We are both home after a joyful trip to San Antonio where we facilitated an institute and a session, attended several sessions, scouted the exhibit hall, and biked through the city. After presenting and attending, we found ourselves saying, “Everyone is basically saying the same thing, including us.” So, here are the Top 10 themes, and related questions, that emerged at the 2013 International Reading Association Convention.
10. The texts we select for our instruction are of critical importance. How do we find them?
9. We need to scaffold students less and let students do more of the work. What does this really look like?
8. It is okay to let students struggle … some. How much is too much and how much is not enough?
7. Non-fiction is still king. Where do we get good non-fiction and what do we do with it once we find it?
6. Whole group instruction is critical. How do we take care of individual learners when we are teaching in whole group?
5. Fluency. Fluency. Fluency. What is the relationship between close readings, rereading, and fluency?
4. Kids won’t make progress if they aren’t motivated. How do we motivate students to read? (Hint: Pick great books.)
3. Students need to learn to stick with things and work harder, i.e. they need to develop stamina. How do we help kids learn stick-to-it-iveness?
2. Quality instruction is the key to helping kids become better readers and writers. What are you doing to improve your craft?
1. The best readers and writers are the ones who have had the most practice. How much time do your students spend actually reading and writing?