Diverse readers? Eight Ideas to Consider

The needs of my readers are so diverse. How can I manage it all?  

Sandy’s first grade classroom is comprised of students who read everything from Elephant and Piggie books to Clementine and beyond.  Within Sandy’s classroom of 26 readers, she has nine students who are learning English, a student with Asperger Syndrome, several students on IEPs, and at least three students who are working through the social/emotional effects of trauma.  Her current assessment shows 10 different independent reading levels ranging from what her school considers kindergarten to third grade and beyond. She often worries she won’t be able to meet the needs of these diverse learners.

Does Sandy’s classroom sound familiar?  Every  classroom is comprised of children with diverse strengths, needs, interests, backgrounds, and experiences, and therefore Sandy’s worries are common to most teachers. 

We don’t pretend to have a quick or slick answer to doing this important work, but in today’s post we share eight starting points for creating conditions to support a very diverse class of readers. Perhaps a couple or all eight might resonate with you. Continue reading “Diverse readers? Eight Ideas to Consider”

Conferring with Students Who’ve Experienced Childhood Trauma

Mrs. Anthony is a third grade teacher with a classroom of 26 diverse students. This year, she has more students than ever who seem to struggle with emotional regulation, attention, and peer interactions. During recent professional development in her school, she and her colleagues have had the opportunity to start to learn about how the effects of childhood trauma can present themselves in school. Through the lens of trauma, Mrs. Anthony is working to take a careful inventory of her own practices and decisions in the classroom, working to create a calm, predictable, and safe place for learning to unfold every day. As she does so, she begins to wonder about how her conferring practice might intersect with the needs and/or triggers of her students who are experiencing chronic trauma in their lives. 

No matter where you teach, what your class size, or how long you’ve been in the business, chances are you’re working to build more skills yourself for meeting the needs of students whose exposure to traumatic life experiences is interfering with school success. Continue reading “Conferring with Students Who’ve Experienced Childhood Trauma”

This Week’s Quote, September 30th

Response, after all, is the reason for reading. We don’t just read to make meaning of the text, we read to make meaning of ourselves and the world around us.”  -page 149

If you want to read more, you can visit the Stenhouse website to order your own copy of our book, To Know and Nurture a Reader; Conferring with Confidence and Joy.  If you’d like to be part of the conversation, come on over and join our To Know and Nurture a Reader Facebook Group. If you want more content like this delivered right to your inbox, click the Follow button below and  you’ll never miss a post.

We’re so glad to have you with us on our learning journey.  – Kari & Christina

This Week’s Quote, September 23rd

The most meaningful responses are reader driven, not teacher assigned.”  -page 148

If you want to read more, you can visit the Stenhouse website to order your own copy of our book, To Know and Nurture a Reader; Conferring with Confidence and Joy.  If you’d like to be part of the conversation, come on over and join our To Know and Nurture a Reader Facebook Group. If you want more content like this delivered right to your inbox, click the Follow button below and  you’ll never miss a post.

We’re so glad to have you with us on our learning journey.  – Kari & Christina

This Week’s Quote, September 16

“Rather than jumping in immediately to bail them out…  our inquisitive thinking leads us to wait. Sitting on the edge of our seats, we’re poised and eager to learn what the child will do.”  -page 137

If you want to read more, you can visit the Stenhouse website to order your own copy of our book, To Know and Nurture a Reader; Conferring with Confidence and Joy.  If you’d like to be part of the conversation, come on over and join our To Know and Nurture a Reader Facebook Group. If you want more content like this delivered right to your inbox, click the Follow button below and  you’ll never miss a post.

We’re so glad to have you with us on our learning journey.  – Kari & Christina

This Week’s Quote, September 9th

When we help students get creative and concrete about where, when, and how they might make time and space for reading in the hours outside of school, we can become a lifeline of support rather just one more source of stress in their already full lives.”  -page 103

 

If you want to read more, you can visit the Stenhouse website to order your own copy of our book, To Know and Nurture a Reader; Conferring with Confidence and Joy.  If you’d like to be part of the conversation, come on over and join our To Know and Nurture a Reader Facebook Group. If you want more content like this delivered right to your inbox, click the Follow button below and  you’ll never miss a post.

We’re so glad to have you with us on our learning journey.  – Kari & Christina

This Week’s Quote, September 2nd

“When we see healthy reading habits in action in the elementary classroom, we’ll see students who are aware of personal preferences and are intentional about nurturing their own reading lives.”– page 97

 

If you want to read more, you can visit the Stenhouse website to order your own copy of our book, To Know and Nurture a Reader; Conferring with Confidence and Joy.  If you’d like to be part of the conversation, come on over and join our To Know and Nurture a Reader Facebook Group. If you want more content like this delivered right to your inbox, click the Follow button below and  you’ll never miss a post.

We’re so glad to have you with us on our learning journey.  – Kari & Christina

Challenge #13: Trust yourself and keep growing all year long.

Challenge #13: Trust yourself and keep growing all year long.  Cultivating a community of readers is a year long labor of love. It starts before you ever even meet this year’s students and doesn’t end until the last good-byes in May or June.

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“There is not one right or wrong way to do this work. So loosen up,

have some fun, and when in doubt trust your instincts

to follow your students.”

-Kari Yates & Christina Nosek

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We’re delighted you decided to be part of this challenge. 

We hope the challenges we posed have affirmed many of the things you’re already working so hard to do, given you some ideas of how to refine others, and maybe planted a few ideas about ways you might stretch yourself in the weeks and months ahead. 

The thirteen challenges together are meant to help you lay the foundation for a building a vibrant community of readers this year. Of course each of these ideas is simply a starting point. The real trick is to keep your courage and your energy high throughout the entire school year, as you work to help readers thrive, not only as individuals, but as true members of a community of readers.  Continue reading “Challenge #13: Trust yourself and keep growing all year long.”

Challenge #12: Map out 3-4 ways you want to encourage healthy reading habits beyond the school day.

Challenge #12: Map out 3-5 ways you want to encourage healthy habits beyond the school day. Make plans for how you will encourage wide, high volume reading inside and outside the classroom this year, encouraging students to set goals, make plans, reflect, and adjust. 

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“Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.”

-Aristotle

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How Does This Help Grow A Community of Readers?

An intentional focus on healthy habits is a commitment to empower students to take charge of their own reading lives, learning to make choices, design plans, and set goals that will help them develop and sustain a habit of joyful and purposeful reading throughout their lifetimes. Continue reading “Challenge #12: Map out 3-4 ways you want to encourage healthy reading habits beyond the school day.”

Challenge #11: Identify 3- 5 book finding strategies that are essential to teach.

Challenge #11: Identify 3- 5 book finding strategies that are essential for students in the ages and stages you work with. Map out a quick plan for how you you might model each of them for your students in the early days of the school year. 

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“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”   -JK Rowling

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How Does This Help Grow A Community of Readers?

To cultivate a thriving community of readers one of our first priorities is to nurture each readers ability to find one book after another.

Before readers can settle into engaged and purposeful reading, they must find their way to texts that they can and want to read.  When we commit to intentionally support book choice we are committing to helping readers learn to consistently find texts that lead to high levels of engagement.  Continue reading “Challenge #11: Identify 3- 5 book finding strategies that are essential to teach.”