When Kids Just Can't Pay Attention

A half-dozen fourth-graders sit around teacher Claire Borchardt at the independent Woodlynde School outside Philadelphia, riveted by Aliens for Breakfast, a sci-fi novel popular with 10-year-olds. Eagerly, they describe characters, discuss plot, and analyze the story line. Hands shoot up. Once in a while, to remind them to read analytically, Borchardt points to a poster that says: "I read...and I know...so I think...." Filling in the blank after each verb makes reading more than a passive exercise.

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