali, which he comments on briefly in his composition. Before you proceed ahead, if you need a reminder of what the process paper is all about and my commentary on Sheridan Blau’s work, go here and here. Continue reading

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Student Voices: Revisiting the Reading Process Paper and Student Reading Identity

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Today’s post is long, but I would go so far as to say it is also very interesting. Aida (name changed to protect her identity) is a student who was in my 9th grade English class two years ago and is in my directed studies class this year as an 11th grader. In both contexts, I asked her and her peers to experience what Sheridan Blau calls the reading process paper. I have posted about Blau’s work and the reading process paper in years past here and here. The reading process paper is a metacognitive exercise and encourages students who take it up to venture into reading an unfamiliar poem or short story and develop an interpretation of what they’ve read over several readings over time and space. The added impact of the paper is embedded in the reflective aspects of the assignment where a student will tie their interpretations to their experiences as reader in the past, in the process of reading a cold text, and after the interpretive work is done. I won’t detail how I set up the assignment here, but I will gladly share for anyone who reaches out for it. Rather, inside today’s post you’ll see Aida’s 9th grade reading process paper and her 11th grade reading process paper. I’ll add some commentary along the way. I highly recommend taking the time to read both of her papers and witness Aida’s growth as a writer, but maybe more importantly as a metacognitive thinker and the ways she explicitly and implicitly identifies herself as a reader. Continue reading

The Reading Process Paper: Trying to Encourage Student Metacognition

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Where did January go?!

I have been busy getting all my ducks in a row so I can begin data collection on my study for the ol’ dissertation. So far, everything is looking good. I have IRB approval, I’m moving ahead on my proposal edits, and I’m hoping in a few weeks I’ll be defending my proposal. By mid-February I should be off the ground and running. Wish me luck!

Today’s post is really dedicated to what Sheridan Blau (2003) calls a reading process paper. I did this assignment with my students last year, but I did not write about the experience. Inside, I will lay out the process and how students work through interpretive struggles with reading a poem and how ultimately the practice promotes metacognition. Continue reading

On Writing: Changes in Practice

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So, much like I revised my philosophy on reading in my classroom, my doctoral studies have also affected my philosophy on writing in my classroom. The history of research in writing is deep! There is no hyperbole here. Much like I had posted early this past summer, reading up on writing research is like drinking from a fire hose. (Except without all the pain and trip to the emergency room.) The point is that the research is ripe with tradition has taken various detours in the last several decades. I promise not to give anyone a history lesson (not that I could at this point), but, if you’d like, read on to see how I changed some of my writing instruction and activities in my classroom this year. Continue reading

On Reading: Changes in Practice

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If you haven’t picked up this so far by reading recent posts, I love me some Sheridan Blau. I didn’t know anything about him until I was told to read his book The Literature Workshop (2003) during my research in literature course this past fall. Reading about, discussing, and even practicing some of his workshops from that course has changed my teaching practice forever. Continue reading