1st Edition

A Year for the Books Routines and Mindsets for Creating Student Centered Reading Communities

By Katie Walther, Maria Walther Copyright 2024

    With a focus on fostering a deep love for reading and prioritizing student growth, A Year for the Books: Routines and Mindsets for Creating Student-Centered Reading Communities is a must-have for educators from kindergarten through middle school. Discover a teacher-friendly resource crafted by Katie Walther, esteemed educator, and respected veteran teacher Maria Walther that will take you behind the scenes and through the school year as they share simple, practical strategies to design learner-centered literacy experiences.

    Starting with the first few weeks of school, each chapter highlights multiple ways to embed literacy experiences across the entire year that prioritize learners and literacy. To support you in your decision making, the classroom-tested ideas in each chapter are arranged around five grounding principles:

    • Actionable strategies for launching and sustaining a vibrant reading culture
    • Clear processes to define and communicate community beliefs
    • Creative structures for establishing and maintaining reading routines
    • Innovative ideas for cultivating an inclusive reading community
    • Equitable techniques for partnering with families and caregivers

    Within each chapter you will also find nuggets of wisdom from the Walthers' collective years of teaching, practical ideas about how to keep it simple, and several book suggestions. As an added bonus, this book features companion podcasts or PDCasts where you can hear the authors tackle authentic classroom dilemmas and share their decision-making process.

    Whether you’re a novice or seasoned educator, you’ll want A Year for the Books by your side as you advocate for your student readers and promote independent reading in your classroom all year long.

    Introduction: Get Ready, Get Set… Let’s Get Started!

    Chapter 1: Make the Most of Your First Day

    Chapter 2: Follow Up During the First Few Weeks

    Chapter 3: Build on Your Foundation—First Semester

    Chapter 4: Keep the Momentum Going—After Winter Break

    Chapter 5: Think Outside the Box: Spring Toward the Finish Line


    Katie Walther loves to read! In fact, she's kept track of every book she's read since fourth grade in Aurora, Illinois. Katie enjoys sharing her passion for reading with students and teachers alike. She has taught middle school for ten years, and currently teaches seventh grade in Aurora, Colorado.

    Teacher, author, literacy consultant, and picture book enthusiast, Maria Walther taught first grade for 34 years. Currently, Maria partners with teachers in their classrooms and inspires her colleagues through engaging professional learning experiences. What educators appreciate most about Maria is her focus on joyful, realistic approaches toward classroom instruction. All of Maria's books are filled with helpful ideas for busy literacy teachers.