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Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program - Level 1 2nd Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593633509
ISBN-10: 1593633505
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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: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Prufrock Press; 2 edition (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593633505
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593633509
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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"Jacob's Ladder Reader Comprehension Program" books are targeted to both gifted and twice exceptional learners, but I believe that many children would benefit from the program. Most reading programs at the lower elementary level focus on teaching phonics, spelling and punctuation. While these are certainly skills that young children will need to acquire, they don't offer much benefit to the student who is already a strong reader or interested in diving deeper into understanding the story. There are very few programs that provide the advanced child with an opportunity to further explore the comprehension aspects of reading. Jacob 's Ladder is different. It provides a map to follow which builds critical thinking skills as well as comprehension and analytical skills.

The books begin with an introduction and guide to teachers and homeschool parents on how to use the program. The program was developed to align with educational core standards and geared toward advanced learners. There are several preselected stories, fables and poems that the program uses to teach the elements of comprehension. Most of the stories can be found at a local library which makes it easy and cost-effective for the instructor. The poems are included in the book itself. Each story will be read by the student or to the student depending on their level. There are several elements presented to the student to engage them more fully in the selected story and to build upon their abilities and creativity.
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Awesome for literary analysis required by common core. Each lesson has a step in the ladder for standard- sequencing, cause and effect, compare contrast, etc. great for accountability documentation. Will use as a small group reciprocal teaching/ collaborative conversation structure for my 2nd gifted class.
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Excellent book. I purchased this for my autistic son and the book has exceeded my expectations. Some of the stories seemed a bit advanced at first glance, but we are still working on the first story which is fantastic. This book will certainly help him improve his critical thinking. I am also incorporating the identification of adjectives, nouns and verbs, within the stories. I have purchased many books, including the Evan Moore books (which are great as well) and this one if a favorite. I hope this is helpful.
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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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