Dan Feigelson On Deciding Which Connections Help Us To Understand – And Which Ones Don’t

In his new book, Reading Projects Reimagined, author Dan Feigelson shows us how conference-based, individual reading projects help students learn to think for themselves. He raises an important question about the larger goal of reading instruction: while it’s our job as reading teachers to introduce students to new ideas and comprehension strategies, should we not also teach them to come up with their own ideas?  

In today's video blog, Dan visits with Kaila and looks at how we can make good connections while reading.

Making Connections

by Dan Feigelson

We often talk to kids about the importance of making connections to our own lives as we read, to facilitate comprehension. The truth is though that not all connections are created equal. Some connections do in fact help us understand, but others can distract us from what is going on in the text. Skilled readers are discriminating; they pay attention to the connections that actually help them make sense of the text, not just any old connection that pops into their head. 

In this conference, Kaila and I talk about the difference between connections that help us understand and those that are not so helpful.

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Dan Feigelson has worked extensively in New York City schools as a teacher, staff developer, curriculum writer, principal, and local superintendent. An early member of the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project, he has led institutes, workshops, and lab-sites around the world. His newest book is Reading Projects Reimagined: Student-Driven Conferences to Deepen Critical Thinking.

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