Summer Reading List 2017

IT WAS A SHORT, BUSY SUMMER…

The following lists of texts represent what consumed my summer and caused a temporary BLOG hiatus.   My summer was spent engaged in graduate work for my Ed.S., teaching a pre-service education course, and facilitating a collaborative inquiry cadre focused on digital literacy.  Limited opportunities for weekend road trips allowed me to enjoy a few examples of the best of young adult literature.  When all was said and done,  I spent relatively little time focused on literacy instruction specifically but still strengthen my resolve around the systemic (local, state, and national) need to advocate for our CLD students (and their teachers) in urban education.  My focus will always be literacy, but literacy instruction involves much more than skills.  We must provide all students with relevant, rigorous, and empowering learning experiences that incorporate resources present in the unique knowledge and experiences of each child.  You may see that as a common thread in many of the resources listed below.  These are not all of the texts I read this summer; here I seek to share resources I found most impactful to my thinking as a parent, an educator and an instructional leader.

Culturally Responsive/Sustaining Pedagogies

 

Culture in School Learning: Revealing the Deep Meaning, 3rd Edition
Etta R. Hollins (c) 2015

Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice 
Geneva Gay (c) 2010

Culturally Responsive Teaching & the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement & Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students
Zaretta Hammond  (c) 2015

Building Racial and Cultural Competence in the Classroom: Strategies from Urban Educators
Karen Manheim Teel & Jennifer E. Obidah (c) 2008

 

Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies: Teaching and Learning for Justice in a Changing World
Django Paris & H. Samy Alim (Eds.)  (c) 2017

Literacy Topics Across the Curriculum 

 

Developing Readers in the Academic Disciplines
Doug Buehl (c) 2011 – New Edition Released 2017

Literacy in the Disciplines: A Teachers Guide for Grades 6-12
Thomas DeVere Wolsey & Diane Lapp (c) 2017

Collaborative Coaching for Disciplinary Literacy Strategies to Support Teachers 6-12
L. Elish-Piper, S.K. L’Allier, M. Manderino, P. Di Domenico (c) 2016

Collaborative Inquiry for Educators 
Jenni  Donohoo (c) 2013

Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World
Kristen Hawley Turner & Troy Hicks (c) 2015

Young Adult Literature 

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe 
Benjamin Alire Saenz (c) 2012

The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas (c) 2017

Everything I Never Told You
Celeste Ng (c) 2014

Echo 
Pam Munoz Ryan (c) 2015

I am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World
Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick (c) 2014

March: Book Three 
John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell (c) 2016

SOME Still on the Book Pile (Or in Process) 

 

For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Y’all Too
Christopher Emdin (c) 2016

Collective Efficacy: How Educators’ Beliefs Impact Student Learning 
Jenni Donohoo (c) 2017

Developing Readers in the Academic Disciplines
Doug Buehl (c) 2017

Everything, Everything       
Nicola Yoon (c) 2017

American Street 
Ibi Zoboi (c) 2017

What summer reading impacted your practice as a teacher or your functioning as a citizen?  I can add those to the pending list.  Have a great school year!

Signs and Fix-ups

As a follow-up to my April post about Clarifying Confusion,  I am sharing links to introductory lessons for clarifying and repairing confusion.  Below are two resources from the Help Teens Read page at Teachers Pay Teachers.

The first item is a Cornell Notes printable (student and teachers pages with visuals) for identifying the six common signs of confusion.  See description below:

This poster shows the concepts included in the Clarifying Confusion resource.

As the first step in helping our students be metacognitive about the process of identifying their own confusion, isolating causes of their confusion, and choosing options for repairing our confusion, we teach students the common signs readers experience when confusion occurs.  This Cornell notes task introduces students to the common signs,  engages students in Cornell note taking, and supports instruction of main ideas, supporting details and summary writing.  These are all targets within our intervention curriculum for students in grades 6-9.  The commentary and graphics are developed by the Helpteensread.org contributors, but the content is based on Cris Tovani text, I Read it, But I don’t Get It.

Elements provided with the Fix-up Cornell notes resource

The second item, also a Cornell Notes printable with visuals included,  is used once students have a fair grasp of when they feel confused and what causes the confusion. See description below:

Helping students use effective strategies to repair confusion as they read is an important and challenging step to helping secondary students become proficient readers.  The steps may be intuitive to proficient readers, but some students need explicit instruction and authentic practice.  This Cornell notes task introduces students to the ten common repair strategies,  engages students in Cornell note taking, and supports instruction of main ideas, supporting details and summary writing.  These are all targets within the intervention curriculum for students in grades 6-9.   The fix-ups are divided into three segments.  Students may find learning and practicing use in authentic ways a few at a time helps them become more independent at applying each when needed. Ultimately, students can develop a toolbox of many strategies that apply to their own common challenges.  The commentary and graphics are developed by the Helpteensread contributors, but the content is based on Cris Tovani text,  I Read it But I don’t Get It.

Clarifying Confusion

The common secondary literacy intervention we use in our district is intended to be Tier 2, based on RTI (Response to Intervention) framework. This means that it attempts, within the district parameters, to adhere to the following characteristics:

  • It builds on the literacy needs for Tier 1 and should be in collaboration with Tier 1 instruction.  One element of this collaboration for our model is co-teaching for the purpose of integrating the application of literacy strategies across disciplines.  
  • It meets 3-5 times a week.  It should meet 8-12 weeks, but we must honor a semester schedule.   
  • It focuses on no more than three to five foundational skills in reading.  We focus on comprehension and vocabulary (morphology) to contribute to comprehension, independent reading, and collaboration (building knowledge in a community of learners).
  • Teachers are intended to use consistent formative and diagnostic assessments to determine students’ strengths and needs.   With a focus on student data-driven instruction, teachers are supported through professional learning and by a literacy coach to use research-based intervention strategies and track student progress toward specific goals based on gaps.

Our model has only four comprehension standards, but they are dense.  They are taught in units built by using the Marzano Instructional Design.   This allows teachers to unpack a dense comprehension standard into individual learning targets and organize them in a logical progression that scaffolds skills for cognitive complexity and student autonomy with the standard. In intervention, autonomy with a standard means that students build independence with literacy strategies that help them make meaning of a text.  This is as complex, and sometimes as overwhelming, as it sounds.  However, when students are in an intervention, the goal is to help them practice and deepen the use of proficient reader skills that have long been unattainable. They need effective and thoughtful instructional processes to get them there.

Arguably our toughest standard is for clarifying confusion:

During reading, detect signs of confusion, diagnose causes of the confusion & determine effective reading strategies to resolve confusion and improve comprehension.


The thinking and processing for addressing this standard for clarifying confusion, by far the most challenging of our for standards/units, was born long ago while reading Cris Tovani’s classic book,
I Read It But I Don’t Get It.   Much of the vocabulary for the targets and the progression were shared by Tovani, but implementing them as replicable strategies that work for a diverse group of students with many layers of strengths and needs has been a long journey that continues to expand with every new student in need of strategies to clarify their confusion.

If you were to ask the secondary interventionists who teach to this standard, most would say that helping students identify, and give language to, what causes their confusion is a tall order.  The targets (based on the standards above) are ordered below are order in complexity from bottom to top as follows:

3.0 Learning GOAL Targets   (“learning targets that demonstrate attainment and mastery performance of the academic standard”)

  • resolve confusion (apply strategy)  to improve comprehension.
  • determine effective reading strategies to resolve confusion.

2.0 Foundational Learning Targets  (“essential prerequisites, knowledge, and basic processes not explicitly stated in an academic standard”)

  • diagnose causes of the confusion during reading.
  • identify common causes of confusion.
  • identify confusion while reading text of different types.
  • identify signs of confusion during reading.
  • describe the six common signs of confusion.
  • recognize or recall specific vocabulary:  detect, diagnose, signs of confusion,  fix-up  strategies, sensory images,  clarify, text features, adjust

Over the next few blogs, I plan to provide resources and techniques for addressing these targets to facilitate progression toward the “mastery of the academic standard.” However, the challenge with learning to clarify confusion is that it is a “work in progress.”  From the ways my children first learned to acknowledge their “huh?” moments and try to fix their own discomfort to the ways I make sense of dense and complex academic research,  we must keep reading and growing.  Students must have replicable strategies with which they can begin their journey, but as they continue to progress through the reading challenges of this life, and hopefully as we keep challenging them as educators, they will deepen these strategies and develop variations of their own. Of course, they must believe they can and know they have the power (fodder for other posts).

Resources:

I Read It, but I Don’t Get It  by Cris Tovani  (1999)

Creating and Using Learning Targets & Performance Scales: How Teachers Make Better Instructional Decisions by Carla Moore, Libby H. Garst, and Robert J. Marzano  (2015)

Read, Write, Lead: Breakthrough Strategies for Schoolwide Success by Regie Routman (2014)

 

Summer Professional Reading

Have you put together your summer reading list yet?

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Even with several years of experience and training in reading and writing, I constantly feel the need to expand my repertoire of knowledge to help adolescents read, write, think, and speak better. Every year the needs of my students send me seeking more tools with which to intervene on their behalf.   I start each summer with a pile of books on my desk to read, books that I did not have time to read during the school year.  My professional learning focus is usually on my instructional queries from the previous school year, or on leadership or professional learning goals I’ve set for the coming year.

Below are a few titles I’ve read independently or in literacy courses that, in one way or another, altered my instruction or contributed to the development of intervention curriculum.  I could explain my reasoning for each, but my blogs already tend to be too lengthy.  The titles and the reputations of these authors provide plenty of justification for why each is on the list.

*Lifers:  Learning from At-Risk Adolescent Readers
Pamela N, Mueller (c) 2001

A Guide to Co-Teaching: New Lessons & Strategies to Facilitate Student Learning
Richard A. Villa, Jacqueline S. Thousand, & Ann I. Nevin  (c) 2013  Third Edition

*Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Retelling: Skills for Better Reading, Writing, and Test Taking       Emily Kissner (c) 2006

Rigorous Reading:  5 Access Points for Comprehending Complex Texts
Nancy Frey & Douglas Fisher (c) 2013

51yVSHHSZvL._AC_US160_Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Learning for All Learners       Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison (c) 2011

*Reciprocal Teaching at Work K-12: Powerful Strategies and Lessons for Improving Reading Comprehension   Lori D. Oczkus (c) 2010  2nd Edition

Reflective Teaching, Reflective Learning: How to Develop Critically Engaged Readers, Writers and Speakers    Edited by: Thomas M McCann, et al.
Recommended:  “Reading Level Response: Helping Students Write About Literature” by Declan FitzPatrick

Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions
Dan Rothstein & Luz Santana (c) 2011

*What Really Matters for Struggling Readers: Designing Research-Based Programs    Richard L Allington  (c) 2012 Third Edition

41ynKI9kNAL._AC_US160_*I Read It, But I Don’t Get It: Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers
Cris Tovani  (c) 2000

ESL (ELL) Literacy Instruction: A Guidebook to Theory and Practice
Lee Gunderson, et al.  (c) 2014 Third Edition

Qualitative Reading Inventory – 5
Lauren Leslie, Joanne Schudt Caldwell  (c) 2011

*Intervention Strategies to Follow Informal Reading Inventory Assessment
JoAnne Schudt Caldwell & Lauren Leslie  (c) 2013  Third Edition

Included on my professional reading list for this summer:

Visible Learning for Literacy: Implementing the Practices that Work Best to Accelerate Student Learning       Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, & John Hattie (c) 2016 

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*Qualitative Reading Inventory  – 6
Lauren Leslie, Joanne Schudt Caldwell  (c) 2017

Meeting the Challenge of Adolescent Literacy: Practical Ideas for Literacy Leaders   Judith L. Irvin, et al (c) 2009

The Motivated Brain: Improving Student Attention, Engagement, and Perseverance     Gayle Gregory & Martha Kaufeldt (c) 2015

*How to Make Decisions with Different Kinds of Student Assessment Data
Susan M Brookhart (c) 2016  

  • These titles are especially recommended for beginning literacy intervention teachers or content teachers who want to expand their literacy knowledge.

No matter how diligently I attempt to keep up with the current thinking and research around literacy, I know there is so much more out there. These are just a few resources that have impacted me.  I gain the best recommendations from conferences and other educators.

What books, journals, or websites have impacted your instruction?  For which challenges in the literacy classroom are you looking for resource support?