Comprehending Content (DVD)


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Teachers of adolescents across the country are under enormous pressure to cover more content in their disciplines, to make instruction more relevant to students, and to help students acquire the reading skills they need to succeed on standardized tests and beyond. In this video program, high school teacher Cris Tovani brings viewers into her school and classroom and shows how she and her colleagues are meeting the challenge of improving students' reading skills across the curriculum. The programs include examples of Cris working with students using texts from multiple disciplines in her classroom, as well as collaborating with colleagues throughout the school.

Program 1: Modeling What Good Readers Do
Using examples from technical text and novels, Cris models her own reading process to show students how to read and understand difficult material.

Program 2: Interpreting Data: Charts, Graphs, Standardized Tests
Cris works with students as they analyze charts, data and graphs, and discusses how standardized test scores led her to place more emphasis on data reading across the curriculum.

Program 3: Reading Like a Mathematician
Cris and math teacher Jim Donohue co-teach, working with struggling readers on strategies for completing math problems, and talk about their collaboration.

Program 4: Synthesizing Complex Ideas
Cris assists students as they integrate reading from history textbooks with current articles in newspapers and magazines. Students synthesize background knowledge and new information to understand wars from the last seventy years.

Accompanying the Comprehending Content video is a detailed viewing guide with sample workshop activities, reading materials used by students on the program, focus questions for viewing, and tips for using the related book, Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?, with the video in a study group setting.