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Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program - Level 2 Paperback – November 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

I find that Jacob's Ladder is easy to use and thoroughly enjoy how it helps light a spark in my children. They truly do not consider working on Jacob's Ladder to be school work; for them, this is a treat . . . It engages higher order thinking and takes the children far beyond the texts they are reading . . . This is the first comprehension program that I've seen that I can wholeheartedly recommend. While it's targeted at gifted children, I think that all children will enjoy this program as you can guide the answers as deeply or as shallowly as you wish. If you have children, who like mine, love to engage in philosophizing, this is definitely a program they would enjoy. --Homeschooled Twins blog - June 8, 2010

About the Author

Joyce VanTassel-Baska is Professor Emerita at The College of William and Mary, where she founded the Center for Gifted Education. Formerly she initiated and directed the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University. Joyce has also served as state director of gifted programs in Illinois, a regional director, a local coordinator of gifted programs, and a teacher of gifted high school students. Her major research interests are in the talent development process and effective curricular interventions with the gifted.

She is the author of 22 books and has written more than 500 other publications on gifted education. She was the editor of Gifted and Talented International for several years and received the Distinguished Scholar Award in 1997 from the National Association for Gifted Children and the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia in 1993. She received the Distinguished Alumna Achievement Award from the University of Toledo in 2003, the President's Award from the World Council on Gifted and Talented in 2005, and the Collaboration and Diversity Service Award from CEC-TAG in 2007.


Tamra Stambaugh, Ph.D., is a research assistant professor of special education and director of Programs for Talented Youth at Vanderbilt University. Her current research interests include the impact of accelerated curriculum on student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and talent development factors-especially for students of poverty.
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Product Details

  • Series: Jacob’s Ladder Reading Comprehension Program
  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Prufrock Press; 2 edition (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593633513
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593633516
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anne TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 24, 2012
I am a homeschooler and for the past three years, I've been using Harcourt Trophies as my daughter's primary literature curriculum. I supplement with Evan-Moor's Read and Understand Poetry. For fourth grade, my daughter is using the two book studies I wrote this summer (for The Door in the Wall and The Secret Garden) along with the EM's Poetry and Harcourt Trophies fourth grade book. The books studies I wrote follow Bloom's Taxonomy and will challenge her to think deeper about what she is reading. But, she is struggling. None of these specifically walk my daughter through to a deeper level of thinking. So, how do I get her there?

I found a great resource that does all of the work for me. Sometimes I need that. I don't have time to develop all of the curriculum I want myself. The curriculum I found is this reading comprehension program. I have books 1 and 2. I am actually going to order Primary Book 1 and begin there with both my daughters. I have been using Book 1 with the literature group I have been leading. It has been interesting to see the responses of my daughter and the other children in the group. We have walked through various passages and the questions in the book for each one. The questions climb a ladder--to deeper thinking. I have been extremely impressed with both the passages and questions. But, I realize that my daughter needs to back up and start with the beginning of the series even though it is written for gifted Kindergarteners and First graders. I did preview the primary book online. It follows the same structure as Books 1 and 2. I am so excited to integrate this series into our reading curriculum. There are books for children grades K-9. But, I would encourage you to not be concerned about using a book below your child's grade level.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Got Book? on April 26, 2010
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This book is an excellent entry in the area of reading comprehension, especially geared to high-ability readers. The selections are a good mix of fiction and non-fiction, along with some student-written pieces, offering a good variety of genres from which to choose. The targeted skills include summarizing, paraphrasing, creative synthesis, consequences and implications, cause and effect and sequencing. The activities involve working on these skills and this can be done from a basic level to a higher level, progressing up the "ladder" of depth of skill. These are important skills for students to work on, and often gifted readers do not get to work enough on further development of these skills because they are already high-ability readers. Of course it would be nice if it were a bit cheaper, but it is worth the money. As a teacher, it is an invaluable resource which will be used over and over. As a parent, it is an excellent resource for supplementing what your child is doing at school. It can be used throughout the school year, or used over the summer to retain skills and to help the student continue to progress over the summer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Emily Panek on March 30, 2011
I have used Jacob's Ladder with my high ability readers for a few years now. I really like the fact that the reading passages are short enough to be read in a few minutes so that the students can concentrate on completing the ladders and really reflecting on their thinking. There is a great mix of fables, myths, poetry, and non-fiction written by adults and kids. Once the kids learn the different ladders, the program pretty much runs itself. You get incredible work from the students with very little new teaching time. They are able to take the skills they learned and apply them to the different pieces of literature. You can easily compare the ladders over time to see the growth in your students.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judy Shaffer on October 20, 2013
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I have used this program for younger gifted students and have always been happy. I was excited to try the
version for older gifted students. Great product, every one can experience success as the ladders progress in
difficulty. Gifted students rarely have the opportunity to work with curriculum that is challenging. Jacob's Ladder
is perfect for students who are used to always knowing the right answer. Deep thinking is required here.
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By TQ on March 31, 2011
This is a wonderful resource that can be used in a variety of ways. Although it may be difficult for a student that is average ability to below average it can be used as a shared reading experience and discussion so everyone may benefit. I have found that using Jacob's Ladder in this way allows all the students to benefit by listening and sharing. Surprisingly, it was some of my average to below average students that were some of my deepest thinkers. I have also used Jacob's Ladder for small group instruction. I love using this because the way the activities are structured it sparks great conversation that requires some teacher guidance. I found that the more the students had these rich conversations the less I had to jump in. I would highly recommend this for all classroom teachers at levels 4-6!
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Jacob's Ladder is an excellent addition to a gifted curriculum. Each ladder focuses on different skills and encourages critical thinking and higher level thinking skills. The book is teacher friendly and easy to understand. After appropriate training, the idea of Jacob's ladder can be used for any type of literature. This book will give you everything you need to challenge your students' thinking in regards to reading comprehension and literature. There is a variety of reading genres including poetry, short stories, and non-fiction selections. This is a must buy!! I do believe that with the right accommodations, you could even use this with lower level learners to bring up higher level thinking skills.
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