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”

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

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.”

This Week’s Quote, August 26, 2018

“Learning to navigate choice isn’t just a reading skill, it’s a life skill.” – page 92

 

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 #10: Select a tool for taking notes while you confer.

Challenge #10: Select a tool for taking notes while you confer. A commitment to confer is a commitment to responsive teaching. Yet, time is short, so if you want to get the best return on your investment of this time spent conferring, then you’ll want to set yourself up with some sort of system for taking notes while you confer. Today’s challenge is about taking time select and prepare a note taking tool so you’re ready to capture your observations about readers from the first day of the school year. 

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We confer because we believe it is the best way to both know and nurture readers. We take notes because it allows us to hold onto and come back the ongoing wonderings, insights, and inklings that pop up in our conversations with readers, helping us better understand them and plan for the path ahead.

Yates and Nosek, 2018

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How Does This Help Grow A Community of Readers?

Conferring is an investment in our students. It is an opportunity to better know them as people and as readers. Each time we pull up alongside a young reader we are saying, “I’m here to learn about you so I can find ways to offer my partnership.”  Yet much of the impact of our conferring can be lost or diminished if remembering the important bits from a conference is left solely to the mercy of memory. Learning to jot a few simple notes can help you intensify your impact by connecting one conference to the next, like links on a chain: past, present, and future. Continue reading “Challenge #10: Select a tool for taking notes while you confer.”

Challenge #8 Envision the ways you will encourage and nurture interactions within the community of readers.

Challenge #8 Envision the ways you will encourage and nurture interactions within the community of readers. What are the different ways you can encourage, model, and cultivate authentic interactions between your students in the reading community?

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“We read to know that we are not alone.”  -C.S. Lewis

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How Does This Help Grow A Community of Readers?

Books can provide us so much: a friend in a lonely moment, a shelter from a metaphorical storm, a window into other’s lives, and even a mirror to remind us that we are not walking this journey on our own. Books truly are a gift. Nothing is more special than being able to share that kind of gift with a friend. Continue reading “Challenge #8 Envision the ways you will encourage and nurture interactions within the community of readers.”

Challenge #6 Start creating a thoughtful stack of books you can’t wait to read aloud to your students.

Challenge #6: Start creating a thoughtful stack of books you can’t wait to read aloud to your students. Of course once you meet next year’s students you’ll naturally adjust, but now is your chance to make sure you’re never caught short of read aloud ideas.

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“More than all the academic benefits, the most important thing about reading aloud to a child is giving them the gift of the joy of reading.”  -Ernest Morrell

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Then Read Aloud

If you want kids to want to read,

Then read aloud to them.

If you want kids to fall crazy in love with great books,

Then read great books aloud to them.

If you want kids to view books as a way to learn about themselves,

Then read aloud books that mirror the soul.

Continue reading “Challenge #6 Start creating a thoughtful stack of books you can’t wait to read aloud to your students.”