Using Technology to Help Students Understand the Reading Process
Using Technology to Help Students Understand the Reading Process avatar

Hello Everyone, Happy Spring:)

 Our task this week is to share how we teach the writing process in one example for one specific course. I am going to approach our task by showing you how I scaffold my student’s reading in ways that use technology to guide them through the Integrated Reading and Writing process (sorry no video I am doing this between drafts and on a super clunky computer)

The questions guiding my inquiry are: How do we use technology to scaffold the reading, writing, and thinking process? What kinds of process, scaffolding work, can we do better with technology?

The technology enhanced process-based reading work I am going to share with you is in conversation with the following excerpts from Warnock’s Chapter 4:

Meta Learning: the idea thatTeachers should maximize the inherently archival nature of OWI as much as possible…[and]…metacognitive activities are ideal opportunities for process-based work…” (165)

Building Assignments: “technology facilitates the division of work into process components. Some simple asynchronous technologies—message boards, blogs—facilitate the kinds of conversations that help build dialogue around course projects”

“All our work becomes an artifact for the course that we refer to through the process of developing a writing project which is a useful way of teaching students how to scaffold their own thinking and writing” (168)

“Rather than just learning best practices [or best examples] from me—one voice—they see strategies their peers use” (169)

“Also, quiet students now “are much more likely to make their opinions known in an online environment where they can contemplate their words before the rest of the group has access to them” (170)


My examples of process-based reading work are also in conversation with the following folks thinking about what reading is and what it is we are doing when we read:

 Mariolina Salvatori “Conversations with Texts

“This view of reading enables us to imagine a text’s argument not as a position to be won and defended by one interlocutor at the expense of another, but rather, as topic about which interlocutors generate critical questions that enable them to reflect on the meaning of knowledge and on different processes of knowledge formation”

“theories that turn text and readers into “interlocutors” of each other…such theories construct reading as an activity by means of which readers can engage texts responsibly and critically”


Kathleen McCormick “Text, reader, ideology”

“Readers therefor must be regarded as inhabitants of particular socio-cultural formations, with particular literary and general ideologies, who appropriate from society, both consciously and unconsciously, their own particular repertoires…The way readers respond to texts will depend on how their general and literary repertoires interact with those of the text”


Anderson and Pearson “A schema theory view of basic processes in reading comprehension”

The idea that a reader’s schemata or a reader’s Funds of Knowledge shapes their reading of a text

and from Rose & Hull “This Wooden Shack Place”

students have a right to their own reading


Below is an attempt to sketch out my Integrated Reading and Writing Process with embedded examples. It is an overview of how I use technology to scaffold my student’s reading in ways that guide them through the Integrated Reading and Writing process. The idea for the diagram is from previous work on the Integrated Reading and Writing instructional cycle and what I’ve found floating online about the California Acceleration Project.


The Integrated Reading and Writing Process 

Using discussion forums, shared google docs, and active learning stations 

Pre-Reading Activities: Videos of authors or sometimes students giving a talk or discussing the subject of the reading; PPPC_ Let’s Pre-read Anyon Together–PPPC Reading Strategy work in groups; A 5 minute internet search (something like a quickie version of the I-search paper); A free-write discussion post to activate prior knowledge (KLW+ what do you know about X, what do you want to know?)

Post-Reading Activities: Freire Graphic Organizer and Anyon Graphic Organizer;In-class work on assigned key terms or reading questions; in-class sharing of your initial responses free-write/share in groups; group discussions; group presentation of assigned pages in the article (2-3 pages) per group

At Home Reading Activities: Students complete a one page, Reading Responses, Questions for a Second Reading, Critical Reading Log, Take Home Reading Quiz.

In-Class Metacognitive Work: After students spend time using writing to work on the readings at home they share their work with their peers  (Group Work to Break Down Kozol and Riley) and spend time reflecting on how the writing helped us develop our first draft of the reading. We talk about a “Shitty First Draft” of a reading, a second draft, a revision of our first reading, in the same way we talk about process in writing.   Students also use this metacognitive activity to set reading goals for the second and maybe even third draft of their reading. Students do this metacognitive work in a  “Reflections” journal in google docs that they use to track their learning (and assemble their tools) and will use this at the end of class to write their own “Theory of Reading and Writing” a la  Writing Across Contexts (56-58) Teaching for Transfer Approach

In-Class Practice Applying the readings: Using discussion forums, google docs and ALSS: We spend time in class practicing how we might use the framework, ideas, key concepts in the readings towards our own purpose; We use discussion forums to practice writing a Topic Sentence where we are engaging X reading; We also use discussion forums to develop possible essay outlines that include each reading and how we will engage it towards our own purpose

Formal Essay Writing: Students move to use the readings clustered around each essay towards their own purpose in a major essay assignment.

Esto es todo por hoy–back to reading student essays–I look forward to reading your posts:))