Wednesday, September 30, 2009


In honor of the brilliant educators of the American Community School of Beirut, Lebanon with warmest thanks and respect!

Thinker’s/Reader’s Self Talk

What is reading, but silent conversation. Walter Savage Landor

To a great extent within classrooms, the language used by teachers and students
determines what is learned and how learning takes place.
Wilkinson and Silliman, 2000

As you read the following ideas about apprenticing students in a brain show and tell (Benson, 1997), reflect are some of the ways you talk to yourself as you work to understand the texts you read (or hear). See if you hear some of your internal dialogue and some of your ways of understanding.

As I read, I work to...

  • Monitor, clarify, refine & repair my understanding of the text.
    I employ my phonological awareness, phonics knowledge, fluency models, vocabulary wells, and multiple ways of knowing to understand a variety of genres.

    I talk to myself by saying:
    I get it...”
    “I think…”
    “This is about...”
    “Okay, here’s what I know so far…
    “I’m thinking…because…”
    “I know…”
    “Hmm, I don’t really get this/ understand this…I’d better reread that part…”

    Self Talk for Monitoring Understanding:
    I understand.
    I don’t get it. Hmm, what should I do now?
    I better reread that.
    I will try that again.
    I know...
    I learned...
    This made me think about.../I was thinking...

    Prompting Monitoring:
    Tell me what you are thinking.
    Does that make sense?/What would make sense here?
    Does that look right?/What would look right there?
    Does that sound right?/What would sound right there?
    Reading should make sense. Let’s see if we can work together to understand this piece. What are you thinking as you read this section/word/part?
    Have a go./Try that again./Give that another try.
    Reread that part.
    Ask the author for a “Pardon me. What did you say?” like I showed you during our shared
    reading. Reread the text to hear the words again.
    Check the picture.
    What could you do to help yourself there?
    Let’s try one of our new word strategies there. Which one do you think would work there?
    Share your movie/video of this story/piece.

    Bibliography for Monitoring Understanding:
    Any book in your classroom or home! :)
    Student authored texts
    Author autobiography and biography
    Metaphorical texts such as Making Tracks
    Atkins, S. Beth Voices From The Field: Children of Migrant Farmworkers Tell Their Stories
    Boynton, Sandra All titles
    Cleary, Beverly Dear Mr. Henshaw
    Clements, Andrew The Landry News
    Cowley, Joy Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Farm
    Crews, Donald School Bus
    Cronin, Doreen Diary of a Worm
    Cummings, Pat Talking to Artists
    Fleming, Denise In the Small, Small Pond
    French, Jackie Diary of a Wombat
    Gantos, Jack Jack’s Black Book
    Gomi, Taro Spring Is Here
    Griego, et. al. Tortillas Para Mama
    Haseley, Dennis A Story for Bear
    Heide & Gilliland The Day of Ahmed’s Secret
    Hort, Lenny The Seals on the Bus
    Kirkpatrick, Taylor Worthwhile
    London, Jonathan I See The Moon and The Moon Sees Me
    Lowry, Lois Anastasia Krupnik
    MacLachlan, P. Arthur, For The Very First Time
    McGrath, Barbara I Love Words
    McPhail, David Fix It!
    Meyer, Mercer A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog
    Moss, Marissa Amelia’s School Survival Guide (series)
    Moss, Marissa Max’s Logbook
    Myers Walter Dean Monster
    Nagda, Ann W. Dear Whiskers
    Raymer, Dottie Molly’s Route 66 Adventure
    Ringgold, Faith Cassie’s Word Quilt
    Roe, Eileen All I Am
    Stepanek, Mattie Celebrate Through Heartsongs (poetry series)
    Talbott, Hudson Safari Journal
    Viorst, Judith Alexander, Que Era Rico el Domingo Pasado
    Wildsmith, Brain Can You Do This?
    Wolff, Ashley Oh, the Colors/De Colores

As I read, I work to...
Use my experiences and knowledge of the world and reading to understand the text; and
Connect what I know to what I am learning.

I talk to myself by saying:
This reminds me of...”
“This is like/feels like…”
“This seems like…”
“This is like…and/but not like…”
“This makes me think about…”

Self Talk for Using Background Knowledge:
The language I want to model and cultivate in my students to help them be mindful readers in using their background knowledge sounds like (but is not limited to):
This reminds me of....
This is just like...
A connection I made to this piece is...
A book brother for this book is...

Prompting Background Knowledge:
I listen for the self-talk of each strategy and prompt it if I don’t hear talk which will lead the child to understanding or if I want to strengthen a child’s disposition to use a strategy. My goal is to help each child be a mindful reader - aware of their own thinking as well as understanding the piece being read or written by the child.
What did this story/book/piece remind you of? Why?
As you watched me during the modeled reading today, I constantly think to myself, “This reminds me of...” Show we a place in the text where you found a "reminds me of..." connection.
We have been talking about making connections as we read. Tell me about the connections you are making as you read this book/text.
How is this book like...the book we read yesterday? ...the video we saw? . ..a book you read before?

Books To Model and Practice Using Background Knowledge:
• Amber On The Mountain by Tony Johnson
• Best Class Picture Ever, The by Denis Roche
• Best Wishes by Cynthia Rylant
• Buster by Denise Fleming
• Day In The Life of Murphy, A by Alice Provensen
• Drawing Lessons from a Bear by David McPhail
• Extra Innings by Lee Bennett Hopkins
• Hello, Harvest Moon by Ralph Fletcher
• How My Parents Learned To Eat by Ina Friedman
• If there would be no light by Sahara Sunday Spain
• Ira Sleep Over by Bernard Waber
• It’s Not My Fault by Nancy Carlson
• Jessica by Kevin Henkes, Kevin
• Kid In the Red Jacket, The by Barbara Park
• Kids From Room 402 by Betty Paraskevas
• Little Dog Poems by Kristin O’Conell George
• Mapping Penny’s World by Loreen Leedy
• Mark Twain? What Kind of Name Is That? by Robert Quackenbush
• Memory String, The by Eve Bunting
• My Life As A Dog by Gary Paulsen
• Nick Plays Baseball by Rachel Isadora
• Oh Tucker by Steven Kroll
• Oliver Button Is A Sissy by Tomie dePaola
• Puddles by Jonathan London
• Reading Grows by Ellen Senisi
• School Mouse, The by Dick King-Smith
• Skinny Bones by Barbara Parker
• Some Frog by Eve Bunting
• Spectacular Science by Lee Bennett Hopkins
• Staying Nine by Pam Conrad
• Tom by Tomie dePaola
• Tomas and The Library Lady by Pat Mora
• The Twelve Days of Kindergarten: A Counting Book by Deborah Lee Rose
• Twenty-Six Fairmont Avenue by Tomie dePaola
• Wanted…Mud Blossom by Betsy Byars
• Week In The Woods, A by Andrew Clements
• When The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
• With a Dog Like That, a Kid Like Me… by Michael Rosen
• Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book? By Lauren Child

• Read books by authors who write from their background knowledge
-Sandra Cisneros
-Donald Crews
-Tomie DePaola
-Katherine Paterson
-Cynthia Rylant
-Gary Soto
-Jane Yolen

• Text which reflects authors use of their own background knowledge:
(autobiography, biography, personal narrative, memoir, scrapbooks)

• Books in a series are an excellent way to encourage children to use their background knowledge. The reoccurring characters and themes of books in a series give growing readers great success in being more aware of using their background knowledge and, thus, comprehending these stories.

• Read books with a “variation of a theme”; Reading different versions of folk tales and fairy tales is a motivating way to involve children in shared and independent readings (i.e.: Compare Jon Scieszka’s The True Story of The 3 Little Pigs with The Three Javelinas or Goldilocks and The Three Bears with Somebody and the Three Blairs).


As I read, I work to...
• Probe, ask questions of the text/author and
• Infer meanings in and beyond the text.

I talk to myself by Asking Questions and saying…
I wonder...”
“I am curious about…”
“A big question for me is…”
Journalist’s Questions: Why…? How…? What? When…? Where…?

and by Making Predictions & Developing Inferences by saying…
I bet...”
“I think that maybe…”
“I’m predicting/guessing…”
“The text doesn’t say this but I think/it seem like…”
“This is going to happen next because…”

Self Talk of Questioning:
I wonder...
I wonder...and I found out...
I wonder...I found out...and/or I was surprised to find out... Why...
Turning the title into a question, I asked myself ___________ as I read. Why...
I am curious about...

Prompts for Questioning
What are you wondering?
Take me to your “I wonders...” Tell me about your thinking here.
What are you curious about?
Tell me about the questions you created while you read _____.
What questions did you answer as you read _______?
What did you learn as you read _______? How did your questions help you?
Do you have any unanswered questions? Oh, goody. Let’s talk about those.
Did you create a question from the title? How did it help you understand this

Books for a Strategy Study of Questioning:
• Auto Mechanic, An by Douglas Florian
• Because of Winn Dixie by Kate Dicamillo
• Boy of a Thousand Faces, The by Brian Selznick
• Brave Potatoes by Toby Speed
• Case of the Climbing Cat, The by Cynthia Rylant
• Charlie Anderson by Barbara Abercrombie
• Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
• Come Back, Salmon… by Molly Cove
• Composition, The by Antonio Skarmeta
• Crazy World of What If, The by Steve Parker
• Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes by Louis Sachar
• Dragon in the Cupboard by Karen Dolby
• Fernando’s Gift/El Regalo De Fernando by Douglas Keister
• Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
• Forest Has Eyes, The by Bev Doolittle and Elise Maclay
• From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
• Giggler Treatment, The by Roddy Doyle
• Giver, The by Lois Lowery
• Guess What? by Mem Fox
• Holes by Louis Sachar
• Hooray for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester
• Ink Drinker, The by Ric Sanvoisin
• I Wonder by Tana Hoban
• Jeremiah Learns To Read by Jo Ellen Bogart
• Jerusalem Shining by Karla Kuskin
• Jigsaw by Miriam Moss
• Library Lil by Suzanne Williams
• Lion’s Share, The by Chris Conover
• Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osborn
• Meet Danitra Brown by Nikki Grimes
• My Name is Georgia by Jeannette Winter
• My Teacher’s Secret Life by Stephen Krensky
• Number The Stars by Lois Lowry
• Picture Book of Harriet Tubman, A by David Adler
• Post Office Book, The by Gail Gibbons
• Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
• Someday Today by Bert Kitchen
• Spectacular Science by Lee Bennett Hopkins
• Super Dog: The Heart of a Hero by Caralyn Buehner
• Super Dooper Jezebel by Tony Ross
• Truman’s Aunt Farm by Jama Kim Rattigan
• Water’s Journey, The by Eleanor Schmid
• When Will I Read? by Miriam Cohen
• Whipping Boy, The by Sid Fleischman
• Who Needs Birds When Dogs Can Fly? by Fay Robinson
• Wolf by Becky Bloom
• Words by Heart by Quida Sebestyen

√ Wordless Picture Books such as Carl’s Christmas by Alexander Day and Pancakes by Tomie dePaola
√ Books in Spanish such as ?Que hay Para Comer? by Shelley Harwayne are published by Mondo Press. A bibliography of children’s’ books in Spanish can be found in Connie Weaver’s Practicing What We Know, p. 436 – 438 and I have included several in the Monitoring text set.
√ Mysteries and fantasy books always work well for cultivating questioning.
√ Nonfiction texts are born from questions. Authors often write to answer their own questions. Thus, these texts work well to help children become more conscious of the importance of questioning as readers and writers.


Self Talk:
I bet...
I knew it...
I bet...I knew it...and/or I was surprised to learn...
I am guessing that...
I sense...
I predict...
I think...
Filling in the blanks here, I think the author means...

Prompting Inferring:
To cultivate children’s’ inferring, I prompt their self talk by nudging them with the following words as I confer with each child and meet with them in large and small group nests:
Tell me about your “I bets...” and “I knew its...”
Tell me about your “I bet...” here. Where did this become an
“I knew it.” or an “I was surprised to learn.”
What will happen next? or What will you learn next?
What do you think this will be about? How do you know that?
Was there a part where you had to infer? Tell me about that.
Like listening to me talk on the telephone, take me to a place in your
reading where you had to figure out what the author was saying on your own?
Do you like the main character(s)? Why or why not?
Would the main character make a good friend? Why or why not?
The author won’t tell us everything. They trust us to figure some things
on our own. Take me to a place in your reading where you had to figure out what was happening on your own.
What can you predict from this chapter title/heading?

Books to Share with Students to Cultivate Their Inferential Thinking:
Adoff, Arnold Love Letters
Agee, Jon. The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau
Allard, Harry. Miss Nelson Is Missing
Alexander, M. You’re a Genius, Blackboard Bear
Asch, Frank. Bear Shadow
Avery, Charles. Everybody Has Feelings/Todos Tenemos Sentimientos Babcock, Chris . No Moon, No Milk
Baker, Leslie. The Third Story Cat
Banotuk, Nick. Griffin and Sabine; Sabine’s Notebook
Baylor, Byrd. I’m In Charge of Celebrations
Bellairs, John. The Mummy, The Will, and The Crypt
Bleguard, Lenore Anna Banana and Me
Bluthenthal, Diana C. I’m Not Invited
Briggs, Raymond. Jim and the Beanstalk
Brighton, Catherine. Five Secrets in a Box
Brookfield, Karen. Eyewitness series
Bunting, Eve All her titles work well
Calhoun, Mary. Hot Air Henry
Cohen, Miriam. First Grade Takes A Test
Cooney, Barbara. Miss Rumphius
Conrad & Shulz Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life
Crew & Smith Troy Thompson’s Excellent Peotry Book
Crews, Donald. Big Mama’s
Crews, Donald. Freight Train
Dakos, Kalli. If You’re Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand
Day, Alexandra Carl the Dog series
DeBrunhoff, L. Babar’s Mystery
DePaola, Tomie The Knight and the Dragon
DePaola, Tomie Pancakes for Breakfast
DePaola, Tomie Watch Out for the Chicken Feet in Your Soup
DeRegiers, B. S. May I Bring A Friend?
Dragonwagon, C. Always, Always
Dragonwagon, C. Home Place
Duke, Kate. Aunt Isabel Tells A Good One
Duke, Kate. Guinea Pigs Far and Near
Fandex. American Indians; Dogs; Presidents
Feelings, Tom. Soul Looks Back In Wonder
Fleischman, Paul Joyful Noise
Fleming, Denise. In a Small, Small Pond
Fleming, Denise. In the Tall, Tall Grass
Fleming, Denise. Lunch
Foreman, Michael. The Angel and the Wild Animal
Fox, Mem. Guess What?
Fox, Mem. Time for Bed
Freeman, Don. Corduroy
George, K. O. The Great Frog Race
Gibbons, Gail All her titles
Giovanni, Nikki. Spin A Soft Black Song
Golenbock, Peter. Teammates
Graves, Don. Baseball, Snakes, and Summersquash
Green, Donna. . My Little Artist
Greenfield, Eloise. In The Land of Words: New & Selected Poems
Grimes, Nikki. It’s Raining Laughter
Gwynne, Fred Chocolate Moose for Dinner
Gwynne, Fred . The King Who Rained
Gwynne, Fred A Little Pigeon Toad
Hopkins, Lee B. Good Books, Good Times
Howe, James. Celery Stalks at Midnight
Howe, James. A Night Without Stars
Hughes, Langston. All his poems; The Dream Keeper and Other Poems
James, Simon. Dear Mr. Blueberry
Johnson, Dolores. Your Dad Was Just Like You
Keats, Ezra Jack. The Snowy Day
Lionni, Leo. Broderick
Lionni, Leo. Swimmy
Little, Jean . Hey, World! Here I Am!
Lucado, Max. You Are Special
Macaulay, David. Black and White
Macaulay, David. Motel of the Mysteries
MacLachlan, P. Sarah Plain and Tall
MacLachlan, P. What You Know First
Maclay, Emily. The Forest Has Eyes
MacDonald, Amy. Little Beaver and the Echo
Marshall, James. George and Martha series
Meyer, Mercer. A Boy, A Dog, and A Frog
Moon, Pat. Green Lines: Poems for The Green Age
Parrish, Peggy. Amelia Bedelia series
Paulsen, Gary. Hatchet
Pfister, Marcus. Rainbow Fish
Rylant, Cynthia. A Fine White Dust
Rylant, Cynthia. Every Living Thing
Rylant, Cynthia. The Relatives Came
Sandford, Lyne. Ten Second Rainshowers
Saunders-Smith, Gail. All her titles
Schertle, Alice. A Lucky Thing
Schertle, Alice. Keepers
Sendak, Maurice. In Grandpa’s House
Sharmat, M. A Big Fat Enormous Lie
Steptoe, John. The Story of Jumping Mouse
Soto, Gary. A Summer Life
Turner, Ann. The Hedgehog for Breakfast
Turner, Pat. Katie’s Trunk
Van Allsburg, C. All titles!
Viorst, Judith. Alexander Who Use To Be Rich Last Tuesday
Wilhelm, Hans All For The Best! The Secret of Happiness
Wood, Douglas. Rabbit and the Moon
Worth, Valerie. All the small poems and fourteen more
Yolen, Jane. The Mary Celeste: An Unsolved Mystery From History
Young, Ed. Seven Blind Mice

Thoughtful reading is only rarely a matter of flashy insight. More often it is a gradual, groping process.
Dennie Palmer Wolf, Harvard University


As I read, I work to...
• Identify importance striving to grasp the messages, main ideas, themes, and feelings of the text

I talk to myself by saying:
The most important idea here is…”
“The message(s) here is...”
“The author wants me to learn…”
“I know that this is really important because…”
“From the title, the big idea is…”
I learned...
I was surprised to learn/read...
The most important thing to remember is...
The most important ideas here are...
The message here is...
The author wants me to learn...
My reason for reading this piece is...
I was surprised by/I was surprised to read...
I learned...
The most important thing to remember is/are...
The big ideas here are...
From the title, I know the main idea of this piece is ________ and I will read to
find the details...

Prompting for Identifying Importance:
Tell me what you are thinking.
What are the big ideas here?
When I read, I expect to learn something. What did you learn from this book?
What is the main idea(s)/messages/theme here/in this text?
Is this a factual piece or one based on the author’s opinion? How do you know?
As I read, I find surprises. These are usually the places where I learned
something new. Did you find any surprises here?
How did the graphs/picture/charts/maps/bold print help you understand this
What does the author want us to learn from this piece?
We are studying how we determine importance as we read. Take me to a place
in your reading where you figured out what is important in this text/ story. How do you know that?

Books for Cultivating Students’ Capacity to Identify Important Ideas:
Ackerman, A. & A. Our Mom Has Cancer
Aliki How A Book is Made
Aliki The King’s Day
Angelou, Maya I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Barrett, Judi A Snake Is Totally Tail
Battle-Lavert, Gwendolyn Papa’s Mark
Brown, Margaret Wise The Importance Book
Bunting, Eve Fly Away Home
Bunting, Eve Someday A Tree
Bunting, Eve The Wall
Bunting, Eve Wednesday’s Surprise
Cole, Joanna Magic School Bus Series
Crew & Smith Troy Thompson’s Excellent Peotry Book
DePaola, Tomie Oliver Button Is A Sissy
Ehlert, Lois Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf
Elleman, Barbara Tomie dePaola: His Art & His Stories
Fletcher, Ralph Writer’s Notebook
Fletcher, Ralph Fig Pudding
Fox, Mem Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partirdge
Gibbons, Gail Monarch Butterflies
Gibbons, Gail Trains
Gibbons, Gail Up the Skyscraper
Haley, Alex Malcolm X
Hawes, Julie Fireflies In The Night
Hopkins, Lee Bennett Been To Yesterdays
Jakes, John Susanna of the Alamo: A True Story
Janeczko, Paul The Place My Words Are Looking For
Johnson, Tony It’s About Dogs
Katz, Bobbi We The People
Kitchen, Bert Somewhere Today
Kovacs, Deborah Very First Things To Know About Bears
Krementz, Jill A Very Young Actress
Little, Jean Hey World, Here I Am!
Livingston, Myra Cohn Up In The Air
Lloyd, Pamela How Writers Write
Lobel, Arnold Fables
Miller, William Richard Wright and the Library Card
Moutoussamy-Ashe, C. Daddy and Me
Nobisso, Josephine In English, Of Course
O’Brien, Patrick The Bookworm’s Feast
Parring Then and Now
Quackenbush, Robert Don’t You Dare Shoot That Bear! A Story of T. Roosevelt
Reynolds, Peter The Dot
Ryan, Pam Munoz When Marian Sang
Sabuda, Robert Tutankhamen’s Gift
Sandin, Joan Coyote School News
St. George, Judith So You Want To Be An Inventor?
St. George, Judith So You Want To Be President?
Rylant, Cynthia Missing May
Rylant, Cynthia Waiting To Waltz
Ueland, Brenda If You Want To Write
Weeks, Sarah Two eggs, please.
Wood, Jenny The Animal Book
Yolen, Jane Writing Books for Children

And the following:
Biographies/Memoir Brochures Colorado Kids (Denver Post)
Cookbooks Internet Texts Mini Page (Rocky Mountain News)
Newspaper Poems React (Denver Post)
Reference Texts Time for Kids Scholastic News
Textbooks Zillions


As I read, I work to...
Synthesize or connect all the pieces of the text together to form one whole idea, picture, image, feeling, or concept

I talk to myself by saying:
“From the beginning, middle, end, I know...”
“Let me retell what I read/what I saw/what happened/the author’s words...”
“To summarize this, I think…”
“Synthesizing all this information…”

Summing Up
I found out…”
“I knew it…”
“I learned…”
“I was surprised to learn…”
“Pulling all this information together…”
“The most important ideas/information…”
“Okay, now I know that…”
“Comparing this information to…I now think that…”
“I didn’t know that. That makes me think…”
"Here's what I know now/think now…"
"Wow, I never knew that…"
"Hmm, this seems really important because…"
"This is just like…but not like…"

Clarifying "Sum Up" Thoughts:
"I am still wondering about…"
"I don't get this part…"
"I didn't really understand…"
"I'd better reread that…because I just don't get it!"
"I am not sure about…"
"What does this mean…?"


I know...
Okay, I’d better stop and ask myself if I understand/can pull all these pieces
The quilt of my reading is...
I learned...
Pulling all the pieces/words of this text together, I know...
Like putting a puzzle together, the pieces of my reading are...
In the beginning of the story...and by the end...
From the beginning...middle...end..., I know...
First, he...then, she...
From [all parts of this book], I learned/know...

Prompting for Synthesis:
Tell me about the quilt of your thinking.
What have you/we learned so far?/What do we know now?
From what we have read so far, what have we learned about the
Putting all the parts/chapters together, what can you tell me about the
problem of this story? ...big ideas in this nonfiction piece?
What is this story about?
Tell me about the beginning, middle and end of this story/text.
Tell me about the piece in one sentence (one sentence summary).

Books to Grow Children’s’ Sense of Synthesis
52 Great Children’s Books by Lynn Gordon (card set)
Amelia and Eleanor Take a Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan
Amelia’s Notebook by Marissa Moss
Archibald Frisby by Michael Chesworth
Blaze the Horse by C.W. Anderson
The Book of Mean People by Toni & Slade Morrison
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Kraus
Cook-A-Doodle-Doo! by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel
Cookie’s Week by Tomie dePaola
The Diary of Hansel and Gretel by Kees Moerbeek
Dilly’s Summer Camp Diary by Cynthia Lewis
Emma’s Journal by Marissa Moss
“Fire! Fire!” Said Mrs. McGuire by Bill Martin Jr.
From Seed To Plant by Gail Gibbons
I.Q. Goes To The Library by Mary Ann Fraser
Jasmin’s Notebook by Nikki Grimes
Jim and the Beanstalk by Raymond Briggs
The Landry News by Andrew Clements
The Legend of Thomas Blue Eagle by G. Matthaei and J. Grutman
Little Dog Poems by Kristin O’Connell George
Meanwhile... by Jules Feiffer
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
My Mama Had A Dancing Heart by Libba Moore Gray
Naming the Car by Lawrence Pringle
The Perfect Spot by Robert Blake
Poppy and Rye by Avi
The Quilt Makers Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
Shortcut by David Macaulay
Stella Louella’s Runaway Book by Lisa Campbell Ernst
Rachel’s Journal by Marissa Moss
Reach for the Moon by Samantha Abeel
Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins
Tell Me A Story by Jonathan London
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by E. Trivizas
Workshop by Andrew Clements
The Young Author’s Do-It-Yourself Book by D. Guthrie, N. Bentley, and K. Arnsteen
The Young Journalist’s Book by D. Guthrie and N. Bentley
…and, as always, texts the children have authored! :)

Synthesis Out In The Big Wide World:
Autobiographies Baby Albums Biographies
Book Reviews Christmas Letters Diaries
Do-it-yourself Manuals/Guides Itineraries
Journals Letters Many Magazines
Memoir Movie Reviews Newspapers
Non-Fiction Books Obituaries
Post Card Trip Summaries Professional Books
Recaps Research Storytelling
Trip Photos TV Guide Updates
Year Books

As I read, I work to...
Develop a visual story or representation for the text like creating my own video movie or graphic of the words bringing in sensory images and feelings.

*I talk to myself by saying:
I see…”
“Reading this, I visualized…”
“While I read, I saw...”
“I sensed that...”
“It feels like…because…”
“I would cast Morgan Freeman as the main character because…”

Friday, September 25, 2009

Inspiring Books for Coaches and Mentors

In honor of the brilliant and giving Coaches of St. Paul Schools!

Coaching Bibliography
Allen, David & Blythe, Tina. (2004). The Facilitator’s Book of Questions: Tools for Looking Together at Student and Teacher Work. Oxford, OH: NSDC.
Allen, Jennifer. (2006). Becoming a Literacy Leader: Supporting Learning and Change. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
Allen, Rick. (2005). Spreading the Word: Literacy Coaches Share Comprehension Strategies. Educational Leadership, 47(2), ASCD.
Alliance for Excellent Education. (2004). Reading Next: A Vision for Action and Research on Middle and High School Literacy. New York, NY: Carnegie Corporation.
Barr, R., Kamil, M.L., Mosenthal, P., & Pearson, P.D. (Eds.). (1991). Handbook of reading research (Vol. 2). White Plains, NY: Longman.
Bean, Rita. (2004). Promoting effective literacy instruction: The challenge for literacy coaches. The California Reader, 34(3), 58 – 83.
Bean, Rita. (2004). The Reading Specialist: Leadership for the Classroom, School, and Community. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Beers, Kylene. (2003). When Kids Can’t Read: What Teachers Can Do. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Benson, Laura. (2000). Going On Rounds. The Communicator. International Reading Association.
Boyles, Nancy. (2004). Constructing Meaning Through Kid-Friendly Comprehension Strategy Instruction. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House.
Boyles, Nancy. (2002). Teaching Written Response to Text: Constructing Quality Answers to Open-Ended Comprehension Questions. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House.
Braddon, Kathryn, Hall, Nancy, & Taylor, Dale. Math through Children’s Literature: Making the NCTM Standards Come Alive. Greenwood Village, CO: Libraries Unlimited.
Brown, Dave. (2002). Becoming a Successful Urban Teacher. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Buly, Marsha Riddle, Coskie, Racy, Robinson, LeAnne, Egawa, Kathy, editors. (2004). What Is a Literacy Coach? Voices from the Middle, NCTE, 12(1).
Cameron, Mindy. (2005). The Coach in the Classroom. Northwest Education. NWREL, 10(4).
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Dole, Janice A. & Donaldson, Rebecca. (2006). “What am I supposed to do all day?”: Three big ideas for the reading coach. The Reading Teacher. IRA, 59(5.9), 486-488.
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Duncan, Marilyn. (2007). Instructional Dialogue: Literacy coaches use this method one-on-one. NSDC.
Elliott, E. (Ed.). (2003). Assessing education candidate performance: A look at changing practices. Washington, DC: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Farstrup, A.E., & Samuels, S.J. (Eds.). (2002). What research has to say about reading instruction (3rd ed.). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
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Singer, H., & Ruddell, R.B. (1985). Theoretical models and processes of reading (3rd ed.). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Snow, C.E., Burns, M.S., & Griffin, P. (1998). Preventing reading difficulties in young children. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Stein, Sandra & Gewirtzman, Liz. (2003). Principal Training on the Ground: Ensuring Highly Qualified Leadership. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
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Tatum, Alfred. (2005). Teaching reading to black adolescent males: Closing the achievement gap. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
Toll, Cathy A. (2006). The Literacy Coach’s Desk Reference: Processes and Perspectives for Effective Coaching. Urbana, IL: NCTE.
Toll, Cathy A. (2005). The Literacy Coach's Survival Guide: Essential Questions and Practical Answers. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 2005.
Walpole, Sharon & McKenna, Michael. (2004). The Literacy Coach’s Handbook: A Research-Based Practice. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Additional References & Resources:
Akhavan, Nancy L. (2004). How to Align Literacy Instruction, Assessment, and Standards. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Allington, Richard. (2000). What Really Matters for Struggling Readers: Designing Research-Based Programs. New York, NY: Longman/Addison-Wesley.

Benson, Laura. (2000). Colorado Reads! Data Driven Teaching and Best Practices of Literacy Instruction. Denver, CO: Colorado Department of Education.

Benson, Laura. (2004). Deep Thinking: Sustaining Students’ Strategy Learning to Cultivate Their Independence. The Colorado Communicator, (27), 72 – 87.

Benson, Laura. (2003). Drawing From Our Well: Creating Writing Lessons from Our Reading Journeys, Part One. Colorado Reading Council Journal. (26), 18 – 24.

Benson, Laura. (2002). Our Work: Developing Independent Readers. The Colorado Communicator. (26), 15 – 24 and 47.
Buehl, D. (2001). Classroom strategies for interactive learning. Newark, DE: International Reading Association
Boyles, Nancy. (2004). Constructing Meaning Through Kid-Friendly Comprehension Strategy Instruction. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House.

Boyles, Nancy. (2002). Teaching Written Response to Text: Constructing Quality Answers to Open-Ended Comprehension Questions. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House.

Cunningham, Patricia & Allington, Richard. (2003). Classrooms That Work: They Can ALL Read and Write (Third Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Gallagher, Kelly. Deeper Reading: Comprehending Challenging Texts, 4 – 12. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
Harvey, Stephanie, McAuliffe, Sheila, Benson, Laura, Cameron, Wendy, Kempton, Sue, Lusche, Pat, Miller, Debbie, Schroeder, Joan, and Weaver, Julie. (1996). Teacher-Researcher Study: The Process of Synthesizing in Six Primary Classrooms. Language Arts, Vol. 73, No. 8, 564 – 574.

Hoyt, Linda. (2004). Snapshots: Literacy Minilessons Up Close. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Hyde, Arthur. (2006). Comprehending Math: Adapting Reading Strategies to Teach Mathematics, K – 6. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Hyerle, David. (2004). Student Successes with Thinking Maps: School-Based Research, Results, and Models for Achievement Using Visual Tools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Jensen, Eric. (2005). Teaching with the Brain in Mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Marzano, Robert J. (2004). Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Nessel, Denise D. & Graham, Joyce, M. Thinking Strategies for Student Achievement: Improving Learning Across the Curriculum, K – 12, 2nd Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Nessel, D., Jones, M. and C. Dixon, C. (1989). Thinking Through the Language Arts New York, NY: Macmillan.

Rothstein, Andrew, Rothstein, Evelyn, & Lauber, Gerald. (2007). Writing for Mathematics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Rothstein, Andrew, Rothstein, Evelyn, & Lauber, Gerald. (2006). Writing as Learning: A Content-Based Approach. Thousand Oaks, Corwin.

Rothstein, Evelyn & Lauber, Gerald. (2000). Writing as Learning. Glenview, IL: Skylight.

Taylor, W. (1953). “Cloze Procedure: A New Tool for Measuring Readability.” Journalism Quarterly Vol. 30, No, 4, pp. 415-33.

Tovani, Cris. (2000). I Read It But I Don’t Get It. Portsmouth, NH: Stenhouse.

Wilhelm, Jeffrey, Baker, Tanya, & Dube, Julie. (2001). Strategic Reading: Guiding Students to Lifelong Literacy 6 - 12. Portsmouth, NH: Heninemann.

Zwiers, Jeff. (2004). Building Reading Comprehension Habits in Grades 6 – 12: A Toolkit of Classroom Activities. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Zwiers, Jeff. (2004). Developing Academic Thinking Skills in Grades 6 – 12: A Handbook of Multiple Intelligence Activities. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

l Allen, Janet. Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades in
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l Vacca, R. (2001). Content Area Reading. Allyn & Bacon.
l Zwiers, J. (2004). Building Comprehension Habits in Grades 6-12. IRA.

Buehl, D. (2001). Classroom strategies for interactive learning. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Boyles, Nancy. (2004). Constructing Meaning Through Kid-Friendly Comprehension Strategy Instruction. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House.

Boyles, Nancy. (2002). Teaching Written Response to Text: Constructing Quality Answers to Open-Ended Comprehension Questions. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House.

Cunningham, Patricia & Allington, Richard. (2003). Classrooms That Work: They Can ALL Read and Write (Third Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Hoyt, Linda. (2004). Snapshots: Literacy Minilessons Up Close. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Hyde, Arthur. (2006). Comprehending Math: Adapting Reading Strategies to Teach Mathematics, K – 6. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Hyerle, David. (2004). Student Successes with Thinking Maps: School-Based Research, Results, and Models for Achievement Using Visual Tools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Jensen, Eric. (2005). Teaching with the Brain in Mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Marzano, Robert J. (2004). Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (NIH Publication No. 00-4769). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Nessel, Denise D. & Graham, Joyce, M. (2006). Thinking Strategies for Student Achievement: Improving Learning Across the Curriculum, K – 12, 2nd Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Rothstein, Andrew, Rothstein, Evelyn, & Lauber, Gerald. (2006). Writing for Mathematics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Rothstein, Andrew, Rothstein, Evelyn, & Lauber, Gerald. (2006). Writing as Learning: A Content-Based Approach. Thousand Oaks, Corwin.

Wilhelm, Jeffrey, Baker, Tanya, & Dube, Julie. (2001). Strategic Reading: Guiding Students to Lifelong Literacy 6 - 12. Portsmouth, NH: Heninemann.

Zwiers, Jeff. (2004). Building Reading Comprehension Habits in Grades 6 – 12: A Toolkit of Classroom Activities. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Zwiers, Jeff. (2004). Developing Academic Thinking Skills in Grades 6 – 12: A Handbook of Multiple Intelligence Activities. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Allende, Isabelle. Inventing the Truth.

Anderson, Carl. (2004). How's It Going? Heinemann.

Anderson, Carl. (2005). Assessing Writers. Heinemann.

Benson, Laura, ed. (2000). Colorado Reads! Colorado Department of Education.

Benson, Laura. (2003). Drawing From Our Well: Creating Writing Lessons from Our Reading Journeys. CCIRA/The International Reading Association.

Benson, Laura. (2001). Living Literate Lives. CCIRA/ The International Reading Association.

Benson, Laura. (2003). Portfolios of Proficiency. The Colorado Department of Education.

Benson, Laura. (2002). Revision Rituals. CCIRA/The International Reading Association.

Benson, Laura. (2001). A Writer’s Bill of Rights. The International Reading Association.

Browder, Walter. (2005). Happily Ever After: a book lover’s treasury of happy endings. Nashville: Rutledge Hill Press.

Cameron, Julia. The Artist’s Way.

Cameron, Julia. The Right to Write

Davis, Judy. The No Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing.

Dierkling, Connie Campbell & Jones, Sherra Ann. Growing Up Writing: Mini-Lessons for Emergent and Beginning Writers. (2003). Gainesville, FL: Maupin.

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Freeman, Marcia, Mitten, Luana, & Chappell, Rachel M. (2005). Models for Teaching Writing-Craft Target Skills. Gainesville, FL: Maupin.

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Harwayne, Shelley. (2005). Novel Perspectives: Writing Minilessons Inspired By The Children In Adult Fiction. Heinemann.

Harwayne, Shelley. (2001). Writing Through Childhood. Heinemann.

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Hyde, Arthur. (2006). Comprehending Math: Adapting Reading Strategies to Teach Mathematics, K – 6. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Ritchhart, Ron. (1997). Through Mathematical Eyes: Exploring Functional Relationships in Math and Science. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Rothstein, Andrew, Rothstein, Evelyn, & Lauber, Gerald. (2006). Writing for Mathematics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.




Web Resources
America Reads
Center for Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA)
Center for English/Language Arts
International Reading Association (IRA)
Read, Write, Think
Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
National Staff Development Council
National Urban Alliance for Effective Education (NUA)
Reading Rockets

Planning Literacy Professional Development
Resources Suggested by Dr. Rita Bean

Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practices fro Young Children, 1998. (International Reading Association: or NAEYC:
National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). Reading and Writing Grade by Grade: Primary Literacy Standards for Kindergarten through Third Grade. (
National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). Speaking and Listening for Preschool through Third Grade. (
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA). Standards for the English Language Arts. (
Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Students’ Reading Success, 1999. (
Learning First Alliance. Every Child Reading: A Professional Development Guide. Baltimore, MD: Author, 200. (
Adolescent Literacy Position Statement, International Reading Association, Standards for English Language Arts: NCTE-IRA. (

Student Work Web SitesMany readers of Looking at Student Work have asked for actual samples of student work to be posted. This page provides links to web sites that post authentic samples of student work, along with teacher and student commentary, information about instruction and assessment criteria, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Active Learning Practices for Schools (ALPS)This is a Harvard Project Zero project. If you enter the site and click on the "Look" button, you get images of "What meaningful teaching and learning look like": nice case studies of projects with images of student work and the assessment of it. There's lots of other interesting information on the site, including a curriculum building tool. Annenberg/CPB ChannelMaking Teaching Public - Interactive Workshop Pasadena (CA) High School teachers use a peer-observation process observing one another in their classrooms, then meeting individually and in groups to offer feedback as a way to improve teaching practice and student achievement. Includes description, samples of student work, online activities, viewer activities, and resources.
Catalyst: Voices of Chicago School ReformThe December 1999 issue features "Learning to teach better by examining student work. A budding trend and the research behind it." The article includes teacher stories, research findings, and examples of student work. Most interesting of the student work are the samples of high-scoring, typical and low-scoring student work from grade 6 writing, accompanied by the assignments and teacher analysis. Electronic Learning MarketplaceA lively center for the exchange of ideas, information, and high quality products related to Maine's goal of promoting learning toward clearly defined and rigorous standards. Includes teacher developed assessments with student work and teacher reflections posted. site features teacher assignments with benchmarked student work samples and offers classroom-tested standards-based assessment materials. Each of the following categories is keyed to national standards and includes rubrics and annotated benchmark papers: Math, Science, Reading/Writing/Research, Professional Development. Hoover Middle School Teachers Examine Student WorkThe history team at Hoover Middle School in Long Beach, California meets weekly to scrutinize student work and their own lessons -- a process that team leader Mary Massich describes as "the most powerful experience in my professional life." On this Web page, read a story about the Hoover team's work, listen in on an actual "critical friends" session, examine the student work yourself, and review the Hoover teachers' tips for other teachers who want to start their own collaborative groups. New York State Academy for Teaching and LearningThis website shows the samples of student work and assessment plans (scoring guides, rubrics) of New York State teachers who volunteer to participate in a peer review process. The learning experiences developed by these teachers that are featured and stored at this website reflect their professional dedication and commitment to improve the quality of education for all students. Project ApproachThis site includes a list of projects you can read about. For each project you will find summary accounts together with pictures of the children engaged in various activities. When the projects are first posted there will just be text. Gradually pictures and samples of children's work will be added along with teacher reflection and student comments. The text is always written by the teacher who carried out the project and/or a participant observer in the classroom. Schools Around the WorldThe Council for Basic Education's Schools Around the World program collects student work in science and mathematics from 9 countries/regions: Australia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Portugal, United Kingdom and United States. Focused on professional development for teachers, this web site includes the SAW protocol for looking at student work, on-line courses and special presentations. Sunnyside Elementary SchoolSee first and second grade student work created using content on the web, teacher assessments, teacher profile and more. Featured on the PBS Digital Divide program. TCRecordTwo articles examine high-stakes testing from the perspective of the students taking the tests and provide important insights into the assumptions of policy makers regarding student motivation. Lots of student work was looked at (now posted on the web site), by researchers, for very interesting purposes. You have to register to view the articles but it's simple and free.1. What Can Student Drawings Tell Us About High-Stakes Testing in Massachusetts?2. Student Self-Portraits as Test-Takers: Variations, Contextual Differences, and Assumptions about Motivation The Web ProjectBased in Vermont, "The WEB Project" has built models for online learning, examples of which can be seen at the WEB Exchange. Teachers, students, and mentors discuss student projects, engage in dialogs about literature or public issues, and exchange information across the state and around the world.http://www.webproject.orgWhat did you do in the war, Grandma? Oral History of Rhode Island Women during World War II, written by students in the Honors English Program at South Kingstown High School. Includes interviews of 26 women, with photos and audio, a great glossary and timeline, as well as essays on "Teaching English via Oral History", "It Was Everybody's War" and "Women and World War II."What Story Does the Work Tell?A Resource of Curricular Units, Student Work, and CommentaryThis publication is a tool to help teachers look at student work. The work samples, accompanying commentary, and assessment tools featured in this publication originate from students and teachers in Philadelphia public school classrooms who have participated in the Philadelphia Education Fund's Small Learning Community Mini-Grants program.
The following suggestions are from the Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse/LCC:
The Literacy Coach’s Survival GuideExperienced literacy educator and consultant, Cathy Toll, has organized this book around three questions: How do I promote change? What does a successful literacy coach do? and How do I coach in difficult situations? Toll believes successful literacy coaching is at the heart of relationships and growth. She can help you be a coach who is successful in supporting teachers, and more important, students. Toll, Cathy (2005). Newark, DE: IRA.
The Role and Qualifications of the Reading CoachThis position statement from the International Reading Association (IRA, 2004) defines reading coaching, establishes the need for this component of professional development, and outlines what reading coaches should know and be able to do.
NCTE Reading Initiative Study Group and Coaching ResourcesThis strategy-rich notebook includes: study group experiences to identify and address the literacy challenges in your school, protocols for peer observation and debriefing, vignettes and recommendations from NCTE coaches, administrators and teachers, and more. Includes a DVD, as well as over 300 pages of professional reading addressing literacy coaching and teacher learning (2004).
Leadership Capacity For Lasting School Improvement Leadership capacity depends on understanding the connection between participation and skillfulness. Lambert helps us understand how to develop participation and create structures that let educators work and learn together and share leadership responsibilities. When skillfully approached, professional development is as much about adult learning as student learning. Lambert, Linda (2003). ASCD.
Learning Along the WayDiane Sweeney, a literacy specialist with the Public Education & Business Coalition, tells the story of how the inner-city public school in Denver where she was a teacher and literacy coach used learner-centered professional development to achieve outstanding gains in teacher knowledge and effectiveness. She offers concrete examples of how your school can move away from a one-size-fits-all professional development model to create an authentic learning environment that meets the needs of individual teachers. Sweeney, Diane (2003). Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
Learning from Teaching in Literacy Education: New Perspectives on Professional DevelopmentRodgers and Pinnell provide insights into the complexity of providing effective professional development for literacy educators and the challenges of bringing about fundamental change to literacy instruction. The research and experience represented encompass varied models and settings. What binds them together is a common theme: true expertise means developing internal systems for learning while teaching and teaching while learning. Rodgers, Emily M. and Pinnell, Gay Su (2002). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Systems For Change In Literacy Education This is a main source of information for coaching and bringing about change. Every chapter helps coaches mentor teachers in all aspects of teaching and growing as professional educators. Section Three provides three excellent chapters on analyzing teaching in preparation for coaching, analyzing literacy teaching, coaching for shifts in teaching, and establishing the analytic/reflective cycle. Lyons, Carol A. and Pinnell, Gay Su (2001). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Redefining Staff Development: A Collaborative Model For Teachers And AdministratorsThe focus of this resource is changing the way staff development is conducted—from one or two-day one-shot sessions in which teachers passively receive knowledge to a study group format, whereby teachers are actively involved in constructing knowledge. Read the entire book to understand a framework for understanding how study groups and coaching teachers can be most effective. Three chapters focus specifically on coaching. Robb, Laura (2000). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Teacher Study Groups: Building Community through Dialogue and ReflectionThis text includes many practical suggestions for organizing, facilitating, and dealing with group dynamics within a study group, including 1) Defining what a study group is; 2) Getting started and making decisions about the structure and organization of meetings; 3) Facilitating a meeting; and 4) Incorporating reflection and teacher research into the process. Short et al. (1998). Urbana, IL: NCTE.
Inside Learning Network Schools The Learning Network is a site-based, PD initiative that focuses on literacy and the growth of skillful teachers. The Network is based on principles of student-centered teaching and learning that apply across all curriculum areas in all grades and with all students, principles consistent with recent efforts at school restructuring. Herzog, Marilyn (Ed) 1997. NY: Richard C. Owen Publishers, Inc.