Why Blog

I’m passionate about finding ways to simplify comprehension instruction and learning. I’m concerned that we are defining comprehension too narrowly as an accumulation of five or six meta-cognitive strategies when cultivating comprehension involves so much more than that. We need to help children acquire accurate fluent reading skills and strategies; build background knowledge; develop their oral language and vocabulary; make reading-writing connections, and acquire a repertoire of meta-cognitive strategies to use as and if needed.

So I invite you to join me in blogging about this ever-so-important topic. I look forward to hearing your ideas, teaching strategies, book recommendations, classroom stories, etc., basically anything that will inspire a healthy conversation among colleagues.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Fork in the Road...

As I read your comments regarding short and sweet chapter books, I see a need to divide this category into two. The first for younger elementary-grade readers and the second for older elementary-grade readers. You'll find these two categories listed separately along the right-hand column of this blog. Thanks for your suggestions. I plan to enter a few of my own this coming week.


  1. Hi Sharon,
    I am going to try this in class and let you know how it goes.. but I will aready feel successful if this blog/comment goes through :)

  2. Hi Sharon,
    I'm so glad that I found your blog. I teach gifted students grades K-5, and I am forever searching for "appropriate" books - in both reading level and themes. I love your list - I was wondering if it might be possible to add a more specific reading level to your list (that would be so helpful). I plan to add your blog as a link to mine. (I already have some books posted on my blog that help to teach students social skills.) Thanks again!

  3. hi cindy (kruse), i hear you...about more specific levels being helpful. however, i'm going to try to steer clear of including levels for now. while levels are helpful in one sense (and i'm not at all discounting their appeal and how they can help us in our too-much-to-do classrooms), they can also distract teachers from examining books and getting to know them for how they scaffold readers and appeal to their interests. that and the fact that books in our recommended book list are likely to be used in different ways, i.e., read aloud, independent reading, literature circles. i hope you understand...and what i plan to do instead (when i get the time) is include amazon links to the titles to give teachers a better sense of what the books are about and who they might best be for.

    And now a question for you: what's the name of your blog? sounds interesting and like one i'd like to visit. thanks.