1st Edition

Growing Independent Learners From Literacy Standards to Stations, K-3

By Debbie Diller Copyright 2016

    Debbie Diller has revolutionized literacy instruction in countless classrooms over the years, demonstrating how to effectively use literacy workstations to engage students in critical literacy learning. In Growing Independent Learners: From Literacy Standards to Stations, K-3, she provides a comprehensive guide to help you plan instruction focused on literacy standards, organize your classroom for maximum benefit, and lead your students to independence through whole-group lessons, small-group focus, and partner learning at literacy stations. The first four chapters lay the foundation with planning, organizing, and instruction that are essential for success with literacy workstations. From creating a model classroom and developing planning tools to using anchor charts, Diller gives you creative ideas for making the most of your classroom environment to support student independence. Later chapters focus on standards-based instruction built around key reading, writing, and foundational skills as well as speaking, listening, and language standards. Each of these chapters provides the following:Detailed explanations of each standard's importance and real-world application examples Planning tools including academic vocabulary, modifiable lesson plans for whole group instruction, and suggestions for literacy workstations Mentor texts to use during whole group, small group, or stations Over 400 full-color photos demonstrating workstations in action Ways to connect lessons into other areas of daily instruction, including independent reading time, small-group instruction, and workstations ' Growing Independent Learners will help you create a vibrant classroom filled with independent learners. This book will quickly become an essential resource for any teacher who believes that all children can learn to work independently in a classroom that's well organized and mindfully planned. '

    Introduction: Growing Independence Chapter 1: Teaching in Whole Group with Standards-Focused Mini-Lessons Chapter 2: Organizing for Independence Chapter 3: Planning for Literacy Work Stations Chapter 4: Teaching with Anchor Charts from Whole Group to Stations Chapter 5: Literacy Work Stations for Reading: Literature Chapter 6: Literacy Work Stations for Reading: Informational Text Chapter 7: Literacy Work Stations for Reading: Foundational Skills Chapter 8: Literacy Work Stations for Writing Chapter 9: Literacy Work Stations for Speaking, Listening, and Language


    Debbie has been a national consultant since 2000, but still has those back to school dreams in the fall. After playing school in the basement of her childhood home in Lititz, Pennsylvania, she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Millersville University and Temple University and spent the next four decades as an educator. She's worked as a classroom teacher, migrant education teacher, Title I reading teacher, and literacy coach in Pre-K through grade 10 in diverse public school settings. Her love of teaching stems from her love of learning. I have always loved learning. Becoming a teacher was a way I could share that love of learning with children and eventually, with adults. A big part of her learning is listening to teachers and their professional development needs. When I work with teachers, I try to understand their needs by finding out what they know and listening to their questions. Then I begin where they are and work with them to help them take the next steps toward where they (and/or their school systems) want (them) to be. I believe in professional reading and professional learning communities, and support teachers in their quest to best meet the needs of all students in their classrooms. Debbie's ideas for her books also come from her work with teachers. She listens for frequently asked questions, patterns, teachers' needs, and keeps a writer's notebook to collect ideas, thoughts, and notes. Often, the old joke comes to mind: how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. That's how I write: Bit by bit, on planes, in hotel rooms, in my office on a rare day. Teachers' questions and comments spur me on through my daily, ongoing work in classrooms, which sustains my craft. Debbie's family has changed and grown in recent years. Her son, Jon, and daughter, Jessica, are both married, and she now has a granddaughter, Chloe, with another on the way. Debbie's husband, Tom, passed away in 2012.

    Sharon Bartlett reviewed Growing Independent Learners for Literacy K-3, a 2016 book by Debbie Diller, published by Stenhouse. She reports that it is an easy read full of ideas and practical solutions to the question of how to incorporate new standards into a classroom in order to help all learners to become independent. The first three chapters of the book center around developing successful minilessons, organizing the classroom and materials for success, and planning by organizing the standards that need to be taught. Subsequent chapters are devoted to in-depth explanations of how to implement literacy stations to address comprehension of literature and informational text, foundational skills, writing and speaking, listening and language. Each chapter has model lessons and independent activities to reinforce the standards being addressed. Ms. Diller also devotes time to help teachers problem solve difficulties that might arise and to find ways to dig deeper into the content being presented.