As I am becoming more of a proficiency based teacher, I have been evaluating my interpretive reading tasks. (Sometimes along this path, I feel that as I learn more information, the amount of information that I do not know increases!) When I first read about the interpretive reading tasks, I assumed that they were just comprehension questions on an infographic (especially because I was working with novice students.) Occasionally, I would include a question about the main topic. It was pretty easy, and I thought, “Way to go self! You made an interpretive reading assignment!” However, I started to realize that interpretive tasks go WAY beyond this. I investigated a little further and found the following list of questions to include on an interpretive reading assessment.
From ACTFL, I learned that they add on many different questions. In addition to specific key word identification and the main idea, this book suggests adding true/false items and having students correct false statements. They also have students indicate where they found this information within the text. The article also adds questions on how the text was organized, phrases that allow students to guess meaning from the text, and on inferences based on the text overall. Finally, the interpretive section on this assessment also includes perspectives from the author and the culture and an opportunity for students to reflect on this information. Also, I found Courtney’s stations example which really clicked with me. I always need to see a good example to go along with something I am reading.
Whew! That introduced a lot of questions that I wasn’t including! (Also, all of those good infographics that I spent hours combing to find were getting a very superficial glance by my students!) I am still developing my IPAs overall, but I feel that my interpretive reading section is definitely getting stronger, and it is challenging more of my students. Also, I always like to point out to people that I am a human behind this blog, and I am not perfect! I am always trying to improve. Hopefully these ideas will help you as you develop your own IPAs, or you can at least feel that you are not as alone as you are developing how you are teaching.