Saturday, February 03, 2007
Professional Books that Build Readers
I attended a daylong workshop by Kathy Collins today. The day was great. Kathy is the author of Growing Readers, published by Stenhouse. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book because it talks about teaching reading in the primary classrooms--she talks about the importance of not only teaching students how to make sense of text but to help them develop habits and behaviors as readers as well. Very clear that there is more to reading than level.
I just picked up another book today. It is called Comprehension Through Conversation: The Power of Purposeful Talk in the Reading Workshop by Maria Nichols. I've only read the first two chapters so far but I spent an hour or so skimming and previewing the rest of the book. It is not a huge book--only about 115 pages. The author does a great job of pulling together research about the importance of talk and really showing classrooms where talk is meaningful. She talks about purposeful talk and shares several classroom examples and insights about them. Nichols raises questions for teachers and makes the case for more talk that builds new meaning. It is in line with lots of work by Allington, Johnston and others who have studied exemplary classrooms. The fact that there is a book on this makes me happy. I think it is a huge piece of education that lots of teachers are not allowed to make time for lately because of the standards, etc.