Thursday, April 13, 2017

disrupting thinking: bhh framework

I just got through the second part of Disrupting Thinking - all about their BHH framework and I'm so excited to share it with you! (Check out part one of my review here.)

But first, something I loved, something I'm taking to heart. (I'm practicing the strategy!)

I really appreciate the teacher researchers, Kyleen Beers and Bob Probst who came up with this strategy and are sharing it with all of us in their new book for a multitude of reasons, but first because they are vulnerable and funny, and it's so refreshing. As they began to share the story of how their BHH framework came to be, they talked about the first instances when they tried - and failed - at it with students. On page 62, they shared how their first lessons went with kids, and how they didn't work.

This was so refreshing to me because it's so teaching. You have this idea, and you want to experiment. You try it out with kids and it totally flops - we've all been there. It takes weeks and months and years to refine our craft, and so it's so nice for me to see that I'm just like them in trying new things out and seeing them fail sometimes. And I'm especially engaged by their writing, as it comes with words from the mouths of babes - responses to their first attempts at sharing these lessons with students: 

Will you be here all week? one student inquired.
Is this for a grade? another asked. 
I  love the vulnerability they show, which translates to me, a teacher thinking, "Hey, Michelle, it's okay to try new things even if they fail. That's how we get to greatness..."

And now that I've shared my heart, we can get on to the framework!

BHH is Book, Head, Heart.

You share with kids that good readers consider what's in the book, this work coming from many teacher researchers, but my faves to the likes of Fountas and Pinnell and Kelly Gallagher:

  • What's this about?
  • Who's telling the story?
  • What does the author want me to know?
Next, you teach students to think about what's in their head, this work coming from Lousie Rosenblatt, Nancie Atwell, and Donald Graves:
  • What surprised me?
  • What does the author thinking I already know?
  • What changed, challenged, or confirmed my thinking?
  • What did I notice?

Finally, you add a third component, my favorite part! Penny Kittle, Georgia Heard and others help us look at what's in your heart:
  • What did I learn about me?
  • How will this help me to be better?
  • What life lessons did I learn?
  • What did I take to heart?
  • How did it make me feel?
So part two of the book includes a few chapters that call up past work that led Beers & Probst here, strategies that fit with BHH, samples of student conversations from first, fourth, eighth, and college freshmen, a sample for you to try out on your own with a poem, misconceptions that were revealed as they did the work with students, examples of anchor charts, funny anecdotes... definitely enough to cause me to think about how I can try this out...and I did, yesterday!

The more I read from this book, the more I continue to feel that it's a great framework for helping students think through text, thinking that includes their own feelings and thinking that can make them more compassionate people, which will lead us to create even better citizens.

Do you have a copy of the book yet? If not, I have a book to give away! If you'd like to be considered for the give away, leave a comment with your thoughts and ideas about this framework, or a response to one of my favorite questions from this part of the book:

Do you think its important for students to think about how a text is changing them? Do you share with students how reading changes you?

Leave your thoughts, let's keep the conversation going!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

review: disrupting thinking part 1

So excited that Stephanie from Scholastic reached out to me to review Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters by Kyleen Beers and Robert E. Probst. I'm only through the first part, but it's coming to you *highly recommended.

So let's start with what I'm loving about this book. First of all, the book is beautifully put together. I love the colored pages, the quotes that are set off in the text, the conversations that are included between Kyleen and Bob and the students, and the funny anecdotes from the authors, like this one...

If I can speak for a moment about the conversations that are included with the text, I have to impress upon you how powerful they are. The Opening Comments to part one include conversations between students and either Kyleen or Bob about how students feel about reading. They begin with a first grader and continue with a child in third, fourth, seventh, eighth, and a college freshman. The change in the children's thinking as they grow... it's disheartening. It will certainly cause you to pause and consider the counterproductive methodologies we are using to instruct children in reading, and lead children to be young adults who can read but choose not to.

Beyond that is the philosophy that this work is grounded in, that of Louise Rosenblatt. She wrote the Transactional Theory of Reading, which states that when any person reads a text, a transaction takes place, one that will be slightly different from the next person's because each reader brings something different to the text. I was thrilled to come upon a heading, "From Extracting to Transacting" and a thorough explanation of efferent vs. aesthetic reading.

I'm only through the first part, which is theory based, but I'm loving it. It discusses the readers we want in our classrooms - responsive, responsible, and compassionate. I was particularly excited to see, in the chapter on responsible readers, that part of that work is responsibility to others, which then gets into fake news and social media's role in perpetuating that. In the chapter about compassionate readers, they lead with the recent political climate of the 2016 election cycle, and after a discussion about what a compassionate reader is, they end the chapter this way:
And perhaps, as adults, they will enter into conversations with one another with more civility, with more generosity, with more kindness toward one another.
Seriously. Swoon. 

I'm so happy we have yet another example of research in the literacy field that reaffirms what I believe about teaching reading - we're not here to teach kids to pass a test. We are here to help children not only see the joy in reading, but also guide them how to use what they have read to become better people and make our world a better place. We want students that are responsive to the texts they read, who are responsible about reading - who do not fall for alternative facts and students who are also compassionate people, who have an emotional reaction to what they are reading, so they can become better people who create a strong democracy here in the United States.

I'm only a third of the way through this book and I'm already in love. I know you will be too, and I have a copy to give away! To be eligible for this giveaway, be sure to comment on this blog, and the other two that will be coming in the next two weeks.

At the end of each chapter is an option to turn and talk about ideas within the text, so share with me you thoughts on one of my favorite questions from chapter one:

In this country, we kept slaves from learning to read. Additionally, for a while in our history, you were adequately literate if you could simply sign you name - or even just make an X. In developing countries today, girls are still educated less than boys. What do these situations suggest about the potential power of reading?

Can't wait to hear what you think and I'll see you back in another week!
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