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A New Page in Non- Fiction Engaging Our Students with Informational Texts Colette L. Huxford, Library Media Specialist Shenandoah High School & Middle.

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Presentation on theme: "A New Page in Non- Fiction Engaging Our Students with Informational Texts Colette L. Huxford, Library Media Specialist Shenandoah High School & Middle."— Presentation transcript:

1 A New Page in Non- Fiction Engaging Our Students with Informational Texts Colette L. Huxford, Library Media Specialist Shenandoah High School & Middle School

2 Indiana College & Career Readiness Standards RN1: Read and comprehend a variety of nonfiction independently & proficiently. RN2:Extract and construct meaning from nonfiction texts using a range of comprehension skills. RN3: Build understanding of nonfiction text, using knowledge of structural organization and author’s purpose and message. RN4: Build understanding of nonfiction texts by evaluating specific claims & synthesizing & connecting ideas.

3 The Facts Let’s be honest, many of us are not non- fiction fans. We like stories. Our students pick up on this. (The faces we make; our body language; we never recommend them, etc.) May have had some justification in the past, but things have improved. And let’s face it, Informational Text is here to stay. Actually, we need it! We need an attitude adjustment! “Your passion is contagious.” Penny Kittle

4 Rationale It’s how we learn new things: ◦Is organic farming really safer? ◦Do I want a wind turbine in my backyard? ◦What will I see in Ireland? ◦What is a Polar Vortex? ◦How do I take care of my new puppy? “We are surrounded by text whose primary purpose is to convey information about the natural or social world.” Nell Duke, The Case for Informational Text “He wanted to know, so he wanted to read.” Penny Kittle

5 Time to Share So… working on our attitude. What is the best non-fiction/informational text you have read lately? Turn to someone nearby and share. 5 volunteers to share with the group. “The number one reason kids cited for not reading more? They can’t find books they want to read.” Nancie Atwell

6 How We Can Help Nell Duke Offers 4 Specific Suggestions Increase Access Increase Time Teach Reading Strategies Authentic Purpose “Students are greedy readers when the book is just right.” Penny Kittle

7 Increasing Access

8 Where Are They Hiding? Junior Library Guild Young Hoosier Book Award Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award Read Aloud Books Scholastic Book Club Orders & Book Fairs Kirkus Reviews– free from the Pacers! Growing Minds from Baker & Taylor Follett Picks from Follett Good Reads If you seek them, they will be found! … “making sure every student has a book to take home to read is the single most important issue in our quest to develop young readers.” Kelly Gallagher

9 Accelerated Reader You either love it, or hate it. Research has shown that these tests do not necessarily improve comprehension. However it is a way to collect data & it is here to stay for many of us. So, use it! As you and your students find non-fiction books, write your own tests. Have them help you! “There is something powerful about surrounding kids with interesting books.” Kelly Gallagher

10 Book Talks One of the best ways to increase student access to books is to tell them about them! I am always surprised when all I have to do is pick a book off the shelf and start talking about it; teens grab them out of my hands. The library collection can be a big, scary place to our students. They don’t know it like we do! We are their best road map. “Some books are boring!” Donalyn Miller

11 Constructing Book Talks When I go to give Book Talks, I like to look at several things in my construction. Annotations from YHBA & Rosie. Amazon– Summaries & Reviews Book Itself. I then put all of that together and rough draft what I think I want to say. On an index card Key Words My Summary “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” Richard McKenna

12 Other Ideas to Increase Access Book Trailers- Make them yourself! Summer Blog/School Year Blog- As you read, have a page on your library’s site that students can visit. I call mine Book Talk.Book Talk. Non-Fiction Feature– Add this to your opening page. You will need to update it at least monthly if not weekly. Non-Fiction Feature “I am a reader, a flashlight-under-the-covers, carries-a-book- everywhere-I-go, don’t-look-at-my-Amazon-bill reader.” Donalyn Miller

13 So Simple, We Miss It Figure out what students are fascinated with and connect to that! ◦Heaven/Angels ◦Holocaust ◦War/Conflict ◦Tragedy/Abuse/Abductions ◦Animals Which leads us to…. “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” Atwood H. Townsend

14 Book Connections: Pair Fiction w/Non-Fiction Hook ‘em w/what they want-Fiction- then show them something to continue the discovery! Think of popular titles, then find a way to give them more! “Teenagers want to read- if we let them.” Penny Kittle

15 Connections Shine- Lauren Myracle October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard- Leslea Newman An article on Matthew Shepard. “Teachers must create a love for books that will drive students to reach for them every school year.” Penny Kittle

16 Connections Between Shades of Gray- Ruta Sepetys Surviving the Angel of Death- Eva Kor Nazi Hunters- Neal Bascomb “One of the great things about books is that each reader brings a unique set of experiences to reading that impacts the way we think bout the book.” Penny Kittle

17 Connections Everybody Sees The Ants- A.S. King Dear Bully- Megan Hall & Carrie Jones Please Stop Laughing At Me- Jodee Blanco “I believe once we love books, it lasts. And once we know love, we pass it on.” Penny Kittle

18 Connections Freaks Like Us- Susan Vaught Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood- Jennifer Traig “I want every student to sit with a book and expect good things.” Penny Kittle

19 Connections A Wreath for Emmett Till- Marilyn Nelson Simeon’s Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till- Simeon Wright “We can’t wait for someone else to teach out students to love books. We are the miracle workers. Teaching is still about hope and when we lose sight of that… we should walk away.” Penny Kittle

20 Connections Hurricane Song- Paul Volponi Hurricane Season: A Coach, His Team, and Their Triumph in the Time of Katrina- Neal Thompson The Hurricanes: One High School Team’s Homecoming After Katrina- Jere Longman “Students must believe that they can read and that reading is worth learning how to do well.” Donalyn Miller

21 Connections Refugees- Catherine Stine Kabul Beauty School- Deborah Rodriquez Kids of Kabul:Living Bravely Through a Never-Ending War- Deborah Ellis “Students need the wisdom of books now more than ever.” Kelly Gallagher

22 Be A Resource Be a resource for your teachers. You can create these things! ◦Brilliant Biographies ListBrilliant Biographies List ◦Notable or Noteworthy Non-Fiction ListNotable or Noteworthy Non-Fiction List ◦Career & College Ready Standards & Non- Fiction BrochuresCareer & College Ready Standards & Non- Fiction Brochures “I must believe that my students are readers– or will be readers– so that they can believe it.” Donalyn Miller

23 Increasing Time

24 Time & Test Scores!!! “Research shows that the highest achieving students are those who devote leisure time to reading… Recently, the largest-ever international study of reading found that the single most important predictor of academic success is the amount of time children spend reading books, more important even than economic or social status. And one of the few predictors of high achievement in math and science is the amount of time children devote to pleasure reading.” (p130) Nancie Atwell The Reading Zone “Anyone’s achievement, male or female, is driven by interest.” Nancie Atwell

25 More Evidence “Every measure that looks at pleasure reading and its effects on student performance on standardized tests of reading ability– and science and math– tells us the major predictor of academic success is the amount of time that a student spends reading.” (p.107) Nancie Atwell, The Reading Zone “Students who read the most for fun scored the highest on standardized reading tests.” (p 35) Kelly Gallagher, Readicide “… the enthusiasm of a trusted adult can make the difference.” Margaret Meek

26 Never Enough Time For many students the only time they read is in school. (How Sad!!) This time is shrinking and shrinking as we focus on more and more test prep. Study after study shows SSR- Silent Sustained Reading- and FVR- Free Voluntary Reading work. Our schools have to turn in a school improvement plan every year. Get on that committee and suggest adding reading time. Then get ready to defend it!! If you don’t ask, you will never receive! …”any place can be the right place for reading.” Donalyn Miller

27 Stolen Moments Donalyn Miller is a big proponent of stealing time to read. And she’s right! Think about all the time we waste: taking attendance library time standing in line– lunch, pictures 5 minutes/2 minutes at end of hour as a bell ringer Good readers do this; we do this; let’s explicitly teach our students to do this!! “Readers steal time to read.” Donalyn Miller

28 More Ways to Save Time: Excerpts Does not always have to be a whole book! Internet articles, magazine articles, chapters, blogs. Our tests are usually short articles. Great for Excerpts: Beyond Courage, Paths to Peace, 50 American Heroes, Girls Like Us, That Mad Game. A list of these in your packet. Have students practice reading these and responding to them in writing. …”the more time students spend reading each day, the more ingrained it becomes as a daily habit.” Donalyn Miller

29 Dear Bully Activity For the past two years, I have had my Library Media students read “Slivers of Purple Paper” from Dear Bully. The Story– The impact of words. They write about it. Then we do it!write Chinese Take Out Boxes & Colored Slips of Paper. ◦2 comments per person. ◦Anonymous ◦Be Kind! My 2 nd year students get all excited. Comments like, “I pulled mine out from last year just last week!” “What the reader brings to the page is often more important than the ability to read the words on the page.” Kelly Gallagher

30 Chapters Current Controversies, At Issue, Opposing Viewpoints Series– a list of what I brought today. Think of topics that get our students’ attention or tie in to the curriculum they are studying. Once again, have students respond in writing. More on this later. “Outside of school we never read without a purpose or a reason.” Sunday Cummins

31 Teaching Reading Strategies

32 Reading Strategies Part of the reason why students don’t like non-fiction texts is because they don’t know how to read them. Let’s explore some strategies that could help with that. “Students feel more empowered when they know more about what the text will be about…” Sunday Cummins

33 Writing About Reading “Writing about what we have just read is a powerful tool for deepening our understanding of a text.” (p. 33) Sunday Cummins, Close Reading of Informational Text. “Students too frequently write mindlessly about what they have read, just simply regurgitating the same words used in the text.” (p.33) “Reading is in harm’s way and needs a heroine.” Terri Lesesne

34 Writing to Deeper Meaning I love to have my students write about what they read. Maybe it’s because that is how I make sense of things, but I think it can help our students too. Read, Close & Write Writing About Reading Response Prompts Collin’s Type 1 & Type 2 writings Feature these on the library’s webpage Check It Out! Check It Out! “Writing about what we have just read is a powerful tool for deepening our understanding of a text.” Sunday Cummins

35 Text Structure If I understand the structure of the book, my expectations are set, and it helps me know how to read the book. Most of us are strong readers, so this may be something we do without realizing what we are doing. We need to investigate these structures and be deliberate about helping our students learn to do this. Teach students to ask this question. How is this book set-up? Understand authors often use more than 1 type of structure in a text. “Reading makes everything easier.” Penny Kittle

36 Text Structure Application We take the time and find ways to teach these formats. Then to make these immediate & easily accessible to our students, we can create something like this: a text structure bookmark. I like bookmarks. Students never have enough. It’s small. It’s in their hands. It’s relatively cheap to produce! …”it is a moral imperative that we provide a setting in which tons of reading occurs.” Kelly Gallagher

37 Text Features These are so easy to gloss over, but we shouldn’t! Charts, maps, tables, graphs, photos, timelines, captions, boxed comments. You can learn a lot just from these. And it is an excellent way to teach our students how to preview, predict & set purpose. Reference Lesson I do with my Library Media Students. Bookmark “Too many students feel reading is hopeless (although they call it boring), and we’ve given them no reason to think otherwise.” Penny Kittle

38 Authentic Purpose

39 Finding Purpose We need to give our students reasons to read. We do better when we have a reason for reading. We don’t usually even pick up a book unless we have a purpose. Today, even, you read informational text before you came, the program, to decide if you wanted to attend. “Authentic interest is generated when students are given the opportunity to delve deeply into an interesting idea.” Kelly Gallagher

40 Why? Why? Why? Fiction is easy- pleasure, escape, entertainment. Non-fiction/Informational Text– often we are looking to learn, to find information. Let’s be blunt and point this out to students. Beginning a new unit is a perfect time to help create a reason, a purpose. …”our students are in desperate need of large doses of authentic reading– the kinds of reading we, as adults, do in newspapers, magazines, blogs, and website.” Kelly Gallagher

41 Setting Expectations This is also called Previewing or Framing. There are things we do without thinking. We need to make these explicit for our students. For example, when we begin a new book, we usually set up our expectations. We examine the cover, the title, the book jacket, the CIP. Preview & Predict Bookmark “If we want kids to become better readers, they have to read a lot more than they are currently reading.” Kelly Gallagher

42 What’s Next? “Read it yourself! If you get excited, you students will catch it!” Colette Huxford

43 Closing Quotes “Never lose sight that our highest priority is to raise students who become lifelong readers. What our students read in school is important; what they read the rest of their lives is more important.” Kelly Gallagher “We must connect students to books that force them to pay attention, to think and wonder, to imagine and believe, and then to read for the rest of their lives.” Penny Kittle Greatest compliment we could ever hear… “You suggested it, so I am [reading it].” A student’s comment to Penny Kittle.


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