For years my inner city students have entered my classroom and have seen (RADW) Read, Analyze, Discuss, and Write on the white board in the front of the classroom as they have walked by to get their books, take their seats, and start their day’s learning.
Every day my students follow the routine of reading something that I have determined is worth their time to read. Then I have them analyze what they are reading, which means to critically think about what they are reading. Reading absent-mindedly without an internal dialogue is not really reading, is it?
The next step of my RADW process that my students have been trained to do is to discuss what they are reading and self-internalize through the analysis that I just talked about above. This reading, analyzing, and now discussing, helps to further my students’ understanding of the topic. There is some real powerful peer synergy and energy going on at this stage in the discussions.
Finally, I expect my students to physically do something with their new learning of each day’s particular topic so they can further their learning and understanding beyond the reading, analysis, and discussions. Here I expect them to write about it. You see, it’s in the physical act of writing that we get a chance to really think about our thinking, and truly understand something.
It’s right there in this space of our thinking and learning, through writing that we grow and learn enough to begin to take informed action that will lead to a good civic life. And a good civic life is best produced through informed action within our own communities. And informed action is best produced through RADW- Reading, Analyzing, Discussing, and Writing.
Now teens, go learn, lead, and lay the way to a better world for all of us. Remember to always practice RADW- Reading, Analyzing, Discussing, and Writing from this day on forward so that you can take informed action in making this world a better place. And once again, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do…