Saturday, June 17, 2017

NCTE Reads Week Two: Teaching Reading with YA Lit

Chapter 3 YA Pedagogy Element 1: Classroom Community
Chapter 4 YA Pedagogy Element 2: Teacher as Matchmaker

NCTE Reads Book Study, "Talk It, Make It, and Take It” . Each week there will be a question for the group to talk about, a collective resource for the group to make, and free resources from NCTE for participants to take.


Jennifer names four qualities that distinguish classroom community in YA pedagogy:
  1. belief that the work is important; 
  2. discussions that blend personal response and literary analysis;
  3. a sense among students that they are known and valued; and 
  4. collective investment in a shared experience. 

Think about those four in terms of your own classroom. 

Which of those qualities do you try to focus on? Which ones are challenging for you?
“If we want students to enjoy a feeling of playfulness and fun as YA readers, balanced by moments of seriousness and rigor, we should create classroom reading communities that cultivate rigorous and relevant work with these books.” –Pg. 52
This week we’ll build each others’ tool-kits by sharing strategies we use in our own classrooms to build community. Please describe something you’ve found effective in build towards one or more of these “qualities of classroom community” 
  1. Belief that the work is important.
  2. Discussions that blend personal response and literary analysis. 
  3. A sense of being known and valued. 
  4. Collective investment in a shared experience. 
One of the things I did was to have students create poster lists of favorite books. The title of the poster would be “YOU GOTTA READ THIS!” Then, kids would list a favorite book and put his/her name behind it. They loved writing on the chart paper that got left up in the classroom for all to see. And, kids would trust their friends so they would choose books that others had recommended.  -
Anne Lewis Shealy

This year, more than any other before, I truly felt like two out of my three blocks were amazing communities that focused on sharing our love of reading and writing. We have Ranger Read at the beginning of every class and start the year with genre discussions and set a 40 book goal for the year. When they ask what happens if they don’t read that many books, I simply say, “Let’s see how many you CAN read.” I started book talks on day one this year and did more than 30 officially, but I would almost always share something about what I was reading at the moment. As the year progressed, students started asking to do book talks, and everyone had a reading log to list books they started and/or finished, as well as a Can’t Wait to Read list that we’d update at least once a week. Next year, I want to have a calendar on Google Classroom for students to sign up for book talks and be responsible for a minimum of one each semester. Morgan Lee Kirkpatrick

Kirsten Foti One of the first activities I do in the school year is an introduction activity. Students trace and cut out their hands. They write one thing about themselves on each finger. They use that hand to introduce themselves to one another. We then hang the hands up, linking them together, showing we are all connected.

Jessica Shorts Hrubik We use the Goodreads app in class and have a closed group where we share what we are reading and have read.


“If we as teachers truly want to support teens as readers, we must develop broad, deep, personalized book knowledge.” –Pg. 73
In chapter 4 Jennifer offers several suggestions for how to build that knowledge. One of them is through professional journals. 
Enjoy the full January issue Language Arts entitled "Tweens": Too Old for This, Too Young for That! It offers articles that cover everything from diverse books to motivation as well as literature reviews. 


  1. Thank you for sharing the NCTE Reads info. I am following and reading along, but haven't been able to process too much because of busy-ness.

    Happy reading this week :)

  2. Kellee, I often believe that life & reality gets in the way of my reading time! I am scurrying through this incredible book while attending class this month and preparing for a Student Leadership Conference. I wish I could chew on every word :)

    Thanks for stopping by!


Thank you for reading my post. Please comment with any questions, concerns, constructive criticisms, or information you would like to add to this subject. Docendo discimus, by teaching we learn.

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