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  • Rick Joseph

Relevant Reading at Hamtramck High


Hamtramck High School is a haven for students whose families hail from all over the world. Hamtramck’s success hinges on the dedication of their dynamic staff and principal, Terry George.

On Tuesday November 3, I had the pleasure of conducting professional learning sessions on literacy in the content area with three separate groups of teachers from every discipline. We emphasized the Reading Apprenticeship approach to teaching reading, which helps all educators appreciate the important role they play in helping their students read and comprehend course content, whether in a traditional English class, a physics class or physical education.

At Hamtramck, with a sizable number of students coming from Yemen and Bangladesh, the need to make esoteric academic language comprehensible is a priority. It was clear to me that these teachers not only had a passion for helping their students learn, but a willingness to embrace the approaches of the Reading Apprenticeship model. Through an exploration of metacognitive conversation and the four dimensions of literacy – social, personal, cognitive and knowledge-building – teachers came to understand the critical role they play in the attitudes their learners acquire about reading and its role in their academic and personal lives.

These teachers are truly helping their students create a future where the power of reading is enshrined as a lifelong value.


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