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Reading Engagement

on December 7, 2013


Now it’s time for me to tell you about my first roundtable session! I first began looking at this session because of its amazingly awesome alliterative title: “Relevance, Relationships, and Reading Lives: Fostering Students’ Reading Engagement.” I just love alliteration, don’t you? What sealed the deal for me was seeing who would be presenting. Some of my classroom heroes including: Donalyn Miller, Katherine Sokolowski, and Colby Sharp!

I wasn’t the only one excited to see these amazing teachers, because soon the room had standing room only. As a result, the presenters decided that we could stay where we were and they would come to us!! Without further ado, my notes on reading engagement!

Donalyn Miller

  • To foster reading habits students need to be surrounded by books; complete immersion.
  • Students should be constantly reading, writing, and talking about reading and writing.
  • Teachers need to maintain high expectations for students’ reading and writing.
  • Demonstrations from a master reader and writer (the teacher!) greatly benefits students.
  • Students need to feel that they can be successful in the classroom.
  • We want our students to have a sense of self-efficacy, so that they can continue being avid readers and writers without the teacher’s guidance.
  • The ultimate goal is to create independent learners, readers, and writers.

Teri Lesesne

  • Include assignments that build a sense of community in your classroom.
  • Let students know who you are and your expectations.
  • Have students write reading autobiographies; sharing their past experiences with reading.
  • Utilize technology to connect students with authors and more books. Examples:,, and

Cindy Minnich

  • Identify what is in the student’s way of them being a reader.
  • Give students permission to take a break from homework to read for a while.
  • Have students plan where they want to be/what they want to achieve that year.

Kellee Moye

  • Students don’t want to read books that make them feel stupid. Find really good books that are at their reading level.
  • Teachers need to be readers if they want to encourage their students to be readers.
  • Build your classroom library!
  • Set the mood and talk about books on the very first day of school.
  • Students need time to read in class, at least 20 minutes every day is best.
  • Buddy Reading – 2 kids read the same book at the same time.

Katherine Sokolowski

  • “Conversations in the classroom should be like conversations at the dinner table” – Nancie Atwell.
  • Strive to have a conference with each student at least once every two weeks.
  • Give student a hook – a question that makes them keep reading to find the answer.
  • Watch book trailers, incorporate graphic novels and audiobooks.

Colby Sharp & Author Jennifer Holm

  • Skype with authors
  • Create memorable moments for students with books and authors.
  • Connect your students through Twitter.
  • Look for authors on book tour.




One response to “Reading Engagement

  1. I really liked this session too and felt I got a lot out of it. Do you read the Nerdy Book Club blog? I love it! So positive! And holy cow, Lindsey, look at all these tags!! Nice work! I am going to try to work on conferencing with students in Children’s Lit next semester. Will let you know how it goes.

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