Sunday, January 15, 2012

Review: Raising the Standards Through Chapter Books: The C.I.A. Approach

I found another book that really speaks to my teaching heart. Specifically to my “students should get to read chapter books and learn their 'thinking for reading skills'” heart. This book is called Raising the Standards Through Chapter Books: The C.I.A. Approach, by Sarah Collinge. (C.I.A. stands for Collect, Interpret, and Apply.)

In her book, Collinge shares the research behind the C.I.A. approach. She walks us through the steps for introducing the approach to our classes. I am a huge proponent of chapter books and thinking for reading skills. If you follow my blog, you know my students regularly write thinking stems. Now Collinge has opened an exciting new avenue of specific turn-and-talk stems.
These stems guide students in the use of thinking skills during reading groups. I am thrilled! This is just the focus my students needed. Of course, there is much more to Collinge's book. This book is must for anyone who knows the importance of teaching students to THINK.

So here’s my official review…

Raising the Standards Through Chapter Books: The C.I.A. Approach is an important step in engaging and advancing students’ cognitive processes through text. Collinge breaks the process down into doable chunks for teachers, and provides thinking stems for students to use in turn and talk routines ranging from basic to very specific. There is no doubt in my mind that the CIA approach will lead to much greater student achievement.

The book is available here!


  1. My name is Lindsey Edwards and I am student at the University of South Alabama, in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. Here is a link to my blog( as well as the class blog( will be summarizing my visit to your blog with a post on my blog on February 12, 2012.
    I really enjoyed your post about this book and your thoughts on how chapter books are a great way to develop critical thinking. It will lead the student to be more successful and this book is a great resource to help integrate chapter books into the classroom.

  2. Thank you Lindsey. I'll look forward to reading what you write. Students from your class have commented on my students blogs in the past...I really appreciate it!

  3. Your welcome, I really enjoyed reading it as well and this a great opportunity for me to learn more from experienced teachers such as yourself.

  4. Hello,
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  5. I took Sarah's class in November 2011. I then purchased her book study books for 5th grade. We are currently working on our second book; HOLES. I have never had such great discussion about a book and the vocabulary with my students. My students are beginning to understand complex concepts like dark humor, metaphors, and foreshadowing. I am amazed at the connections my student make. Their THINKING is so much deeper as a result of the CIA approach to reading.