Beaverton ISD: Creating An Engaging Reading Culture

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Creating An Engaging Reading Culture Donalyn Miller

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Creating a School-Wide Independent Reading Culture

Creating An Engaging Reading Culture

Donalyn Miller[email protected]

The single factor most strongly associated with reading achievementmore than socioeconomic status or any instructional approachis independent reading.

Stephen Krashen, The Power of Reading

Frequent readers possess 200%-400% higher knowledge levels than less frequent and less active readers.

--John Guthrie and Donna Alvermann, Engaged Reading

For students of equal ability, the more avid reader will receive higher grades in all subjects than the less avid reader.

--John Guthrie and Donna Alvermann, Engaged Reading

Reading books is the only out-of-school activity for 16-year-olds that is linked to getting a managerial or professional job in later life. University of Oxford, 2011

Regular reading not only boosts the likelihood of an individual's academic and economic success -- facts that are not especially surprising -- but it also seems to awaken a person's social and civic sense.

To Read or Not to Read, NEA, 2007

Time(Access)ChoiceResponsibilityStructureCommunity11Workshop Components



How much time do you spend reading (books) in an average week?

1-4 hours5-7 hours8-11 hours12 or more hoursOtherAverage Weekly Reading

1-4 hours5-7 hours8-11 hours12 or more hoursOtherAverage Weekly Reading

How do we know a student is faking or avoiding reading?


Books in the home are as important as parents educational level in determining level of education children will attain. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, June 2010

Giving kids access to books may be one of the most overlooked solutions to helping ensure kids attend school with the tools they need to succeed.

Where Books Are All But NonexistentThe Atlantic, July 14, 2016

How can we guarantee that all of our children have physical access to book 365 days a year?

Access to a full-time, degreed school librarian increases students' test scores, closes the achievement gap, and improves writing skills. (Lance, 2012)

Students read 50-60% more in classrooms with adequate libraries. (Allington, 2007; Morrow, 2003; Neuman, 1999)

What would you look for when evaluating a classroom library to determine if it was adequate?

Working in groups of 3-4, create a classroom library checklist of at least four criteria you would look for when evaluating a classroom library. You will have 8 minutes.

Diversity Currency OrganizationQuantity


Fountas and Pinnell: 300-600 books

Richard Allington: 1000 books

ILA: 5-7 books per child

In a 2013 Scholastic survey of 3,800 teachers, only 40% had at least 300 books in their classroom libraries.


Rudine Sims-Bishop, 1990



Sliding-Glass DoorsBooks can be

ALA Awards Honoring Diverse BooksCoretta Scott King (African-American)

Pura Belpre (Latinx)

Asian/ Pacific American Award for Literature

Schneider Family (Disability)

Stonewall (LGBTQ)

We did not intend for levels to become a label for children that would take us back to the days of the bluebirds and the blackbirdsor the jets and the piper cubs. Our intention was to put the tool in the hands of educators who understood their characteristics and used it to select appropriate books for differentiated instruction.

--Irene Fountas

Lexile Bands(CCSS 2012)6th 860L to 920L7th 880L to 960L8th 900L to 1010L9th 960L to 1110L10th 920L to 1120L11th & 12th 1070L to 1220L


(Second Grade)



(Fifth Grade)

Writing Style?


(Ninth Grade)


Leveling Accuracy?Informational NonfictionGraphic NovelsPicture BooksPoetry and Novels in Verse

Instructional ContextText-LevelAccessibilityWho Does the WorkRead AloudsSubstantially above grade levelProbably frustration level for most studentsThe teachers does all of the print work. The students and teacher work together to make meaning.Shared ReadingOn or a little above grade levelProbably frustration level for many studentsThe teacher and students do the print and meaning work together.Guided Reading/ Small Group InstructionOn readers individual levelInstructional level for each studentThe student does most of the print and meaning work.Independent ReadingFrom below grade level through above grade levelMultiple texts for each reader varying from independent to frustration level depending on the amount of productive effort and reader stamina The student does all of the print and meaning work.

Burkins & Yaris, 2014

MotivationBackground Knowledge Reading Level

MotivationBackground Knowledge Reading Level


CREW Weeding Criteria(Larson, 2012)M Misleading (and/or factually inaccurate)U Ugly (worn and beyond repair)S Superseded (new edition or better book on subject)T Trivial (of no discernible literary or scientific merit)I Irrelevant (of no interest to your community)E Elsewhere (may be obtained easily)



Allowing students to choose their own texts fosters engagement and increases reading motivation and interest. --Gambrell, Coding, & Palmer (1996); Worthy & McKool (1996); Guthrie & Wigfield (2000)

Three Text Classroom(Judy Wallis, University of Houston)

students are not reading more or better as a result of the whole-class novel. Instead, students are reading less and are less motivated, less engaged, and less likely to read in the future.Douglas Fisher and Gay Ivey, "Farewell to Farewell to Arms: De-Emphasizing the Whole Class Novel"


Whole Class Novel BenefitsProvides a common text for instructional purposes and reference.

Assures that students read at least a few books.

Exposes students to works with cultural, historical, or literary significance.


Whole Class Novel ConcernsNo single text can meet the reading levels or interests of the wide range of readers in a classroom.

Novel units take too long. Students cannot read enough to develop strong literacy skills.

Extensions and fun activities reduce authentic reading, writing, and thinking.

When reading just a few books each year, students cannot read enough to develop strong literacy skills. Language Arts and Crafts (Calkins) send a message that books are not innately meaningful.58

How can we reap the benefits of teaching a whole class novel, and minimize the concerns?


Shorten the amount of time you spend reading the book.


Strip units of activities like projects and vocabulary work.


Alternate whole class novel units with independent reading units.


Provide students time to read in class and receive support from you.


Differentiation(Tomlinson, 2003)Content



Learning Environment

Book Commercials/ Book Talks

Read Alouds

Preview Stacks


Reading List

To-Read List

Status of the Class


GoalResponse Letters


What does conferring look like?

What is your biggest conferring challenge?

What obstacles prevent you from conferring?

Golden Gate Bridge method

Three Types of Reading ConferencesContent/Standards-BasedComprehensionReading Habits


Reading Habits Conference

Reading Conference RecapGolden Gate Bridge methodFocus on one skill or concept.Keep records.Each person in the conference walks away with something to do.Its about the reader, not about the book.


Children read more when they see other people reading.--Stephen Krashen (2009)

Students should have guidance and frequent opportunities to work with teachers and other students as a community of learners, observing their teachers as readers and writers.

NCTE Position on the Teaching of English

Reading Teacher (RT): a teacher who reads and a reader who teaches Commeyras, Bisplinghoff and Olson (2003)

Who is in your reading community?

Create opportunities for students to preview, share, and talk about books.

Literate conversations with peers (as little as ten minutes a day) improve students' reading motivation, comprehension, and test scores. ( Cazden, 1988; Nystrand, 2006)

Reading Graffiti

Find an epicenter reader.

Epicenter Readers in Our Classrooms

Commit to reading more.

Bring your reading life into the classroom.


I have long been convinced that the central and most important goal of reading instruction is to foster a love of reading.

Linda Gambrell, Creating Classroom Cultures that Foster Reading Motivation