My flex day learning began by reading Becoming a Literacy Leader: Supporing Learning and Change by Jennifer Allen. In this book, she outlines effective ways that literacy leaders can utilize volunteer book study groups to foster real conversations and change in a school. It just so happened that after reading Jennifer Allen’s book, I was introduced to Debbie Miller’s No More Indpendent Reading Without Support. It is a short 70 page book that dives into what research shows as the best practices for encouraging independent reading, how teachers can monitor that “real” reading is happening, and the importance of balancing guided reading, when needed, and conferring. Balanced Literacy has been a focus for Westview this year so I created a voluntary book study group and we spent two sessions after school discussing and reflecting on Debbie Miller’s book. The 12 participants shared how they manage the literacy block in their classroom as well as conferring record sheets.
Amy Olinger, Westview Elementary, Literacy Coach
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