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. 

And it’s probably no secret that we believe one of the best ways to do that is to spend time every day conferring with readers. Each time your students set out with their self-selected texts for independent treading, we hope you’ll set out with your conferring tools, pulling up alongside each of them in partnership, committing to to both know and nurture them as readers and as people. By trusting your your students to lead you, we believe you’ll grow a thriving community of readers- one one child, one moment at a time, one conversation at a time.

Embrace the messiness of choice. Commit to love every child in your class. Trust your students to lead. Trust yourself to respond.  Engage in self-care. 

We think we can hear the children coming… 

It’s time to go and get books in their hands!

-Kari and Christina

 

All Challenges in the Series

Challenge #1: Make a Pledge to Nurture Self-selected Independent Reading Every Day 

Challenge #2: Make sure your classroom library is in tiptop shape, well-stocked, well-organized, accessible, and appealing

Challenge #3: Prepare displays, table baskets, book shelves, or stacks of enticing books.

Challenge #4: Make a Plan for Student Storage and Management of Self-selected Texts

Challenge #5: Start Taking Note of the Authentic Ways You Respond to Your Own Reading

Challenge #6: Start Creating a Thoughtful Stack of Books You Can’t Wait to Read Aloud to Your Students

Challenge #7: Make a List of Books you Want to Highlight Through Book Talks in the First Month of School 

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

Challenge #9: Get organized for conferring!

Challenge #10: Select and prepare note taking tools for conferring

Challenge #11: Identify 3- 5 book finding strategies that are essential for students in the ages and stages you work with

Challenge #12: Map out 3-5 ways you want to encourage healthy habits beyond the school day

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.”

Challenge #5: Start taking note of the authentic ways you respond to your own reading.

Challenge #5: Start taking note of the authentic ways you respond to your own reading. In order to support students in responding to texts in meaningful and authentic ways, we might start by reflecting on the ways we respond to texts as readers ourselves.  

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“Each of us is unduplicated, bringing to the text a unique personality, a unique set of expectations and hopes, a unique personal history. Consequently, what we make of the text will be unique.”   

-from Disrupting Thinking, pg. 27, by Kylene Beers & Bob Probst

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How Does This Help Grow A Community of Readers?

To know and nurture readers in the direction of AUTHENTIC RESPONSE is to help them do the things that readers in the world outside of school naturally do in response to reading: think, feel, question, wonder, talk, and take action as growing readers and deep-thinking, contributing citizens of the world.

The most authentic responses to reading happen because we have been affected by what we’ve read, not because we are assigned to prove that we have read. So, today’s challenge is a simple one.  Let’s use what we notice about our own responses as readers to inform our interactions with readers. 

Take a moment to reflect on your own reading life. As adults with thriving reading lives, we find ourselves responding to reading in dozens of different ways. We laugh. We cry. We are affirmed by recognizing our own human struggles in a story. We are inspired by
the courage of others, and therefore may become, a bit braver as we as we respond to our own circumstances. Continue reading “Challenge #5: Start taking note of the authentic ways you respond to your own reading.”