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What Do I Teach Readers Tomorrow? Fiction, Grades 3-8


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Table of Contents

Foreword Acknowledgments A Quick-Start Guide for Easy Access Chapter 1: Each Classroom Moment Is an Instructional Decision Acting Without a Script: Embracing Our Role as Improvisers Answering the "What Next?" Question Intentional Teaching: Decision Making With Students at the Center Self-Reflection Questionnaire: What Type of Decision Maker Are You? Decision-Making Styles Three Common Teaching Habits Let Students Be Your Guide Getting Started: An Action Plan Chapter 2: Decisions About Book Selection Making a Choice to Read Aloud a Fiction Text Thin-Slicing Fiction Texts Picture Books and Wordless Books Short Story Collections Novels Graphic Novels Ways to Engage Students in Fiction Read Alouds Chapter 3: Decisions About Reading Notebooks Why We Really Use Writing as a Tool for Understanding Current Reality: Why Students Write About Reading in School Lessons That Wake Up Writing About Reading How to Collect Thinking in Notebook Entries Self-Reflection Questionnaire: Reading Notebooks What We Might Let Go of When Asking Students to Write About Reading Reading Notebooks: An Action Plan Chapter 4: Decisions About Discussion The Benefits: Finding What's True for Us in Texts and Life Teach Students to Have Meaningful Conversations Making Decisions Based on Student Conversations Effective Fiction Conversation Characteristics Moves for Analyzing Text in Diverse Ways Self-Reflection Questionnaire: Student Conversations What We Might Let Go of When Asking Students to Talk About Their Reading Authentic Fiction Discussions: An Action Plan Chapter 5: Decisions About Understanding Characters Why Understanding Characters Is So Important What Other Reading Skills Fit With Understanding Characters? What to Look for When Students Study Characters Thin-Slicing Students' Thinking About Characters Decide What to Teach Next Studying More Than One Character Harnessing the Power of Partnerships and Book Clubs Understanding Characters: An Action Plan Chapter 6: Decisions About Interpreting Themes Why Interpreting Themes Is Important What Other Reading Skills Fit With Interpreting Themes? What to Look for When Students Interpret Themes Decide What to Teach Next Interpreting Themes in Multiple Texts Interpreting Themes: An Action Plan Chapter 7: Becoming Confident and Intentional Decision Makers Appendices Appendix A. Fiction Book Rating System Appendix B. Some Favorite Fiction Texts Appendix C. Clipboard Notes: Reading Notebook Entries Appendix D. Clipboard Notes: Student Conversations Appendix E. Understanding Characters Appendix F. Clipboard Notes: Types of Thinking About Understanding Characters Appendix G. Interpreting Themes Appendix H. Clipboard Notes: Types of Thinking About Interpreting Themes References Index

About the Author

Gravity Goldberg is an international educational consultant and author of five other books on teaching. Mindsets & Moves (Corwin Literacy, 2015) put her on the world stage with its practical ways to cultivate student agency, leading to speaking engagements and foreign translations of her work. She has almost 20 years of teaching experience, including positions as a science teacher, reading specialist, third grade teacher, special educator, literacy coach, staff developer, assistant professor, educational consultant, and yoga teacher. Gravity holds a B.A. and M.Ed. from Boston College and a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She currently serves as a coach for Seth Godin's altMBA and is the founding director of Gravity Goldberg, LLC, a team that provides side-by-side coaching for teachers. RENEE HOUSER is co-founder of Growing Educators, which provides customized professional development to schools in the Los Angeles, California, area. She holds a Masters in Education from Old Dominion University and a Masters in Curriculum and Teaching from Fordham University. A former staff developer at Teachers College Reading & Writing Project, Columbia, University, Renee says it was her years teaching at PS 126 in New York City that most shaped her vision of student-centered teaching and collaborative professional learning.


"We know of no resource that promotes responsive teaching as well as these books do. Goldberg and Houser like teaching to improve, and then describe how teachers can learn to be fully in the moment of instructional decision making by focusing on a handful of things. From the detailed lessons to boxes titled, 'Decide to teach this tomorrow if your students . . .' these authors anticipate the content teachers want and the questions they raise. These thoughtful books show teachers how to make children's reading needs central to instructional planning." -- Kim Yaris and Jan Burkins
"I love this series! Goldberg and Houser succeed at something difficult: freeze-framing their intentional decisions about teaching readers in a way that we can all "see"-and then do in our own classrooms. They provide a decision-making model that helps teachers feel confident in letting their own observations of students' written and spoken responses to text guide them. They distill the ever-present what-do-I-teach-next question into three choices, and these choices all center on furthering students' ways of thinking as they read fiction and nonfiction. Through classroom videos and notebook entries, we learn the authors' intuitive process. They don't just leave us pondering, but scaffold our ability to be responsive teachers by providing lesson ideas that work for every kind of tomorrow-every reading next step. For fiction, they share lessons on character and theme; for nonfiction, on synthesizing information and understanding perspectives. The bonus is this: when we study and reflect on the authors' decision-making process, we enhance and improve our own. These books should become seminal works."
-- Laura Robb
"Making decisions about reading in our classroom is not easy, even though we make hundreds every day. Often, we don't give much thought to how we decide what we do, but with this book, we are taken on a guided tour of what it means to make super-intuitive decisions about what our readers need next. Each chapter addresses decisions about key aspects of building a literature-rich environment and a community of readers, including reading notebooks, teaching students how to synthesize ideas, and understanding perspective. The chapters on great nonfiction and fiction texts and on helping readers learn how to select involving books are favorites, as they give me a more focused method to rely on. The books are practical, friendly, and chockfull of ideas and lessons that can be readily implemented."
-- Grace White, Supervisor of Curriculum
"These books exemplify the intersection of excellent scholarship and practical application for teachers in the field. They beautifully illustrate those essential metacognitive processes in a progression, and this helps teachers see how instructional decisions become instructional moves that translate into high cognitive demand learning experiences for students. This series an invaluable teaching tool for those who want to implement authentic Balanced Literacy experiences for their students." -- Dr. Akida Kissane Long, Principal
"Goldberg and Houser offer an insider's view of intentional decision making in action by making us front-row observers of their thinking process. We stand beside them as they show us student-centered reading instruction at its best, listening in on book conversations, gazing over their shoulders to analyze writing in reading notebooks. This step-by-step journey yields explanations of why, what, and how that we can use to plan next lessons for our readers. The What Do I Teach Readers Tomorrow? series is a testament to our professional responsibility to keep students as our compass, their 'right now' needs and wishes as readers as the destination, and engaging books as the vehicle that takes us there." -- Dr. Mary Howard
"This series is a must-have for every elementary language arts teacher! Goldberg and Houser have created a comprehensive support for teachers who want to provide their students with rigorous, thinking-centered experiences in reading and writing. Having these books is like having ongoing coaching and guidance from these two outstanding literacy experts at your fingertips." -- Jerry Harris, Director
"I love the we-are-right-there-with-you tone. It's so clear these authors have been there, and remain right in the trenches. And I love the teacher checklists and quizzes-just the right light touch to use in professional development time. But perhaps most of all, I admire that Houser and Goldberg have taken a complex process-daily instructional decision making- and broken it into doable steps for teachers to try. Deciding what each reader in your room is ready for next will never be something a teacher gets good at overnight, but with these outstanding resources, educators are armed with the right questions to ask themselves, a progression of strategies that enhance the readers relationship with the text, and the theory and research from in and out of the literacy field that will help them build a community of readers."
-- Joyce Friedman
"Goldberg and Houser-both former staff developers at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project-have perfectly combined theory and practice to help teachers put students first in their decision-making process. Best of all, they've provided the tools necessary to assist teachers in making those decisions become a reality right away." -- Pam Hamilton

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