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Connecting Students and Texts

A few sites and resources to guide kids to compelling books and inviting reading journeys

As Kylene Beers so thoughtfully advocates, a kid who doesn't like reading just hasn't yet found the right book. No matter what grade level or content area we teach, our mission is to steer our students to books they cannot resist and marinate them in delicious texts to honor their questions and passions and to serve and deepen their learning. Opening up the wide, infinite world of texts to read, having resources at the ready or having a variety of "good fit - good match" texts can be challenging.  One answer for me has been to create wells of short and spirited texts connected to the topics my students learn each year.  Those of you who know me know that I am wildly passionate about engaging students in reading and writing short and spirited texts.  I have written about this often over the last twenty or so years because I have constantly witnessed the power of connecting kids to compelling, doable texts (If you want to read one of my articles about this, I would be happy to send it to you as this piece also includes a long bibliography of short and spirited texts.). A short and spirited text is one the student wants to read and can read and finish in the context of a class (or small group invitation).  This is huge for lots of kids, especially struggling learners who often are not finishing much of what they are starting and, thus, learning or reading become a negative experience for them.  

Here are some additional ways or vehicles for connecting students to texts they will want to read and be able to read:

  • When you are looking for some ways to engage your students in reading current events, try Newsela.com. This site offers a variety of news articles and offers each in different reading levels to honor the wide range of developmental levels or reading levels alive in any classroom. 
  •  Likewise, try Rewordify.com and Achieve3000.com for additional wells of differentiated texts.  

Lastly, for one of the very best blogs about connecting kids and books, you will love Carol's Corner. Dr. Carol Wilcox is one of the most brilliant and generous book gurus on Earth.  Her blog is continuously edifying, honest, and inspiring in expanding my own knowledge about books and life and in helping me find good fit books for all of my students - tall and smaller. Carol's blog can be access with the following link:  http://carolwscorner.blogspot.com.au 

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