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Readers Front and Centre: Helping All Students Engage with Complex Texts

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Quick Overview

Every teacher wants and expects their students to be reading
increasingly complex texts, yet sometimes the gap between our expectations and
our students' abilities seems wide and deep. It's tempting to look at that gap
and step in to fill it for them, but then we'd be doing most of the "heavy
lifting" - the understanding, analysis and interpretation that our students
should be learning for themselves. Readers Front and Centre is an attempt to help teachers help their students take on
identities as learners. Filled with examples of one-on-one conferences,
small groups and whole-class scenarios, this essential book provides an
accessible and inspiring model of how - and why - we need to put students at
the front and centre of our teaching.

Every teacher wants and expects his or her students to be reading increasingly complex texts, yet sometimes the gap between our expectations and our students' abilities seems wide and deep. It's tempting to look at that gap and step in to fill it for them, but then we'd be doing most of the "heavy lifting" - the understanding, analysis and interpretation that our students should be learning for themselves.

Readers Front and Centre is an attempt to help teachers help their students take on identities as learners. To start, we need to put students front and centre in our classrooms and we need to listen to them.

The first three chapters of Readers Front and Centre are about conducting reading conferences that allow us to truly teach from where our students are, first by listening to their thinking as they read and then rooting them in their own agency as learners.

The concluding three chapters of Readers Front and Centre are a guide to stepping students up from where they are so they can think more complexly in more complex texts - not because they have to, but because they can and because they want to.

The book is designed to address questions teachers commonly have about helping their students engage with complex texts. How can teachers ensure that our students are fully entering, absorbing and experiencing texts? How can we make sure they're making complex meaning independently and proficiently, as modern curricula require?

Readers Front and Centre answers these questions by framing instruction that starts with the student. You'll learn how to do the following:

  • Research and listen to your students so your teaching can be more targeted

  • Notice and name your students' thinking so they can "see" what complex thinking looks and sounds like

  • Set your students up to be problem solvers

  • Prepare your students to do increasingly complex thinking in increasingly complex texts

Filled with examples of one-on-one conferences, small groups and whole-class scenarios, this essential book provides an accessible and inspiring model of how - and why - we need to put students at the front and centre of our teaching.

  • Dorothy Barnhouse

    Dorothy Barnhouse

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Additional Information

SKU SHP4094
ISBN 9781760564094
Publish date 22/01/2018
ascd video No