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Friday, July 7, 2017

Tips, Tweets & Advice from Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst, Authors of Disrupting Thinking





It's been a while since my last post, but I am back. With the school year's end, there are more minutes in my day for relaxation, reflection on the year's journey, and READING (my favorite)! If you haven't read Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst, I glowingly recommend you do. 

I know...I know. I'm repeatedly recommending professional books to anyone and everyone. However, this book is now on the top of my resource pile for ALL teachers. It has genuinely disrupted and elevated my thinking, as well as caused me to further reflect on my practices as a Reading Specialist and soon-to-be Literacy Coach. 

The questioning techniques shared in the book place classroom discussions into the hands of students. Who wouldn't want a more student-centered approach to literacy? If you desire looking at teaching practices through an alternate lens and aspire to evolve your perspective on students' reading, writing and speaking habits, grab and devour your own copy! 

I love everything these authors have written. I'm quite confident you won't be disappointed. Listening to them speak a handful of times was very enlightening. They are funny, too! Below is a picture from the 2016 Illinois Reading Conference. My good friend Leah was with me in the picture. She's just as much of a die-hard fan of these two as I am! :)
Moving on. We all know there has been a shift in education since the introduction of the Common Core State Standards. The standards return the focus within the four corners of the text and away from personal connections. However, Beers and Probst view reading as a transformational experience and believe REAL reading encourages readers to be responsive, reflective and responsible. 
The authors put a strong emphasis on readers having the opportunity to respond with how they feel about a text. Try asking students, How did this reading change who you are? Have YOU ever asked your students that question? Here's my answer to that exact question (the rest of the questions and my responses are at the end of this post):
Like I said, this book has completely disrupted my thinking in a transformational way. I'm thrilled to have my thinking challenged. That's one way to grow as an educator and as a human being. Right? Before we jump into the tips, take a peek at Kylene's tweet regarding 9 research-based reasons for why reading is so important taken from p. 134 in the book.
Okay, bring on the quick tips, tweets and advice from Kylene Beers and Robert Probst:
  • Pay attention to who’s doing the talking. Teach more by talking less.
  • Value change in the classroom for both teachers and students.
  • There is value in approaching reading as a transaction.
  • Encourage and allow students to reread texts that interest them.

  • Read from the book, the head, the heart.
  • Give kids choice to empower them as readers.

  • Allow students to read the same book, but be leery of reading the book the same way.
  • Discuss books with students they haven’t read and offer strategies on the best way to do this.
  • Both teachers and parents are encouraged to talk with students about what they don’t understand.
  • Understand what non-fiction means and teach students to assess the quality of non-fiction texts.





  • You can’t improve competence unless you start with confidence.
Discover any new insights? If you are on Twitter, my all-time favorite platform for impromptu professional development, you can track down some outstanding content. 
Check out the hashtags #readDTchat and #DisruptiveThinking for details, guidance, enlightenment and differing perspectives on the book.

I am actually participating in a slow chat within the hashtag #readDTchat. New questions about the book's content will be posted each week. Participants have the full week to answer the questions, unlike the format of a quick-paced 30-60 minute chat. Below are the questions and my responses (A1: is above) to week one, if you're interested. 
Questions on Canva created by @MargaretGSimon on Twitter





One last mention: There will also be a #G2Great chat moderated by Dr. Mary Howard alongside Kylene Beers and Robert Probst regarding their book on Thursday, July 20th. Check it out! 

Happy transforming! 


THANKS FOR THE SHOUT OUT, KYLENE! 

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