Hi. I'm Samantha.

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Edutopia Community Facilitator/ Student Voice & Literacy at The Writing Project

Thank you so much Danielle! What grade level do you teach? With my students I have similar struggles all the time. I try to give them choices or a variety of reading options to to choose from, and that helps to make the experience enjoyable and even rewarding. But the "why is this important?" question, while it might take time, will help them develop their critical thinking skills. I am so glad you found this useful!

This was an excellent read for me. I struggle with providing my students with the rigor needed and expressed in Blooms Taxonomy as a majority of my students are far below grade level reading. However, with the demands of the district's curriculum, teachers are required to push on students' thinking on a daily basis. The writing process as you outlined in your post is very important for students to be able to synthesis and demonstrate their understanding of text. This is surely and idea that I will try on with my students as we move to more project based learning in our cultural awareness unit!

Edutopia Community Facilitator/ Student Voice & Literacy at The Writing Project

Atiya, thank you so much. I am very happy you found this post to be useful. I would love to hear more about how you're thinking of incorporating it using PBL for your cultural awareness unit. Such a fantastic idea, and should be very exciting for the students! Please feel free to share this awesome lesson on Edutopia's community discussions if you're okay with that. I think many teachers would find it very helpful!

I do agree with you, that student's struggle with reading can make it difficult to focus on critical thinking and application. Here is where I think the demand of critical thinking/analysis needs to accommodate the student's ability. So if a student was able to pass a reading milestone, then he/she would be guided to focus on comprehension (ex: who, what, when, how) and first stages of analysis (ex: why). It takes time, effort and patience from both parties. But navigating through the process with the teacher will help students apply it throughout reading all the time.

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