Reading this book has disrupted the way that I teach reading and zeroed in on ways that I can hopefully engage my students in reading and talking about what they read. For me, the most disruptive parts of the book would be the BHH framework and signposts.
As a ELA teacher, I have used the end of the text questions as a means of guiding what I teach for years. Instead, I think that I'll let students lead the discussion by using the questions presented in the book (i.e. "What surprised you?" "What did the author think I already knew?" "What changed, challenged, or confirmed your thinking?" and "How has this short story, article, book, etc. given me an opportunity to change and improve who I am? How has this book disrupted, if only slightly, my conception of myself and my thinking about the world?")
Instead, I think that I will use the end of the text questions as a teacher's guide and connection to items my students need to think about as readers and the problems that they might encounter as readers. For example, I just read a selection called "What of this Goldfish, Would You Wish?" and at the end of the story I predict my students will be confused as they try to understand the ending. One of the questions talks about the end and how it is a "flash forward." If my students question the ending - then, we can look at that question's information and see if it helps them understand the ending as well as clues in the author's wording which reveal how the story has "flashed forward." In addition, I plan to teach, model and have my students use the annotations that Kylene suggested to her college-aged neighbor girl (pages 86 - 87).
My thinking has also been disrupted in that I realize some of my practices when teaching a whole class novel may not have been effective, and I plan to follow their guidelines (pages 144 - 146).
Lastly, my thinking has been confirmed in that I realize that I need to allot more time for SSR to help my students improve as readers. However, my thoughts are disrupted with the realization that as my students are reading - I should be using the time to conference with them about what they are reading -- something that I don't have much experience with, but I realize the importance of it -- having read the examples in the book and what I know about students and reading.
I am very grateful for having read the book, heard Heidi's reflections and discussed the many topics in the book with others. All three have me thinking about how I can improve what I do to better help my students.
Lisa, I am also very grateful for having read the book, the discussions, and listening to Heidi's reflections. I also love the slide show she posted in week 10. I will definitely be using those to disrupt my thinking in the classroom.
I love that you've identified ways to use the framework with your own practices. I hope I can find ways to integrate the framework in a similar way this school year!
Agreed. I am teaching a fair number of ESl high schoolers this coming year, mainly Somali kids but others as well. The slide presentations have given me some useful, tangible ideas for my students to anchor their thoughts.
Your post made me smile because my boyfriend teaches ESL and I showed him the section on the guided questions that you mention. He is thinking of making those into some sort of bookmark as well to help his students guide their own thinking while reading.
Love your boyfriend's idea of the bookmark! I may just have to steal that idea : ) Thanks for sharing!
I was thinking the same, Jennie! Thank you for the idea, Lisa!
And, Jennie, he will share the bookmark with you and you will, of course, share with me! ;)
Lisa, I like how you applied what we've learned to a text you already use in your class. I also have been challenged to increase the amount of time that my students are reading! I loved the idea of "focused silent reading" because there definitely has to be a balance between never having kids read and just sending them off to look at books with no accountability.
Thanks, Angela - yes, I am excited to see how focused silent reading works! I just got a copy of a Harvey Daniel's book about mini-lessons with literature circles, and I am hoping maybe a couple of those will apply to mini-lessons for FSR. And, I agree - FSR has to be a balance!
I agree; I don't want students to do much because then we take away the pleasure aspects of reading, but it is important to hold them accountable for reflecting on their books and thinking about how they "disrupted" their own thinking.
Thank you Lisa. I had some of the same realizations as I read this as well. This book really got me to disrupt my own thinking.
I can't believe it has already been 10 weeks. I have learned so much from this class and can't wait to implement it in my classroom. Some of the things I will focus on is the BHH bookmarks, prompts for post it notes and trying to use more dialogic questions. I want to disrupt my way of having kids always associated with a reading level or assigned book. I value reading both out loud and silent reading. It is important for my students to choose books they want to read not just be assigned. As they read we all need to think how did this book change my thinking? How did I change from reading this book? I want my students and myself to respond more emotionally and intellectually from what we have read. I need to go out of my comfort zone and worry less about the tests and more about getting students to read and enjoy reading from their head and from their heart.
I loved reading this book because they gave so many examples of different age groups and different environments. I love on p. 159 where they say"America's school work; they just don't work for all kids" And that's the problem. I totally agree with them saying "A child's education is too important to leave to chance." Education is very important and I love that the way we teach reading can help disrupt students thinking and inspire change both in and out of the classroom. Asking my students questions can really help to allow them to become well rounded good productive members of society. Questions such as, "How has this book changed you? What did this make you think or feel as you were reading? These questions can all really impact my students to think of their own lives. Most of all I need to remember what they said on p.167 "You teach so much more than a standard; you teach students whom you claim as your own." That is the bigger picture I am claiming them as my own and want them to be successful and achieve their potential. I'm so thankful I took this class and look forward to continuing to disrupt my thinking and that of my students.
I agree that it was really nice to have the different grade level examples throughout the book. By reading these examples it really helped me visualize how this whole concept might play out in my own classroom. I appreciate that the examples were very 'real life' and not perfect at all times. (Like I can see some of my students saying, "I don't know I read because you said so.") The work that is done in this book is inspiring and helpful!
Angie, I am also planning to ask my students questions about how the text changed them! This is something I haven't done in the past, but I am convinced that this will help create more thoughtful readers and citizens! The BHH bookmarks are a great idea. I'm also eager to use some of these ideas in my classroom this year!
I have been teaching for 14 years and have taught A LOT of reading. I have never thought about asking them how the book changed them. I think it is possible to over-use this question, but I definitely think it could be used with my big whole-class novels. I would love to see how my students would respond to this question after reading books like Speak, A Long Way Gone, or To Kill A Mockingbird!
While thinking about some of the themes and units my grade levels uses, I, too, can't wait to ask kids how the reading has changed them. I think it will lead to some really thought-provoking and insightful conversations!!
I also never thought about asking students about how the text changed them, but I will now. It also has me thinking about the texts I use for shared texts and what I add to my classroom library. I have to read and put texts in their hands that will change them, challenge them, disturb them. I read Kylene Beers letter on her blog today in response to the events in Charlottesville and she mentioned the importance of putting books in students hands that are diverse. I think I've been doing that, but I want to do better.
I can't wait to ask the students how has this book changed them! I can honestly say I have never asked that questions, but as I reflect on the novels we read throughout the year, I can't wait to hear their answers!
Tracy, since there wasn't a reply to your comment, I would also like to hear students responses to how the book changed them with The Outsiders"! Especially with the negative connotation the title sends. In light of what is happening in our world today....it might be beneficial to give students a voice!
My biggest take-away from this class was the use of bookmarks. I took an OWP class earlier this summer and they talked a lot about using Beers and Probst's bookmark. I feel like it was a sign that I NEED to use them in my classroom!
I totally agree with you. I will also incorporate more dialogic questions as well as make sure that my students relate to the books we read on an emotional level. it has been a pleasure doing this book club with all of you.
I agree- I want to worry less about levels and more about what books kids want to read but as a middle school teacher, I will also sneak in some assigned reading. But, I plan to try to to use the BHH framework to up the level of our discussions, etc… by asking them how this reading changed them. I'm excited to see what this does for classroom conversations. Good luck this school year!
I totally agree with adding the BHH framework to my novel discussions and assignments. I have also created a reference bulletin board where many of the "images" from the book will be posted.
I also love how Beers and Probts discuss their approaches with multiple age levels. It makes the strategies so much more approachable knowing they can work with any level! It also makes vertical alignment in a district so much easier! :)
I agree with you! I'm grateful that i was able to see the BHH framework used across multiple levels. It is such a simple framework that can have such a powerful effect when all students disrupt their thinking:)
Angie -- I completely agree that we teach students and not standards. That was one of my favorite statements made in the book. Sometimes with all of the testing and data collection, we need to take a step back and disrupt our thinking. Find ways to make our classroom work for all of our kids.
I love that focus-I was really intrigued listening to a podcast (Mom and Dad are Fighting-a hilarious & insightful parenting podcast even if you don't have kids) yesterday on whether or not it is ethical to buy a house in a "better test scores" school district that "happened to be" less ethically diverse. The advisors on the podcast basically said that it is less about the test scores and more about the societal impact a family can make by choosing a more inclusive district.
Fist-pump that school is about so much more than test scores, and while not explicitly stated, I think one of the ideas promoted by our book is a theme of social justice through disruptive reading and thinking...
I wish all administrators at the local and (more importantly) the state level would realize this! I feel as though the "test" is all that seems to matter to them. Sometimes I wonder if I teaching students are just little robotic test takers. Just today my own 4th grade son said he hates ELA class. He said he likes to read and LOVES to write his own stories...but when it comes to "Author's purpose and main idea...it is SO boring" (all said while crnging). I had to agree and I spend a large portion of my day teaching just that!!
Sarah, I love that question about buying a house. You may have already listened to this, but you may want to listen to This American Life's "The Problem We All Live With." I listened to it last summer and it really left me with some major thoughts for our new school year.
I agree with you on the two important quotes you cited. "Americas schools work: they just don't work for all kids". As we begin a new school year, it is our responsibility as educators to ensure that what we do in our district, schools, and classrooms regardless of our role that we do everything in our power to make it work for all kids! They deserve it and are counting on us as experts to prepare them for the future regardless of federal, state,and local mandate that we feel may interfere with what is best for our kids.
I admittedly do not spend what some may consider ample time on test prep, and my scores are not as high as they could be, but I've decided that I cold kill their love of learning and make them hate school or I can get high enough, but not the highest scores. I have to be able to sleep at night, knowing I'm serving them for their futures, not just a test score. I'm hoping that my boss (and stakeholders) feel the same way because I know many teachers who feel extremely pressured to teach to the test. I really hope the pendulum swings back a little and this overtesting is curbed. It's not what's best for students.
I agree! I have gotten so many great ideas from this. I also think it's cool that there are so many different grade levels taking this course and we are all getting something from it!
I appreciate the focus on having students reflect on how their reading affected them, both in micro and macro ways. I think that I have an opportunity to ask them those questions about how a text (whether a book, an article, or some other form) affected them on a personal level as a science teacher. I have some students who refute various scientific theories, and I think some of the frameworks introduced and explored in Disrupting Thinking may assist me in helping them think critically about the numerous opinions they hold regarding a whole slew of topics.
I highlighted several of the quotes that you mentioned above. Education is definitely too important to leave to chance. I am so thankful that I read this book so that I can strategize my instructional practices even more!
I think the quote about teaching more than a standard because we "teach student who you claim as your own" is going to become my mantra this year. I do consider the students to be "mine" and I want to encourage them to become wonderful citizens of this world. To accomplish that, I am going to have to do more than teach to a test.
This book inspired me to take several steps in the right direction!
10 weeks with this book discussion group went by super fast! I have learned a lot from this book but the one thing that I think I will take away the most is the BHH format. I truly believe that my special education students will benefit from thinking about text in this way.
I feel very confident in how some future lessons may go because of the exposure to scenarios with various grade levels.
My thinking was disrupted when I got into the sections/discussions on silent reading & reading common books. I have always thought that I was pretty good at connecting students to great stories but I totally had to open up my mind about the way that I have been doing it. It was disruptive because I have been trained to teach it a different way.
I have definitely opened my mind to different possibilities about how to start engaging students in discussions within the classroom. I hope that my students are more conversational this year with their reading discoveries and feelings about text.
Thank you all for the discussion & support!
Jennie, thanks for your reflection! BHH was also what disrupted my thinking the most, too. I think all students would benefit from this concept and the way it is presented. I agree that all of the scenarios really helped solidify my thinking about using BHH in my classroom this year. I also hope my students will gain insight through more class discussions about text!
I am a special education teacher too. i agree with you. the BHH is so helpful for all students, and especially our students. i am looking forward to implementing this framework this school year.
I agree the BHH format will work well with special education students. Thee BHH format with the bookmark visual will be ideal for my students as they are reading.
Jennie -- while we won't get to teach together this year (boo!!!), I'm looking forward to having conversations about how we're using these new ideas in our classrooms and sharing materials. :)
The same chapters/sections you mentioned are the same ones that I also need to be more open minded about. Silent reading IS important...I'm sure none of us disagree--I just strugggle with when to fit that into a school day/year. Additionally, reading the same books is just so standard for me--I know there can be other ways for have students read literature, not all the same at the same time!
This book made me feel confident that SSR is ok to get "caught" on a walk through. I always feel judged when "they are only reading." Reading is the foundation.
When I first began reading this book, I thought a lot about the way we traditionally teach reading and how it often isn't effective at creating lifelong readers. It seems like everywhere we turn, there are new ideas for better teaching, and these ideas are often contradictory. However, I've known that there is more I can do as a teacher of literacy.
My greatest ah-ha moment in this text was reading about BHH framework in chapter 6. Instead of simply stating that we need to get kids applying the text to their lives, this and the following chapters, we were given practical ways to get students thinking about what is in the text, what is in their head, and what is in their heart. By asking questions such as "What changed, challenged, or confirmed my thinking?", we are asking students to look beyond the text in a way that is understandable and effective.
It seems to me that most lifelong readers already think in terms of BHH without ever realizing it. When I worked through the poem in chapter 7, I became aware that I was already thinking about the text in a BHH way because that was a natural result of analysis. However, for most students, this thinking does not occur naturally, so we need to provide them with the necessary tools to begin thinking in that way.
I am very excited to introduce BHH to my classroom this year!
I agree with you when you say: "It seems like everywhere we turn, there are new ideas for better teaching, and these ideas are often contradictory. However, I've known that there is more I can do as a teacher of literacy."
This is why we are doing this book group discussion right??!! I agree that the BHH framework was the biggest moment for me as well. I hope your class responds well to it because I am anxious to see how my class does in the fall.
Best of luck for a successful school year! :)
I love that you brought this all back to “This is why we do a book study, right?” – that reminds me that we’re not just random people doing some random book study. We came together because we initially found some intrigue in this text, and have spent 10 weeks (-ish) sharing and brainstorming, processing and theoretically applying what we’ve been experiencing. I’ve enjoyed seeing how everyone has interpreted and processed various points of the book and how different ideas have been sticking points with different people.
Like you - I liked how we were given practical ways to connect with what is in the text to what is in their head and their heart. Beers and Probst really made it easy to understand and how to use it with students through their examples at the different age/grade levels. In fact, their consistent modeling and use of examples made me realize that I need to do that more with my students -- I mean I give them plenty of examples, I think; however, I don't model much because I think...oh, they are high schoolers - they will "get it." If it helped me at 46, it might be just as beneficial - if not more at 15, 16 & 17.
I am excited, too, to try out BHH in my classroom! Best wishes to you as you do, too!
I agree with you. I feel like some readers naturally incorporate BHH as part of their comprehension process. however, students need to be taught this strategy. I cannot wait to see how BHH impacts my students' comprehension this school year!
I am excited as well. My only concern is getting the kids to use the BHH while using the lower leveled texts. The majority of my kiddos are reading well below grade level and reading simple sight words is a challenge. I'm going to have to work extra hard to find lower leveled, high interest books in order to implement this framework with my 3rd graders.
It is hard to believe that we have studying this book for 10 weeks! I feel as though we just started!! Where has the summer gone?
When we started this book, I remember thinking a lot about my current students. They are very much "instant gratification" kids. On page 33, it said "young readers are inclined NOT to question a text." This disrupted my thinking b/c I realized teaching today is different than when I started 14 years ago. Students are able to get answers on their phones in just seconds; so how can we expect them to take the time (and effort) needed for understanding?
I truly believed that using the bookmarks from Beers and Probst will be a game changer for my classroom. So many times I tell my students to just read and look for the "important stuff." Well, they don't know what that is. They aren't a BHH reader like I am. Using the signposts will force them to slow down AND find what is important in the text!
Great point, Tracy! Now, you have me thinking -- our students are SO tech savvy and different from the students when we started teaching (22 years ago for me) -- does that make them different readers, too?
I definitely agree that they are "'instant gratification' kids!" I am hopeful that the questions and signposts will engage our students more than they are used to doing.
There is no question that reading has changed for students. Heck, it has changed for me as an adult! I used to be able to sit and read for HOURS at a time. But, now I find myself unable to stay truly focused...I read a few chapters, but inevitably, the pull of social media is too much. I find myself checking my phone for a few minutes and then going back to reading. How much of what I read did I really comprehend? I am an accomplished reader, I can't even imagine what it is like for our students who are still learning!!
Lisa- what a great point! It stands to reason that kids are different readers now because of the influx of tech and the demands it places on students. Demands that are different than probably most of us navigated as students. Great point!
I like how you identify a major issue in our current student body - they aren't critical readers. Our building has been discussing the lack of critical thinking and reading among our students for the last few years without any real answers. I think that the BHH framework, while not perfect for my high school students, might help some of our students think more critically as they read.
I just made a critical reading poster as well! It will also be added to my reference board. I shared it with Heidi if who wants to post it. I did use an image I saw somewhere to model or create mine.
You have a very valid point Tracy. Todays students are looking for instant gratification and it totally makes sense connecting instant gratification with not feeling inclined to question a text.I also believe the bookmarks and signposts will force them to slow down and focus.
I would say many of "today's students" are looking for instant gratification. I would also add most adults they see in the world around them are looking for that same instant gratification. I am not trying to sound preachy, but after 30 years of teaching I react strongly to adults who say what "kids" or "schools" or "teachers" are failing to do when teachers are often lambasted whatever we do, schools are often considered failing even thought it is the wider society that has failed the schools, and kids, who do not put those gadgets in their own hands, are so often only emulating what they see around them.
On page 162, the authors state "Our democracy, after all, is in some sense created and maintained in language. The Constitution for instance, is expected to control and direct many of the nation's important decisions. We don't vest that power in an individual - a dictator or monarch - but rather we require an individual to swear that he or she will be bound by those words. Amending them, when it is found necessary to do so, is an arduous process, in part because as a society we respect those words and want them to govern and protect us."
I love this quote because we take reading and words for granted, especially in our educated society. I definitely need to try to summon the importance of language more in my teaching. Reading, after all, isn't always for enjoyment. Sometimes we must read and trust language because it preserves our basic philosophy as humans.
So well said Molly! We do need to "double down" on the importance of words and language. I think that with the barrage of words via texts, social media, etc.. we forget the power of words and what they mean to children and to adults. I like that this book brought that front and center! We do need it to preserve our dignity as humans!
When reading is considered in that manner, its importance becomes so clear. Words matter!
I thought the following paragraph was equally important:
"Words matter in a democracy, and thus it is vitally important that all members of society respect them and attend closely to them. We will be in jeopardy if the leaders we select use words carelessly or deceitfully, if their words or if their statements are devoid of evidence or rationality. But an educated citizenry, a populace who expects and demands clear and honest discourse, may be able to reject those you would use language to mislead, inflame, or enslave."
Sorry to get political, but in light of current events, I found that paragraph to be extremely powerful. Words matter, even seemingly simple words (like "on both sides"). I hope, and continue to trust, that our educated citizenry will demand appropriate discourse now and in the future.
A focus on the importance of language, reading, etc. is a great way to reiterate to students the how & why they need to read. It's not always for enjoyment--most reading people do through the day isn't...but a balance can be found! See you soon, Molly!
I agree, Molly. I've been looking over my new English 11 text book this week and I see it begins with the Declaration of Independence. Sounds like a good time to discuss the importance of words and the reason we need to be able to read and understand them. Thanks for the addition to my lesson plan. :-)
This also stood out to me! I was thinking about all of the fake news sites and how written word has power, whether it is true or not. Recently, though, it seems like I can't trust a lot of what I read and I love that you want to bring back the power of the written word. I think I might take on that goal, too.
Thank you so much for putting together this awesome book study/class. i ahve learned so much from each and everyone of you.
My thinking was disrupted when I was encouraged to stop and think about how the text changed me. This is something I have just started asking my students to reflect on, and it is something we will continue to explore in class. I am going to implement BHH from day one and can't wait to see where it takes us.
Tara, I agree with you. A moment that my reading was really disrupted was when I stopped and thought about how the text changed me. In the past I read for entertainment and to gain knowledge.I never really stopped to think how has this changed me.During this course I read a book someone had recommended.It was the first time I really stopped to think how the text changed me. While reading the book and after it was very insightful for me to reflect on these changes.
I told a friend that between this book study's charts and the other anchor charts we have to make for our Reading and Writing UoS this year I won't have any wall space left!
Traci-I certainly know that feeling that among the educational posters, vocabulary word walls and bookshelves, I had to start hanging things on top of windows and on the ceiling (alas, the fire marshal frowned on that). Good luck getting it all on the walls!
I always love summer since I spend so much time re-energizing myself as an educator. This book was a great summer read to excite me to go back to school. I love the idea of talking about how books change the reader. I love this idea and am already building a quick small group toolkit to introduce it right away to some of my students as we start the school year. I also am so excited to share what we've read and discussed in this book study with the 40+ teachers that i work with… I think there are many entry points for the workshop teachers that I work with. Thank you all so much!
I wish I could say the same, but this summer has been very busy with my 7 and 9 year old (and I fear the next few will also be crazy and less about me)! Every time I sat down to read, they would need my help or want me to do something with them. It's so hard to balance that sometimes, but I'm so grateful that I made the priority to get through this book and book talk because it has energized me!
I can definitely relate, Traci. Thankfully, my kids are now at ages (7, 10, 12) that they are in practices that allow me to have some time to myself once my transportation responsibilities have been fulfilled! Many mornings I read during swim team practice, which was nice. Hang in there - soon enough we'll be lamenting the fact that the kids are driving themselves around or headed to college!
I agree that there are many ways the information in the book and the BHH framework can support work in a workshop classroom. It is energizing when I keep hearing the same thinking from well known authors and educators- I feel like I'm on the right path!
Ah - so much has disrupted my thinking! I loved a lot of the same things people have mentioned - BHH, the questioning we provide students, SSR/FSR and more. As my school year is quickly approaching, I'm still trying to wrap my head around everything and figure out how to do it all while learning a new curriculum. Our district is putting Reaing Units of Study into place, but we haven't really had PD yet to learn a ton, so it's based on everything we have had time to do on our own this summer until PD next week (ha!). I'm very fortunate to have had several building colleagues in on this book study so I will have people close by to conference with myself and ponder how to use a lot of this text in my classroom.
Reading has not been my favorite thing to teach in the past because it is my weakest subject personally. I can say the last few years I've enjoyed it a lot more because I myself have been reading more for pleasure. It helps me realize how I need to foster that with my students (and my 2 kids at home in elementary school).
Let the students become empowered to share which books they are reading in a way that is motivating. Look what Heidi did for us. She had her podcasts and her visuals. I am personally glad I read the notice and note books prior to Disruptive Thinking. For me, without knowing the sign posts for close reading for fiction and nonfiction, and understanding that not all texts have all signposts is critical. I think the same will be true for BHH.
I am so looking forward to traveling the path of implementing RUOS with you! I am sure that we can use what we learned in this book study to push our students even further:)
I’m quite anxious for my classes to start this year so I can get into this before I forget it. I highlighted parts in the book that I want to go back and review and try this year. Using those concepts should be exciting. The problem I have right now is that I’ve been too busy to clear my head and figure out exactly how I want to utilize them. To that point, I’m actually going away for two days late next week so that I can focus on the first semester and wrap my head around this. It’s sort of a little planning retreat.
I’m looking at the past nine weeks from two perspectives. One is my Teen Lit class here kids pick their own books and read them. I do book clubs with that group, but after our discussions here I really think I have failed to dig deep enough into their application of what they were reading. I’m excited to bring the BHH concept into the program. My second perspective is my junior English class and the readings we do there. To make things even a bit more confusing for me right now is the fact that we are getting a new American literature series this year. At this point I’m not even sure what we will be teaching. I think my two-day retreat is going to be busy.
At any rate, I’m excited and it’s going to be fun. I have really enjoyed the reading in the book and looking over the weekly discussions. I didn’t contribute a whole lot, but that’s kind of my style. I like to sit back, observe, and snatch pieces and parts from here and there.
And so it goes…time to get rollin’ !
We'll have to talk about all of these ideas when we get back to school. See you soon, Bob!
Book club sounds like a great way to use BHH without having to reinvent your classroom! I am curious what differences you find in teaching Disruptive Thinking practices with the two different class groups. I wonder if the age of the student will change the results of the strategies.
Maybe a new program is just the twist you need to make your discoveries truly effective.
Like after reading the Notice & Note texts, I can't wait to implement some of these strategies. The BHH Framework blew my mind and I cannot wait to introduce that reading strategy to my 6th graders at the start of this year!
I was definitely challenged by their opinion of whole-class novels because I still love using a common read aloud. I know they mention the difference between read alouds and their use to develop listening skills and having kids read the same book, but regardless that section was very thought-provoking for me. I think I will continue to reread that section to wrap my mind around their opinions on the topic and to develop my own opinion and what's best for my kids!
They confirmed the importance of many things for me. I feel more confident than ever in the reason I make Silent Reading a priority in my ELA classroom. In addition, they affirmed the reason that building rapport with my kids is SO crucial throughout the year so I can make texts as relevant as possible for my students. I also am so excited to continue using dialogic questions due to the section on "The Power of Talk."
Overall, this book has disrupted some of my approaches to teaching reading and made me really think about the strategies and practices I am using. I think this book has made me excited and more confident to begin this new year!
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions - I have learned so much from all of you!! I hope everyone has a great school year!!
Isn't it great to have your ideas & the importance of silent reading solidified in this book and by two leaders in the area of reading/literacy? I always find it comforting when I learn that something that I do with students is supported by leaders in the field.
And, I am "with you" in that I think this book study has really helped me be more excited & confident in teaching reading.
Hope you have a great school year, too!
One of the most important things for me is to make what I have my students do, relevant. Some times, I need to teach to a test--it's not ideal--but at least the students know there is a reason behind it. Untimately, I try to find texts that are relevant to students. Each text won't be relevant to all students at the same time but by the end of the I hope something my students to read resonates with them!
Like many of us I suppose I always dread letting students do evaluations of me. But for the most part they have helpful (albeit occasionally painful). This is particularly true in regards to what we have read. At the end of a semester or year I have students rank the activities we did and the works we read. I have been surprised at both ends of the Like/Dislike spectrum. For me it's important that they are allowed anonymity and that we have time as a class afterwards to discuss what they said. Like I said, sometimes painful, but usually helpful.
I think it is important to do read alouds. There is a Global Read Aloud Group and you could connect with others across the world. Pam Allyn is behind this and has spoken to my Westshore Council of the importance of Read aloud.
Andrea -- I struggled with their assessment of the value of the read aloud. You said you were going to reread and think about it more. Wondering your thoughts. I hate to say this, but I'm not sure I agree with Bob and Kylene on the read aloud. I've been a middle school teacher (for 14 years) where we didn't do this, or if we did, it was on a small scale...like a chapter. Now that I'm in 5th and 6th grade, each of my 3 teachers does this at least once a year with a whole novel and I see enormous benefits. READING skills, not just listening skills.
And just like that, the summer comes to an end! It's been a couple of years since I've engaged in more than just one or two days of PD over the summer months. I enjoyed being engaged weekly and reflecting on my past classroom practices and planning for the upcoming year.
My thinking was definitely disrupted. Why had it never occurred to me to ask students how a book changed them? Why hadn't I realized that the change is what will stick with the students for years to come -- not the name of the protagonist and the setting of the story???
"What surprised you?"
"What did the author think you already knew?"
"What changed, challenged, or confirmed your thinking?"
These three questions will be the beginning of a shift in focus in my classroom.
The big 3 questions will be incorporated into my lessons, for sure. Such a quick and easy way to get a class discussion going....and make students think about the text they read.
I'm going to be incorporating these questions into my book club discussions. I'm anxious to try them out.
Bob and Meghan,
I am excited also to incorporate these three questions in to my books discussion with adult coworkers.
I wrote a note in the margin next to the example about remembering the story without the characters' names: "I love this so much...parallels knowing the context of important historical events rather than the minutiae of specific dates and minor details." I'm working on brainstorming ways to use more dialogic questioning in my classroom.
The end of this book study means the end of summer : (
Beers and Probst do an awesome job of presenting major flaws while attempting to teach students to love reading, while giving somewhat simplistic strategies to try. That's why I like this book. They aren't trying to alter curriculums or reinvent lesson plans--their ideas are just ways take things we already do and change or add to them just enough to possibly make a legit change in the classroom environment or in students' minds. The best PD is the kind where simple things can be done to make positive change--and that is what I like about this book because it does just that. My thinking about silent reading and all students reading the same book have definitely been disrupted. I am going to focus on incorporating some sort of silent reading into my Junior English classrooms. I'm also going to make more of a conscience effort to use the 3 big questions. Again, those are just another quick and easy way to take a new technique and change a class discussion.
Thanks for all of the input, insight and thoughts during this book study! Have a great school year!
I also enjoyed how 'bare bones' the frame work of BHH was so it did fit any curriculum, reading book, or grade level. Over the months I have read on these postings confident teachers of a variety of grade levels which is really inspiring to try out BHH. I too found the idea of not reading the class novel at the same time to go against what I am seeing taught in the classroom. I am going to be giving my copy of Disruptive Thinking to my LA partner so they can too see the unique strategies provided in this text.
Megan, you are so correct! This has been the best PD! As a science teacher, I was a little nervous to jump into a discussion about reading with a group of mostly english teachers. But...the book made everything seem so achievable. I am definitely going into this school year confident that I will be able to implement some new strategies that will be beneficial for my students! I can't wait to try out all of the new techniques I learned this summer!
As we wrap up this book study, I want to first remark to all of you that took your time out of the summer to network and learn together. KUDOS to all of US!
I looked back at all of my posts and the initial concerns about grades, teaching the standards, lack of motivation of students. I want to let you know that you are not alone. We have to keep talking and sharing our concerns about resources that are taking up precious dollars in our districts that are not helping students achieve. We have to not worry about stepping on others toes and stick our neck out and say things that may stir the pot. If we don't, who suffers? I will continue to use my position as an avenue to spread the word including the first step to invite you all to Kyleen and Bob's PD session at Lorain County Community College on Sept. 26th. I also invite you to join OCIRA, ILA and your local reading council. I am President of Westshore Council IRA. We need passionate folks like you to be members of these organizations to move us forward across the state. Please feel free to reach out to me at anytime, 440-324-5777 ext 1156.
With my senior class that is the most "literature"-based of my Humanities courses this fall I am going to begin with a questionnaire/interest survey. As I've said elsewhere in these posts I really need to focus on getting myself off-center. This is something I have worked on for decades. Still have a hard time if i feel like the kids are not "getting it," whatever "it" may be and whatever it means to "get" it. I think i get caught up in the notion that if we don't hit the ground 100 mph with me talking at them and giving them a mind-boggling number of "dos" and "don'ts" from th opening bell that somehow I will lose them or they will become too comfortable, or whatever. It's exhausting for me and for them... I also plan to utilize the "How did this text change you?" idea. In the class mentioned above the kids read two novels, Frankenstein and 1984 for summer reading assignments. I will start with those questions the first week. Then, after we have done some work together on the novels over the next couple of weeks I will return to that question; maybe even modify it to something like "Now that we have read AND discussed (novel) how did it change you?"
I just went to a conference that loved to use phrases cute phrases to describe when teachers are on stage (direct instruction), side stage (facilitating), and behind stage (observing). It made me laugh because I knew someone was making a name for themselves by creating catchy phrases for old ideas.
I think bringing BHH to summer reading would be an interesting challenge since the students may have done the reading months before discussion. Do students come in with a spoty memory of their summer reading? I do think you will get a great response to, 'what changed you?' since it may be the most prominent memory of their reading.
Steve -- My district is relying a lot on Lucy Calkins Reading Teacher College stuff. And although we aren't falling it word for word (we made that mistake with the very dense writing kit), we are using the framework to help guide us to a more student centered approach. It has students reading a lot more of the time and teachers conferencing about their reading during that time. I feel like some of the framework is right on with what Bob and Kylene are saying too.
I summed up my conclusions in small simple statements so I won't lose my thoughts over this year. My goals with reading have definitely changed and now even as the math teacher I will be advocating for more choice reading in my classroom.
During silent reading it would be nice to have the time to read myself though really it is an excellent time for one to one.
Students should be able to read class novels at their own pace like most natural reading occurs.
Audio books are great for decoding and learning readers voice though silent reading is still best for comprehension. Audio books also take ownership away from kids. Small group is best when working with readers.
Readers need emotional connections to care about reading. BHH helps give a framework for emotional reading without over guiding students.
Does anybody know where to get a BHH wall poster for the classroom?
There are many people sharing resources in the Facebook Disrupting Thinking group...
I feel like my biggest takeaway from Disruptive Thinking and BHH was the validation of moving away from the book's guiding questions and more towards the students' questions.
I help several teachers with literature circles, and I think that the BHH model is really helpful in fostering great thinking and discussions. Furthermore, it makes me happy to be validated in my dislike of book questions and the rote "read and answer the questions" model. Yay for everyone finding their own path!
Thanks so much Heidi for picking an awesome, easy to read and incredibly thoughtful book for our first OCTELA book study. May we do one every summer!!
I am so glad I responded to Heidi's offer in the spring to participate in this book study. This book really disrupted my thinking especially on the importance of independent reading time, student choice, and whole class novels. I have so many take always from this experience including all of the participants' comments and suggestions. This will be the first book that I use with the instructional coaches in my district. We need to collectively make a change in our district to regain students' love for reading! Thank you Heidi for organizing this opportunity.
Jackie, I think that it’s a great idea to use this with the instructional coaches. What really stands out from your reflection is your quote “We need to collectively make a change in our district to regain students' love for reading!”. We absolutely need to be strong and unanimous upholding the importance of reading. If many people are on board with the various strategies you or a team choose to implement, the support will be so much more effective. It may encourage reading across disciplines. I want to be able to encourage SSR in science just as an ELA teacher would, in an attempt to strengthen reading and to foster enthusiastic readers.
I firmly believe a love for reading is disappearing. However, I also believe a collective model for students can ignite the spark in all students. I would love for my district to this on as a united initiative on behalf of our students - everyone would win!
This book study was extremely powerful and hearing the voices of many educators thinking about their practice, asking questions and sharing answers, and sharing out practices that work for them has been motivating and thought provoking. I can only speak for the experiences I've had working in my district, but middle school literacy practices haven't really changed much from when I was a middle school student and I have been doing a lot of work to inform my practice, and now as a literacy coach, to work with fellow teachers to support them in their practices. This book confirmed my belief that time and choice is powerful for building a love of reading and stamina in our students. It confirmed for me that feedback through conferences is a powerful teaching tool, although I am still learning about conferring. The BHH framework disrupts the notion that every time my students read a text they must be questioned about specifics. Students need time to consider how their reading impacts them, how it is relevant to their learning and their lives.
Thank you Heidi, and all who participated, for your insights, questions, and ideas!
This book validated the way I teach, and, better yet, offered me fresh ideas and methods to improve my lessons. It has rejuvenated me, and I, of course, LOVE that I feel treated like a professional, earning 30 hours for this work. I would love to do this every summer and highly recommend it. With so many schools' budgets being cut, online learning communities are more important than ever. I'm super picky with my PD and never pick events to simply put in the time: this was worth my time and will help keep me from being the out of touch teacher I vowed to never be. My book is annotated like crazy; even passages I will share with my students are starred.
Here is one I intend to share with them at the beginning of the year when I introduce the reason I run my classroom the way I do, even though it is a huge adjustment:
They [texts] can [italics] be viewed as changemakers if we recognize that we read for a far more critical reason than to be able to answer someone else's questions; we read to raise our own questions. We read to explore, to wonder, to grow, to become what we did not even know we might want to be. We read to change. (161).
Teachers need to read to change, too. New perspectives motivate us.
*I intend to use the passage as an exemplar for teaching rhetoric and syntax as well.
I think it would be a useful follow-up for everyone to share a handout they have made and or found so we all don't have to start from scratch and have a bank of resources at our fingertips.
I've enjoyed learning from all of you and getting a glimpse into your styles and thoughts.
Thanks, Heidi, for facilitating this. I'm pleasantly surprised how useful these lessons are for all grades.
Miranda -- oh good idea! Although...I'm not sure I could make a lot from this book. BHH would be about it as I feel like the rest of the book was just proving some philosophies about how we teach or why/how the things we do is helpful or disruptive to our students.
This is a wonderful idea! I would love to see what everyone in this group does "in action" rather than in typed words. I'm sure it would be an unparalleled bank of resources!
I am excited to start the school year tomorrow. I am excited to use BHH framework this year, adding it to the Notice and Note framework I am already doing. What a great book that has disrupted my thinking.
I want to focus this year on the quote from page 159, "All (students) deserve language arts classes filled with purposeful writing, choice reading, and compelling talk." I have always had my students choose their own book. One of my first years of teaching, after coming our of college and being super excited about Nancy Atwell's philosophy, I started to encounter these kiddos that HATED reading - until - they found a book that they were interested in. A lot of these kiddos were labeled as struggling readers. But when putting a high interest book in their hands it was like they turned into a different reading student.
My focus is going to be the compelling conversation. This I know is what is going to disrupt their thinking and mine too (even more than it already is). I plan to include reading time into their hour class, minilessons and conversation.
Im looking forward to endless possibilities this year. Thank you Heidi for a great book study:)
I love that line from the book and I think it is a great way to sum up my teaching philosophy. I also plan to incorporate conversations in my classroom more often. Jen Seravallo's Reading Strategies book is a great resource to use whole group and in conferences to lift the level of talk in your classroom. I highly recommend you check it out if you are unfamiliar.
This book has disrupted my thinking about how I can make reading more meaningful for my students.
This book has disrupted my thinking about how I can make my teaching more interesting and effective for my students.
This book has disrupted my thinking about how I read books.
I totally agree, Debbie. We could do a lot for our kids if everyone in our building would read this and incorporate the strategies in instruction. I keep telling Katie she needs to read it! Maybe I'll suggest it to Chuck as a #growthmindset project.
Dare I say it...this book wasn't as "disruptive" as I was hoping it would be. It certainly questioned some of the things I do (like read alouds) but I didn't see a lot of recent research to support some of their opinions. The BHH was the only teaching tool. HOWEVER, I am talking to other teachers I work with about the idea of not killing reading by assigning tons of questions or a culminating project.
This book was a great read for me this summer. I feel like I have grown as a reading teacher because of it. One of the biggest ways my thinking has been disrupted is in thinking about my students as compassionate, responsive, and responsible readers. I love this school of thought and I think that if we teach kids to be all of these, our world has the potential to change. I plan to utilize the BHH Framework in my teaching this year, and I hope that in doing so I am able to awaken within my students a newfound, purposeful love of reading. I am also hopeful that conversations in my classroom will continue to evolve as the framework is used. Thanks for all the great conversations here!
While some of this book led me to question how I can better integrate reading so that I could then disrupt, other parts forced me to disrupt my own reading and the way I think about reading. It brought back good memories and some not-so-good ones, but I think ultimately I might actually be a more reflective reader. I've begun to think about how even the silliest of “cozy mystery” novels or a gripping psychological thriller have changed me; I'm not necessarily looking for life altering reads when looking for entertainment, but I have come to acknowledge that I can be “changed” in the simplest of reading. Thinking back to the experiences I have of reading children's books with my grandparents and the memories that reading the same stories evoke indicate that I have been able to connect with reading and text on an extremely personal level and as an educator I want to foster similar experiences and opportunities for my students. This book also provided good examples of various strategies, which gives me the confidence I may be able to try some of these. I’m looking forward to attempting to implement select ideas in my room this year.
My thinking has been disrupted and I cannot wait to implement some changes in my classroom!
I have learned so many new practices and strategies. I now have some new approaches that I will use to teach reading in science.
Some of my highlights:
-Focus on my student's voices.
-Readers must be able to raise questions.
-Readers must be responsive, responsible, and compassionate.
-Reading is a vehicle for change.
-The BHH framework is a valuable strategy that I can't wait to implement in my classroom.
-Innovation can be risky, but it is important.
-Evaluate best practices.
-Engage students with relevant materials.
-Provide my students with time to independently read materials of their choice.
This book has disrupted my thinking about reading. It has made me into a better teacher and I think that will allow me to better prepare my student to become more empowered, responsive, responsible, and compassionate citizens.
Although I teach primarily informational text, I enjoyed reading this book because I am reconsidering how I can help my students successfully engage in the material. I have used various methods for ensuring they've read their assignments in the past, but I really like the idea of silent reading to start each class. The kids can get on track, be ready for the lesson to come after their reading, and I can conference with a few kids during that time. It will be a learning curve, but I'm hopeful it will be a good fit for everyone. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of allowing much choice when it comes to reading, but I can encourage kids to explore personal interests in science and technology through articles in newspapers, journals, and websites. Anything to get them reading more informational text will be a win!
Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts