1st Edition

Why Do I Have to Read This? Literacy Strategies to Engage Our Most Reluctant Students

By Cris Tovani Copyright 2020

    Why do I have to read this?- What teacher doesn't dread this question? It usually comes from our most disengaged students; a student who cries of boredom, or one who is angry or apathetic. When we don't know what else to try, it's easy to become frustrated and give up on these challenging learners. Author Cris Tovani has spent her career figuring out how to entice challenging students back into the process of learning. Why Do I Have to Read This?: Literacy Strategies to Engage our Most Reluctant Students Tovani shares her best secrets, lessons learned from big fails, and her most effective literacy and planning strategies that hook these hard to get learners. You will meet many of Tovani's students inside this book. As she describes some of her favorites, you may even recognize a few of your own. You will laugh at her stories and take comfort in her easily adaptable strategies that help students remove their masks of disengagement. She shows teachers how to plan by anticipating students' needs. Her curriculum you anticipate structures of Topic, Task, Targets, Text, Tend to me, and Time will help you anticipate your curriculum. Inside Why Do I Have to Read This? readers will find: Literacy strategies for all content areas that support and engage a wide range of learners so they can read and write a variety of complex text. Reference charts packed with small bites of instructional shifts that coaches and teachers can use to quickly adjust instruction to re-engage students. Planning strategies that show teachers how to connect day-to-day instruction so that no day lives in isolation. Versatile think sheets that are reproducible and adaptable to different grade levels, content areas, and disciplines. Above all, Tovani gives teachers energy to get back into the classroom and face students who wear masks of disengagement. She reminds us of the importance of connecting students to compelling topics, rich text, useful targets, and worthy tasks. Teachers must tend to students' basic needs and helps us consider how to best structure instructional time. After reading this book, teachers will have new ways to connect with students in a deep, authentic way. Written in a humorous, compassionate, and wise voice, Why Do I Have to Read This? will provide answers to the pressing questions we have when we try to teach and reach all of our students.

    Chapter 1: I Hate School and I'm Not Wild About You Either; Chapter 2: Wedgies, Drunken Bears, and the Stress of Shortsighted Planning; Chapter 3: The Masks of Anger and Apathy; Chapter 4: The Mask of the Class Clown; Chapter 5: The Mask of Minimal Effort; Chapter 6: The Mask of Invisibility; Chapter 7: When You Care, You Fall More


    Cris loves studying the "knowing-doing" gap by investigating how to implement best practice research with 125+ students. Throughout her career, she has tried to take reading and writing research and apply it to all kinds of learning situations. She believes it is important to share with colleagues her successes as well as her failures to highlight how incredibly complex teaching is.

    For the past 34 years, Cris has taught grades one through twelve. In addition to being a classroom teacher, she’s had the privileged of working with preservice and secondary teachers. She served several years as an adjust professor at the University of Colorado at Denver and the Denver University.

    Cris provides workshops on disciplinary literacy as well as assessment for learning. Her focus is modeling how to integrate literacy strategies into lessons so students can be better readers and writers of disciplinary text. Her favorite days are the ones when she gets to plan with teachers and then work in classrooms with students. Cris strives to “walk the talk” as she models for teachers how to plan for engagement and execute instruction so that students get to read, write, and discuss for more minutes of the class period than their teacher talks.

    Cris’ new book is titled, Why Do I Have to Read This? Literacy Strategies to Engage Our Most Reluctant Students. Other books she has written are: I Read it but I Don’t Get It, Do I Really Haveto Teach Reading? So, What do They Really Know? And No More Telling as Teaching: Less Lecture, More Engaged Learning.