How will one know that this unit is successful?
Simply answered, the teacher will be able to see evidence of student interest in the novel selected and others. One of the most indicative dilemmas that may occur is that some students may finish the novel before the teacher's schedule is accomplished.
The teacher will be able to use fiction to teach several different reading skills. In the end, well-received instruction may result in more decoded words, improved vocabulary recognition, an improved grasp of meaning and inferences, and increased speed. The hard data on improved reading ability will surface in various test scores. The anecdotal notes, if they are kept, will reflect that students really read the book and that it may be the first time they have completed an adult novel. The notes may summarize conversations about the characters or a newfound interest in investigation whether they are police related or otherwise.
Over time, there will be indications of more independent reading, an increase in the number of books read annually.
It is important to think back as the school year ends. Did the lesson plans as executed fulfill the mandates in the state standards and local curriculum frameworks? Did the instruction allow students to improve their language skills? Do they read, write, and think better than when they entered class?
If this unit is successful, the entire school community or individuals within the community will remark about the improved tone of the Advancement Academy classroom and the positive behavior of the Academy students around the building. The Academy students will find that, with a new interest and improved reading skills, their self-esteem allows them to interact in a positive way with other members of the school community. In addition, other teachers, academic resource personnel (such as the reading specialists and career center staff) will be able to tell about the work of the unit. The custodians, who hold special places in a school environment, might even read and discuss Easy Rawlins.