Recently, we met with an inspiring group of high school teachers to learn together about ways to increase the volume of reading in ELA classrooms. We started the day in one of our favourite ways with a read aloud from a picture book and a quick write. To make our learning visible, we then responded to the Compass Points questions and discussed/read some current research regarding the importance of reading in the high school classroom.
Next, we delved into some professional reading on increasing the volume of reading and reflected on our own reading identities and practices. We explored the resource, “Teaching Reading With YA Literature” by Jennifer Buehler and pushed our thinking around three main ideas: Classrooms That Cultivate A Reading Community, Teachers As Expert Match Makers and, Reading Tasks That Foster Complexity, Agency and Autonomy. Following that, we looked deeper into conferring with individuals and groups through discussions and watching videos. We also looked into the classroom conditions that were necessary to support reading and talking about reading with students. We ended with reading like a writer by co-constructing criteria after delving into real-world mentor texts then coming back to our compass points activity to show the learning that had occurred throughout the day. We celebrated our learning by giving each teacher a stack of brand new novels to share with their students and to add to their classroom libraries.