In the Mood for Reading and Thinking

November 30th, 2018

“When provided with authentic opportunities for close reading that transfer to their real reading lives, students want to keep reading, learning, and thinking as their understanding takes shape.”
—Amy Stewart, Little Readers, Big Thinkers

The Richness of Reading

The Power of Close Reading
Amy Stewart’s new book Little Readers, Big Thinkers: Teaching Close Reading in the Primary Grades showcases ways that close reading can teach even the youngest students new ways to enjoy texts, think about them critically, and share that thinking with peers and adults. You can pre-order here.

What is Regie Routman Reading?
Regie Routman, a voracious reader and author of Literacy Essentials, shares a wide-ranging list of book suggestions and contemplates the power of finely drawn characters in novels, nonfiction, and old favorites.

Literacy Treasures
Ways to teach with children’s and young adult literature is the focus of this blog, co-written by Stenhouse author Katie Cunningham. Explore the trove of book reviews, classroom ideas, book lists, and more. Cunningham is the author of Story: Still the Heart of Literacy Learning.

In the Mood?
Thinking about moods is an excellent way to access texts—both written and visual. In this short video, Trevor Bryan, author of The Art of Comprehension: Exploring Visual Texts to Foster Comprehension, Conversation, and Confidence, explains his “access lenses,” which prompt students to explore faces, body language, and sound/silence in art and reading.

Overcoming Barriers to Math

Creating Successful Classrooms
We want kids to like math. So why is it that math is often the barrier preventing students from having a rich secondary or post-secondary experience? Geoff Krall tackles that question in his new book Necessary Conditions: Teaching Secondary Math with Academic Safety, Quality Tasks, and Effective Facilitation. Read his additional reflections here.

 

Reflections

Advocating for Professional Development
Sometimes it’s difficult to convince your school that professional development conferences are a smart investment. Stenhouse author Paula Bourque, aka “the Lit Coach Lady,” provides the 10 compelling reasons she shared with her school board.

Reviews
To Know and Nurture a Reader
In the “clean and clear” To Know and Nurture a Reader, Kari Yates and Christina Nosek make conferencing “accessible for those of us who are still struggling to make it ‘just right,’” notes this new Amazon review.

Not Light, But Fire
Peter Anderson, who teaches ELA at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Arlington, Virginia, had a powerful reaction to Matthew R. Kay’s book: “Not Light, But Fire is a masterful combination of pedagogy and critical consciousness. It is impossible to come out on the other side of this book without experiencing some sort of growth. It was like Matthew Kay had watched videotapes of my most ineffective teaching moments and devised a plan to help me improve. I’d been that teacher who engaged in privilege walks and shock pedagogy in the misguided belief that this would help my students engage with race. I had watched my classroom discussions flounder, unaware that I was setting my bar too low and staying away from the hard problems. Thank goodness Matthew Kay is willing to share his own path and his own knowledge with folks like me. Every chapter contains relatable anecdotes, instructional strategies, and incisive commentary. Matthew Kay pushes us to see ourselves and our students as scholars, critical thinkers capable of high-level discourse. In an ideal world, my teacher training would have prepared me for the ethical and professional challenges I (and any teacher) face on a daily basis. But it didn’t. For that and other reasons, I am profoundly grateful that this book exists.

One of the sections I found most powerful was the very brief discussion of the different reasons teachers wish to incorporate social justice into the classroom. As someone who has tried to consume a steady diet of anti-racist texts in the last year and a half, I identified with the social justice warrior category. And it was wonderfully humbling.”
Order your own copy here.

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