Our blog host this week is Christine Hartzman. Christine's post focuses on Chapters 7, 8, and 9.
STRENGTHS: Confidence, Courage, Hope
As I continue to read Every Child A Super Reader, it is not only about teaching readers, but also a book about teaching and raising a SUPER HUMAN. Each of us has needed one of the strengths either as a child, teen or adult in various situations. We have all had experiences where we were struggling and had to call upon the kindness of friends or felt the need to belong to a community. There have been plenty of times where one needs the courage or confidence to try something new or go out on a limb. Yes, we are targeting “readers” in this text, however, I am taking things away for my current class, my future classes, and my own life.
The following are my “A-HA” moments in reading:
Chapter 7: CONFIDENCE
We have all met a student who lacked confidence in a subject area: reading, math, physical education, art, or music. My question has always been the same, “How do we help a student grow to become more confident?” In nt experience and in reading the text, I am closer to the answer - books, books, and more books. In reading, students can see characters or everyday people build the confidence that they need to grow and overcome a challenge. As teachers, we can model and practice growing confidence through speaking and listening to our students, but also practicing these skills through the partnerships and classroom community will provide opportunities to make this strength a habit.
Chapter 8: COURAGE
My Golden Line for chapter 8 is located on page 109, “Risk taking begins with a decision to act, and courage provides the inspiration to act. According to Michael Agar (1994), being courageous rewards individuals from living a life of “being” to a life of “becoming.”
Recently, I have trained to become a Barre instructor. It has been many days, long hours, countless classes and more practice to follow. Some people have asked why I have decided take on this extra responsibility as well as time commitment to my already hectic schedule. It may not make sense to everyone, but I wanted to take a risk and try something new to show my students that taking risk and courage do not stop because you become an adult. I want my students to know that we can all learn and grow at any age.
Chapter 9: HOPE
My students love when we use song lyrics in the classroom. As an ELA teacher, I use songs for analysis, connections,or compare and contrast. In MATH, I play a motivational song before a quiz or test that will create a mindset of YES, I CAN! Therefore, I will share three of my favorites songs of HOPE:
Share an example, a golden line, or a tip on how you can develop the above strengths with your students.
This week's host is Aileen Hower, an Assistant Professor of Literacy at Millersville University. Aileen writes:
Chapters 4, 5, and 6 focus on more strengths of the "super reader."
Chapter 4 discusses the strength of curiosity. So many individuals outside of the world of education have recognized curiosity as a vital skill. Websites like Wonderopolis (https://wonderopolis.org/) promote and honor curiosity in our classrooms. Inquiry-based instruction, the books we choose for our students to read, and dialogic learning all foster curiosity.
Chapter 5 encourages educators to allow students (and themselves) to build friendships within the classroom. Friendships are vital "to children's social and emotional health and well-being" (p. 72). The chapter discusses many ways that friendships can be facilitated and grown in the school setting.
Finally, Chapter 6 recognizes the timeless importance of kindness. The chapter opens in a timely manner (I went to see the movie with my fourth grader on Sunday), with a quote from R. J. Palacio's Wonder: "We carry with us, as human being, not just the capacity to be kind, but the very choice of kindness" (p. 83). Allyn and Morrell offer specific steps we can take to promote kindness in and out of school.
Which of these strengths do you already have a place of honor for in your classroom? How do you make time to "teach" them? Which one might you want to add to your teaching repertoire? Why?
Thank you for sharing your responses,
Emily Reed is our next guest blog host. Emily is a Reading Specialist at Dillsburg Elementary School in the Northern York County School District. She also is the Director of Membership Development for the Keystone State Reading Association and the Co-President of the Capital Reading Council.
Chapter 2 focused on introducing the 7 strengths model.
The model is a way to ensure every child's success. I am excited to take the journey with you all as we learn about each strength and how our students may be impacted by those strengths. I enjoyed the family guide that was included to help parents understand how they can help nurture their own super readers.
Chapter 3 focused on Strength 1: Belonging
There is strong evidence that shows that belonging matters to how successful a student is in and outside of school. When the author discussed the student-teacher relationship being an ideal support for those students who lack a sense of belonging in the home, it made my ears perk up. I think you would agree, that this happens in all of our classrooms. We need to fill the gap that our students may have in their lives. We need to help our students feel like they belong to our family, our community.
How do you develop belonging in your reading environment? What new learning did you walk away with that you may want to incorporate?
Welcome to our book study on Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell's, Every Child A Super Reader. Educators in the state of Pennsylvania can earn Act 48 hours (continuing education hours) for successful completion of the book study. Act 48 hours are not awarded for time spent reading the text, but rather thoughtful consideration of the content read, posts in response to the questions, and comments to other participants' posts. Successful completion of the book study is defined as independent reading of the text and posting a least one comment to each blog post during the course of the study. If you are interested in signing up to receive emails when new blog posts are posted and/or wish to receive Act 48 hours for participation click here. We hope you will join us for this exciting way to interact about Every Child A Super Reader.
Our first host is Michael Williams, a second grade teacher from Harrisburg, PA. Michael writes:
The first section of the book is a basic introduction to what explain the need for this type of book. It also gives a brief snapshot of how the book is organized. After reading the introduction I felt empowered. It left me with a sense of urgency to read more! The research presented in the introduction clearly demonstrates the need to raise readers that will have a love of reading and empower them become "super" readers.
Chapter 1 focused on how reading can open possibilities for every child. A "super reader" was defined as "a child who enters a text with a purpose." I was expecting something much more elaborate, but after thoughtful reflection, it makes perfect sense. Adults don't read a text unless there is a purpose to do so. The students in my class choose books based on what they like and enjoy reading. The text level doesn't matter to them. They will find a way to read and understand the text because they want to read the book.
Allyn and Morrell discussed that super reading leads to high achievement, builds empathy, builds sense of self/emotional resilience, and prepare them for the future. In today's society, this is what children need to be successful in life after school.
Finally, 10 basic principles of raising super readers were shared. My two favorite principles were:
#5 Super readers have access to many kinds of texts
#7 Super readers need "reading role models."
These two principles resonated with me since I feel it is very important to read in front of my students and I like to try to expose them to many kinds of texts. For some of our students, the teacher may be the only adult they ever will see that reads a book.
What principles were of most interest to you? Why do you think you were drawn to them?
Have fun reading Chapter 1! I cant' wait to hear your thoughts!