1st Edition

Engaging Literate Minds Developing Children’s Social, Emotional, and Intellectual Lives, K–3

    Increasingly, educators are recognizing that for children to thrive intellectually they need socially and emotionally healthy classrooms. Conveniently, this is exactly what parents have always wanted for their children's classrooms that offer and grow positive relationships and behavior, emotional self-regulation, and a sense of well-being. Using the guiding principles from Peter Johnston's best-selling professional resources, Choice Words and Opening Minds,Peter and six colleagues began a journey to create just such classrooms'senvironments in which children meaningfully engage with each other through reading, writing, making, and discussing books. Together, they bring you Engaging Literate Minds: Developing Children's Social, Emotional, and Intellectual Lives, K-3 where you'll discover how these teachers struggled and succeeded in building such classrooms. Inside you'll find the following:

    • Practical ways to develop a caring learning community and children's socio-emotional competence
    • Powerful teaching practices from real classrooms
    • Engaging ways to encourage inquiry and student agency
    • Suggestions on how to use formative assessment in everyday teaching practices
    • Helpful research behind the classroom practices and children's development
    • Ways to help students inspire and support each other
    Building a just, caring, literate society has never been more important than it is today. By embracing the ideas and teaching strategies Engaging Literate Minds, you can help children to become socially, emotionally, and intellectually healthy. Not only do these classroom practices develop the skills to achieve district benchmarks and beyond, they help develop children's humanity.

    Chapter 1: A Foundation; Chapter 2: Making Books from the Start; Chapter 3: We're All Teachers Here: Distributing Teaching and Learning; Chapter 4: A Slice of Classroom Life; Chapter 5: Interlude: Literate and Human Development—The Case of Executive Function; Chapter 6: Dialogue: Engaging Others' Perspectives; Chapter 7: Building Knowledge Together; Chapter 8: A Peaceful, Caring Community; Chapter 9: Taking Action; Chapter 10: Inquiries; Chapter 11: Learning to Love Words; Chapter 12: Helping Children Put Their Best Foot Forward; Chapter 13: Teaching Structures and Tools; Chapter 14: Assessment: Understanding and Documenting Development; Chapter 15: Assessment in Grades Two and Three; Chapter 16: Apprenticing Humanity


    Peter H. Johnston (Ph.D. University of Illinois) is Professor of Education and Chair of the Reading Department at State University of New York at Albany. His position as an advocate for teachers and children developed from his early career teaching primary school in his native New Zealand. He is a recipient of the Albert J. Harris Award for his contribution to the understanding of reading disability and was chair of the IRA/NCTE Joint Task Force on Assessment. His many publications include Knowing Literacy: Constructive Literacy Assessment (Stenhouse 1997) and Running Records: A Self-Tutoring Guide (Stenhouse 2000). Peter’s continuing interest is in literacy assessment as it relates to democratic society. Without a doubt, KATHY CHAMPEAU loves being a teacher. Starting out forty years ago as a first-grade teacher, it was apparent that she had a lot to learn about helping her students become literate. This insatiable quest to learn drove her to become a Title I reading teacher, reading specialist, adjunct instructor at University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, and a past president of the Wisconsin State Reading Association, where she has been acknowledged for her contributions to literacy in the state. Kathy served on Governor Walker’s Read to Lead Task Force and is a Herb Kohl Teaching Fellow recipient. As a consultant learning alongside students, teachers, and literacy researchers, she is a strong advocate for teachers as thinking professionals and values how the research and practitioner worlds need to be inextricably connected in intellectually stimulating ways. She presents locally, nationally, and internationally on the lessons learned through this journey. ANDREA HARTWIG earned her undergraduate teaching degree from St. Norbert College and her master’s degree in reading from Alverno College. She has spent ten years teaching first and second grade in southeastern Wisconsin. Andrea enjoys traveling; she lived with her family in Galway, Ireland, for a year when she was in elementary school and spent her preservice teaching period in Accra, Ghana. Andrea currently lives in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, with her husband, Brian, who is also an educator, and their two young daughters. SARAH HELMER earned her teaching degree from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and has taught kindergarten and first- and second-grade multiage classes in southeastern Wisconsin. Although she has written many books in writers’ workshop, this is Sarah’s first time being published. Her passion for emergent literacy and what is possible for our youngest learners has truly been nurtured by her collaborative partnership with these teachers, whom she is proud to call her mentors, colleagues, and friends. MERRY KOMAR was born and raised in Hawaii where she began her teaching career and received her master’s degree. As a teacher there, she had extensive literacy training as a participant in the Kamehameha Elementary Education Program (KEEP) for at-risk students, which included strategies for effective language instruction with a focus on writing as well as classroom management and organization. She was selected to be part of the KEEP Demonstration Classroom Project, which required careful monitoring of instruction and student progress using portfolio assessments. Growing up with parents who were educators coupled with a passion for working with children, TARA KRUEGER always knew she wanted to be a teacher. Her teaching journey began at the University of Minnesota where she received a master of education degree. She began her teaching career as a Title I reading and math interventionist at a K–8 school in Milwaukee. Working with mostly English language learners, Tara was able to utilize her Spanish skills to support student learning and continue to develop her passion for education. An avid equestrian, wife, and mother of two, LAURIE MCCARTHY received her undergraduate early childhood degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and master’s degree in critical literacy from Carroll University. For the past fifteen years, she has worked as a multiage first- and second or second- and third-grade teacher in the Muskego-Norway School District.