Adventures in Literacy Land: From Striving to Thriving

Showing posts with label From Striving to Thriving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label From Striving to Thriving. Show all posts

From Striving to Thriving: Synopsis and Supplemental Materials

Reading the book, From Striving to Thriving, is full of thoughtfull ideas and tips that are grounded in research.   My highlighter was smoking and my pen marked up the margins like crazy. Was this just me?  I think the most common notation I made was, “YASSS!” Maybe not the most grammatically correct, but I sure did enjoy the reaffirmations I had page after page while reading this book.


From Striving to Thriving: Advocate Tirelessly

Literacy instruction can take on many different forms.  Some of these may be rooted in sound practices and some...well...not so much.  As educators, we know that all students deserve teachers that are working to use best practice.  We also know (with the help of these authors) that striving readers deserve more than mandated, unsound programs and a lack of high interest books.  But how do we support change in our classrooms, schools, or districts?
Ideas to help you advocate for striving readers every day
By definition, advocate means to publicly recommend or support a cause.  This can be very scary if you feel isolated or lonely.  Stephanie and Annie recommend that we be literacy upstanders, that we collect, analyze, and share data, and that we keep going and growing.  Let's dive just a bit deeper into each of these suggestions.

From Striving to Thriving ch 7 - Assessments

I've found that there are usually two mindsets teachers have about reading assessments. The first is that while these assessments are necessary, they take away from instructional time and do not give any new information about the student. This is the, "I could have told you that!" thinking.

The second mindset thinks of assessments as providing guidance for instruction. Assessments should be formative, not summative, and provide information to help that helps us move out students forwards. This is the assessment mindset that most benefits our striving readers. We need all the information we can get to help them be successful and in this chapter, Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward provide us with a different - broader way - of thinking about assessments.

From Striving to Thriving: Chapter 6

“We want all of our kids to become confident, thinking-intensive readers who build knowledge as they go.”  

This quote is a great summary of Chapter 6.  The focus of Chapter 6 is built around eight action steps to building thinking skills in all students.

1)  Teach comprehension strategies explicitily.
2)  Teach with the Gradual Release of Responsibility framework
3)  Use interactive read-alouds
4)  Build fluency, comprehension, and confidence
5)  Attend to signposts: text features, graphic features, and signal words and phrases
6)  Teach with images, videos, graphics, and artifacts
7)  Engage kids in temporary, flexible, needs-based small group instruction and small- group work.
8)  Share pathways to understanding through digital reading, listening, and viewing.

For this blog post, I really want to focus on teaching comprehension explicitly and using interactive read-alouds.  


From Striving to Thriving: Book Match Relentlessly!

You've seen those students in your classroom - the ones who roam around looking for the "perfect book" to read. They pick up the ones that everyone else is reading, but you know they can't read them. Then they get frustrated because they just can't seem to find a good fit book. Anger sets in because they know they can't read and do what everyone else is doing. What do you do?
For some readers, we have to work extra hard to find the books they want to read. Book Matching must happen throughout the school year to help those striving readers become thriving readers!
Now that we have gained trust with our students, it's time to teach them how to find and enjoy reading at a whole new level! Though this chapter seemed like a "no-brainer" for me, I realized I had been book matching all wrong. Find out the BEST ways to get the right books in your students' hands!



Volume reading builds background knowledge, increases vocabulary, improves writing, and develops empathy.  Voluminous, engaged reading is the best intervention for struggling, striving readers. Join us as we discuss Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward's book, From Striving to Thriving.
"The best intervention is a good book."

Volume reading is crucial to transforming striving readers into thriving readers, say Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward. They believe that voluminous, pleasurable reading is the key to literacy development. In this post we'll look at Chapter Four, "Pump Up the Reading Volume." The authors discuss how voluminous reading changes lives, reasons to add more reading to our day, how to build in more reading time, and review the research.

From Striving to Thriving: Ensuring Access to and Choice of Books

From Striving to Thriving: Ensure Access to and Choice of Books - Explore ways to build a comprehensive classroom library while providing students with choice and ample access to books.

Raise your hand if you have ever had a student say to you, "I hate reading." Most likely, every single one of us has had this heartbreaking experience with a student. But according to James Patterson in the following quote and the authors in Chapter Three, these students have just not yet found the right books. It is our responsibility as educators to provide all of our students with access to and choice of books, which is the focus of this chapter. 


Curiosity matters.

This simple statement by Harvey and Ward is the focus of Chapter 2 in From Striving to Thriving.  The authors believe that questioning is the strategy that moves learners forward, especially striving readers, and that it is our job as teachers to convince them that we value their inquiries.

Explore Chapter 2 of From Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.

From Striving to Thriving: Table the Labels

What an amazing chapter! Chapter one jumps right in with recommendations for making classroom reading instruction lively, meaningful, and fun. Check out this post for information on what you can do to make reading great for your students.
Not all intervention programs are equal! There! We said it! In the opening of chapter one, Harvey and Ward describe a beautiful classroom scenario where Anthony makes the connection that "Reading is thinking!"  In that classroom, there are great things happening. Students are turning and talking, jotting thoughts, questions, and new learning on sticky notes, getting to know each other as readers, conferring with their teachers, and reading books that they are totally engaged in. Anthony's realization that reading is thinking goes beyond calling out the words and shows he's connected the importance of comprehension. 

In this post, we'll look at intervention programs and ideas to help make the most of classroom reading instruction. 


From Striving to Thriving: The Introduction

In this post, we begin our book study of From Striving to Thriving. We explore reading behaviors, current practices, and assessment before digging into new ideas.

When you think about readers in your classroom, what do you see? What are successful readers doing? How do they demonstrate they are reading? In the coming weeks, eight of our bloggers will help readers delve into these topics and the teaching tips offered through the book, From Striving to Thriving: Growing Confident, Capable Readers.

In this post, we'll be taking a look at the introduction (a chapter all by itself) . The authors of From Striving to Thriving, Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward, have coined the terms striving readers and thriving readers to describe our students, and in the introduction, they explain why they have chosen to abandon the term strugging reader for the preferred term, striving reader. So let's begin by looking at the difference.