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Active Learning Academy (ALA) Community of Practice: Student Resources

The ALA guide is designed for faculty as a repository of active learning strategies, assignments, videos and link, as well as information re Reading Apprenticeship, Habits of Mind and threshold concepts.

Welcome Students!

Becoming a More Expert Reader Using the Reading Apprenticeship Metacognitive Framework

"What if instead of teaching around the text, lecturing, or summarizing for students, teachers engaged students in actually grappling with text—reading and talking about what it means and how they figured it out?" (WestEd, "Our Apprenticeship Approach")

The Reading Apprenticeship (RA) metacognitive framework uses reading and comprehension approaches that help students build critical thinking skills to help them successfully read, understand, and connect to their texts in classes across the disciplines, from English to Science. 

"Reading Apprenticeship instructional routines and approaches are based on a framework that describes the classroom in terms of four interacting dimensions that support learning: Social, Personal, Cognitive, and Knowledge-Building" (WestEd, "The Reading Apprenticeship Framework"). The image below represents the four dimensions of the RA framework with details about each. 

RA Framework's social, personal, cognitive, and knowledge building dimensions - more details at


WestEd. (2017). Our Apprenticeship Approach. Retrieved from 

WestEd. (2017). The Reading Apprenticeship Framework. Retrieved from


Ways to Practice RA/Metacognitive Reading Strategies

  • Use the metacognitive bookmark to help guide your reading and understanding of all kinds of texts, including complex images and diagrams. 
  • Try talking to your text! The video "Talk to the Text - Reading Apprenticeship" demonstrates how you can do this as a way to interact with what you're reading in a more meaningful way (video link: 
  • Practice Think Alouds with a partner or small group of students in your class. Think Alouds involve sharing your thought process or what you are thinking as you read a smaller and more difficult piece of a text (e.g., a paragraph) with someone else. It might feel strange at first to do this in front of someone else, but it will help you interact with and understand the text in deeper ways than simply reading the text silently to yourself. This video demonstration allows you to see an example of a Think Aloud done with 2 people (video link: 
  • Fill out a metacognitive reading log as part of your notetaking process. Metacognitive reading logs ask you to track important ideas you find as well as thoughts, feelings, and questions that come up for you while you're reading. This is another great way to interact more meaningfully with what you're reading, and this can help you break down more complex texts. 

What Other Students Say About Reading Apprenticeship/Metacognitive Strategies

  • "I can bring my own knowledge to the text."

  • "Rereading is not a sign that I am a slow reader, but it means that I am working to make meaning."

  • "Teachers sometimes do not see what I do not know, so asking for clarification as the teacher models helps me."

  • "Different strategies are used for different texts. I discovered that there are many ways of reading."

  • "Talking aloud helps me figure out meaning because I am hearing it and reading it at the same time."

  • "Reading is not a simple task."


The testimonials above were provided by Renton Technical College students.