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.”

This Week’s Quote, August 12, 2018

“An affirmation is much more than simply telling a reader what it is we like about their reading. It is an intentional learning message- helping the reader understand what helpful thing they are already doing so they will leverage it time and time again.” -page 28

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 #4: Make a plan for student storage & management of self-selected books.

Challenge #4: Make a plan for student storage and management of their self-selected books. Take some time to think through what you want students to have in their bags or boxes. How many texts? What kind of variety? What other tools? Set up a sample bag (box, baggie, stack) of your own to use for demonstration and modeling with your students.  

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“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.”  -Benjamin Franklin

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How Does This Help Grow A Community of Readers?

When it’s time for independent reading, the last thing you want to hear is, “I can’t find my books.” Or “I don’t have anything to read.”  To prevent this from ever happening, we’re advocates of helping students build and constantly curate a personal collection of books. This, of course, looks a little different depending on the age or stage of reading development of each student. But, the goal is to avoid the many pitfalls of having students choose just one book at a time and then try to find the next. Instead, we try to help students develop the skills and strategies for always having a generous supply of potential next reads waiting in the wings, whether it is a physical collection, or a written list of next reads. Continue reading “Challenge #4: Make a plan for student storage & management of self-selected books.”

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

Challenge #2: Make sure your classroom library is in tiptop shape, well-stocked, well-organized, accessible, and appealing. Then make a plan for how you will introduce the library to your students in the early days of school, gradually inviting them to explore particular baskets, shelves, or sections. 

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“A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.” -Henry Ward Beecher

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How Does This Help Grow A Community of Readers?

Want to cultivate a true community of readers?  It all starts with books. And that means giving the book collection center stage in your classroom. Continue reading “Challenge #2: Make sure your classroom library is in tiptop shape: well-stocked, well-organized, accessible, and appealing.”

Cultivating a Community of Readers: 13 Things You Can Do Before the School Year Starts

The lazy days of summer are slipping away. The first day of school is just around the corner! And although we’re both working hard to soak up every last drop of these delightful summer days, we find our thoughts are shifting more and more to the children about to enter the school doors and the ways we will prepare to greet them. We’re guessing the same is true for you. 

If you follow our work, it‘s no surprise to you that we believe cultivating a thriving community of readers through daily, high-volume, choice reading and conferring is one of the most important aspirations for all classroom teachers. Because of this, we’ve decided we’d like to give our readers a series of back to school challenges, offering educators from across the country (and maybe even the globe) a few simple, but practical ways to do just that- start cultivating a community of readers before the school year even begins. 

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                      Reading brings us together. It forges relationships. Creates community.                        Gives us the courage to resist our enemies. Provides comfort when we’re alone.             And it gives us freedom.

Travis Crowder @teachermantrav

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This post is the first in a series titled 13 Things You Can Do Before the School Year Starts to Cultivate a Community of Readers. Each post in the series is designed as a separate challenge, aimed at helping you greet the first day of the school “reader ready.” Maybe you’ll decide to really go for it and  tackle all thirteen challenges, or maybe you’ll choose to focus more intensely on only a few. The choice is yours, of course. You’re the best judge of what’s right for you.  

Each challenge will include:

  • How this Action Will Help Grow a Community of Readers
  • Ideas to Get You Started
  • Questions to Consider
  • Helpful Links or Resources

We’re hopeful that you’ll take the time to learn alongside us during this final month of summer. It might even be fun to grab a friend or invite your entire team to do this together. However you do it, each challenge you complete will allow you to start making a difference for this year’s students before you even meet them! 

The first of the 13 challenges is coming on Friday! From there, we’ll be sharing a new post every couple of days during the month of August. So that you don’t miss a single challenge, we encourage you to use the FOLLOW button (in the side bar or at the bottom of the page) to get every one delivered right to your inbox!  

Enjoy the heck out of these last days of summer- sleep late, make s’mores, find time for lunch with a friend, read a trashy novel, or do whatever else brings you summer joy. We’re not trying to rush summer out the door.  We just want you to know that our thirteen challenges will be here – ready whenever you are!

-Kari & Christina

Children’s Book in Image:  Space Exploration by Carole Stott

This Week’s Quote, July 29, 2018

“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.” –page 6

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, July 15, 2018

“Whether you’ve known a student for six minutes or six months, the goal of every conference is the same: you’re there to harness your curiosity in the service of better informed teaching decisions.”  –page16

 

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, July 1, 2018

“At its best, conferring is the daily choice we make to give our wholehearted and undivided attention to one reader at a time, intentionally noticing, celebrating, and moving their reading life forward.”  -page 2

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