You are welcome to view the first Think Aloud video from our East Los Angeles College FIN team. This post is a revised version of a post on May 12,2010 by Linda Whitney. First, we explain our project and the background to this video.
At East Los Angeles College, our Reading Apprenticeship FIG is a re-conception of our original project. This year, rather than examine a lower-level reading course, we are now looking at how Reading Apprenticeship methods can inform us and allow us to help students as they tackle reading in a wide array of disciplines. The areas of our FIG members include Literature, Basic Skills composition, Basic Skills Reading, Child Development, Politics, Art and Chemistry. We kicked off with a taping of think-alouds of two students from an ART103 course. Kevin teaches this course at a sister community college, although his full-time job is with East as our Web 2.0 facilitator. Two key advantages to Kevin being the first of our group to tape a think-aloud: 1) his ease and enthusiasm for technology and 2) no other FIG members hold expertise in his content area. Two key disadvantages: 1) Kevin, unlike other FIG members, is not trained yet in Reading Apprenticeship, and 2) Kevin’s students, prior to the evening of the videotaping, had not practiced metacognitive reading techniques.
As you watch the tape, you will see that Student A does little previewing. She pretty much sticks to silent, rapid, reading, and then reacting to specific pieces of text. Katie Hern, upon viewing this tape, noticed neither student verbalized misunderstandings. In the case of Student A, however, Kevin was pleased to see that she specifically paused at the parts of the text he had stressed in that night’s lecture.
At this point, she may have decided to concentrate on the areas of understanding, and delay looking at areas of misunderstanding until a future re-reading. Student B, whose video is not posted, appears to do little more than read and then paraphrase. However, Kevin reports that Student B displayed a more reflective process during the practice session that night, and that his nervousness about the camera apparently flawed his true abilities. Katie is likely correct that the student’s nervousness reflects his need “not to appear stupid.”
Our group never settled on how much prior preparation to provide the students for Think Aloud and how we might assure that students use an array of techniques as they use Think Alouds. Most of our Think Aloud videos did not involve much prior preparation except for some modelling by the instructor.
We posted the Art text pages, this video, and many resources related to our FIG Reading Apprenticeship exploration on our group facebook page. Eventually we found that facebook postings were too technically challenging and we reverted to emails.
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