I believe in Proficient Reader Research

I heard Jen Serravallo speak yesterday at the 2018 VSRA conference and she shared a slide to show the conference audience what she believes in. I realized it is what I strongly believe in, too. So I sent out this tweet this morning:

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Back in 2002, I read Mosaic of Thought by Ellin Keene (Heinemann, 1997) for the first time and it changed me. It taught me to spy on myself as a reader and notice all that I do. For the first time through this lens, I realized I did lots of things well, then a 39-year old reader.

For the first time, I celebrated that I read words and visualize the images created by the words in my mind. I celebrated that at the end of a paragraph, I have wonderings. I celebrated that I could understand the words more clearly using all my own background knowledge.

And I stopped focusing on or being embarrassed for all I didn’t do well as a reader. Like seeing a new, multi-syllabic word and mispronouncing it at first. Like not sounding fluent on my first read-aloud of a text. I still fight anxiety when I read-aloud due to the forced participation and bad memories associated with round-robin reading in elementary school.  I still need to work hard to overcome my negative feelings related to poetry due to the many poems I didn’t “get” in 11th grade AP English class.

Attending the 2018 Virginia State Reading Association Conference helped me to realize that believing in Proficient Reader Research is a thing, as opposed to focusing on what isn’t being done as a reader, a deficient model.  Being a Proficient Reader is my mindset as a reading teacher. I notice ALL that my 6th grade readers do. And as Jen recommends, I start there, with what readers do and then coach them to do the next thing on the learning progression related to the skill.

Thank you, Ellin and Jen for helping me renew what I believe in at the 2018 VSRA Conference!

What do YOU believe in?

3 thoughts on “I believe in Proficient Reader Research

  1. mschiubookawrites says:

    I love everything about this slice, from your reflections from the conference to your connections/flashbacks as a learner and to your mission in the classroom today. Students are so very lucky to grow from your Proficient Reader mindset.

    Like

  2. jcareyreads says:

    We had Jennifer Serravallo work in our school for one year. It was some of the best pd I’ve w we had. She was so down to Earth and truly believed in everything you shared here.

    Like

  3. franmccrackin says:

    I believe-
    that we must be lifelong learners.
    in order to do that we must recognize what we are not good at
    as well as what we do well
    and that this humility and generosity also serve us well as teachers.
    … as your piece reveals!

    Like

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