• April 15, 2015

Adrienne GearOn April 1, SET-BC was pleased to host Adrienne Gear as she presented an introduction to her reading comprehension curriculum “Reading Power”. It was a powerful presentation with BC educators gathering in nine sites across the province to learn how to engage students in becoming powerful and engaged thinking readers.

Adrienne gave a brief history of how Reading Power evolved 10 years ago at the school in which she was teaching, where students were achieving high provincial reading assessment scores in decoding but much lower scores in comprehension. Adrienne sought to remedy this and found that teachers were often teaching students how to decode but not necessarily also teaching students how to interact and think about what they were reading. Reading Power was developed based on the research of David Pearson’s profile of a proficient reader.

There are five Reading Powers for fictional texts: Connect, Question, Visualize, Infer and Transform.

Adrienne spent some time in the morning demonstrating how to help students connect to a story in a book by modeling two sample mini lessons. The first lesson focused on establishing common language around thinking about stories. The second lesson helped participants understand how to introduce the importance of interacting with a story for students. Adrienne used an analogy of a having a conversation with a friend and how that is similar to reading a book. When the conversation with a friend is one-sided, just reading for reading sake, it becomes a boring activity. We retain the information for a short while but we quickly dump it for something more interesting. But when the conversation with a friend is an equal back and forth exchange, the activity becomes meaningful and we gain and retain something from that exchange. In reading this happens when we connect, question, visualize, infer and transform our thinking about what we are reading.

Adrienne shared resources from her book Reading Power for Fiction and Reading Power for Non-Fiction. Her recommended “Tried and True” and “What’s New” book lists are available on her website.

After a break for lunch, the focus shifted to SET-BC resources that can support Reading Power in the classroom. Daphne Mercier, SET-BC consultant and Victoria Doolaar, SET-BC User Support, presented a selection of SET-BC created resources that teachers can readily use to support the Reading Power strategies.

Two types of resources have been created to support educators using Reading Power in the classroom. First, 76 accessible books have been created in alternate formats from Adrienne’s recommended book lists. These accessible books are available on ARC-BC in a variety of formats (e.g. Clicker, Clicker Books, Kurzweil, accessible PDFs, etc.). Not all titles are available in all formats. SET-BC will continue to add to the ARC-BC collection in the coming months.

The second type of resource that has been developed are adapted and accessible worksheets created in programs like Clicker 6 and the SOLO Literacy Suite. These resources are available in SET-BC’s curriculumSET online repository of student resources. To locate the curriculumSET resources, enter “reading power” in the search field and click SEARCH.

It was a busy day with a great deal of very useful information shared and discussed. We want to thank Adrienne for facilitating a great session in the morning and Daphne and Victoria for sharing supporting resources in the afternoon. We know participants left the session inspired to help students become proficient readers and powerful thinkers!