Think Books: Reading for Deep Thinkers – Spring


    “Thank you for making the class so thought-provoking and fun for [my daughter] – she was languishing in traditional school, and we’re so grateful to have access to teachers like [Dr. Karen] through Athena’s who make her come alive in class!”
    ~Natalie, Athena’s Parent



    Step 1: Register Your Student

    Step 2: Enroll Your Registered Student

    Open book for the Think Books: Reading for Deep Thinkers course at Athena's Advanced Academy
    InstructorDr. Karen Arnstein
    Content LevelsGrades 5-6 • Upper Elementary
    Grades 6-7 • Middle School
    Course Length16 Weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnWednesdays, 9:00 - 9:50 AM Pacific - 1/24/24 - 5/18/24

    In Think Books: Reading for Deep Thinkers, we enter the magical worlds found within the pages of classic and contemporary books. We use the stories as frameworks to generate independent thinking, encourage creativity, broaden vocabulary and enable intelligent and articulate discussion around the themes included in the text.

    Sometimes it is hard to get children engaged in reading, and even harder to get them to share their ideas and learning. At Athena’s, we’ve found that adapting the Great Books Foundation’s Shared Inquiry™ approach to our platform is very effective in inspiring students to actively engage in the books we read.

    In this course, students generate questions about the book or chapters they read and bring them to the webinar class. Their questions, coupled with the skilled questioning of the instructor, enable a rich exploration of the ideas, concepts and meaning of what they have read.

    A lively discussion, generated by the group, enables a deeper exploration and understanding of the text. Because our webinars offer the option for students to join in verbally or via the chat room, we see that everyone feels comfortable participating.

    Lessons include:

    • reading comprehension
    • critical thinking
    • dialogue
    • vocabulary

    Note to Parents: 

    • Think Books and Advanced Think Books are both divided into two semesters, fall and spring.
    • Advanced Think Books: Reading for Deep Thinkers – Fall Semester follows this course in the same time slot in the fall.
    • The Think Books series follows in progression in the same time slot over a two-year period:
      • Think Books: Fall Semester
      • Think Books: Spring Semester
      • Advanced Think Books: Fall Semester
      • Advanced Think Books: Spring Semester

    What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:

    • Read a selection from the Junior Great Books Series book -or- read several chapters in a novel.
    • Write down 1-2 questions about the reading assignment to bring to the webinar. (Asynchronous students should plan on emailing their questions to Dr. Karen the day before the weekly webinars.)
      • Strong readers stay connected to what they are reading by asking themselves questions as they read. Students might wonder why a character does something, or they might wonder why the author chose to write something in a certain way.
    • Respond to a forum prompt — writing at least one five-sentence paragraph.
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.

    What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:

    • Curated resources, including websites & videos, are provided to excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter.
    • We feature frequent projects and Minecraft™ activities for collaborative or solo expression.

    What to expect during the weekly webinar:

    • Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available for students with schedule conflicts.
    • Add student’s reading-based questions to the whiteboard. These questions will be the basis of our interactive discussion.
    • Active Participation (via the microphone and chat) in online class discussions.
    • This class is discussion based. Only students who are ready (or need minimal encouragement to become ready) to use the microphone in an online class should enroll.

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read at a solid 5th-grade level or above.
    • Write a paragraph independently.

    Students should be willing to:

    • Be prepared for the webinar.
    • Actively participate (via the microphone and chat) in the class discussion.
    • Verbally participate in webinar discussions – this class is discussion based.
    • Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.

    Required books & materials: