What Do I Teach Readers Tomorrow? Fiction, Grades 3-8
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What Do I Teach Readers Tomorrow? Fiction, Grades 3-8
Your Moment-to-Moment Decision-Making Guide

Foreword by Russell J. Quaglia

Companion Website

Other Titles in:
Formative Assessment | Literacy

March 2017 | 304 pages | Corwin

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“Well, that was a great minilesson—now what?” For every teacher who has uttered those words, this book is for you. In What Do I Teach Readers Tomorrow? Fiction, educators Gravity Goldberg and Renee Houser take the guesswork out of determining students’ needs with a moment-to-moment guide focused on the decisions that make the biggest impact on readers’ skill development. With the authors’ guidance, you put their next-step resources into action, including 

  • Tips for what to look for and listen for in reading notebook entries and conversations about books
  • Reproducible Clipboard Notes pages that help you decide whether to reinforce a current type of thinking, teach a new type of thinking, or apply a current type of thinking to a new text
  • More than 30 lessons on understanding characters and themes, meaningful note taking, strategy use, and more
  • Reading notebook entries and sample classroom conversations to use as benchmarks 
  • Strategies for deepening the three most prevalent types of thinking about characters: Right-Now Thinking (on the page), Over-Time Thinking (across a picture book, a chapter, or a novel), or Refining Thinking (nuanced connections across text and life themes)
  • Strategies for deepening the three most useful types of thinking—frames, patterns, lessons learned—about themes
  • Online video clips of Renee and Gravity teaching, conferring, and “thin slicing” what fiction readers need next

With What Do I Teach Readers Tomorrow? Fiction, you learn to trust your instincts and trust your students to provide you with information about the next steps that make the most sense for them. Teaching students to engage with and understand fiction becomes personal, purposeful, and a homegrown process that you can replicate from year to year and student to student.

 
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

"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
Authors of Who’s Doing the Work?

"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
Author of Read, Talk, Write

"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
Wykoff School District, NJ

"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
Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary, Los Angeles Unified School District, CA

"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
Author of RTI From All Sides: What Every Teacher Needs to Know
Key features
QR codes in book to video clips of Gravity and Renee showing the moves in this book. A PD guide will be on the companion website too.

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