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Back to the Top Teaching Blog
April 4, 2016

Supporting Students to Become Super Readers

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    I think most people would agree that reading can "open a world of possible" for every child. As teachers we are certainly aware of how critical are reading skills to the success of our children in school and throughout their lives. We also know that to create a reader, it "takes a village."

    Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell's Every Child A Super Reader is NOT just for teachers — it’s a practical guide for all the people who come into contact with a child. The authors tell us, “As teachers, family members, caregivers, librarians, and out-of-school providers, it has never been more important for us to work together to cultivate strong and confident readers. Literacy is humankind’s greatest innovation because it is so adaptable to new worlds.

     

    What All Children Deserve

    Children’s Defense Fund president Marian Wright Edelman writes in the foreword to Super Reader, “All children deserve to fall in love with the power of the written word to transport them to new worlds and teach them new ideas, and to experience what writer Pat Mora has called bookjoy.” Edelman believes that Every Child a Super Reader provides a blueprint that will nurture the strengths that already exist in children, and when these strengths are nurtured, a world of possible will be opened for them — which in turn will change their lives and the world we live in. 

     

    What Is a Super Reader?

     

    A super reader is confident, understands the demands of the text, and reads copiously. Super readers are reflective and aware of how they are growing as readers. They set small and large goals for continued growth and are aware that reading is an ongoing process that will continue to develop throughout their lives.

    As described in the book, “The super reader is a flashlight-in-the-bed kind of reader, a back-of-the-cereal-box kind of reader, a text-messaging kind of reader, and a comic-book-to-classic-novel kind of reader. And, indeed, the super reader LOVES to read!”

     

    The 7 Strengths Model: A New Way to Ensure Every Child’s Success

    Morrell and Allyn have a unique perspective on children and reading that I find most interesting. There are a lot of books out there about teaching literacy, but I love that Super Reader has a social-emotional emphasis. It is at the core of their 7 Strengths Model, which they explain, "connects reading to the inner life of the child, providing a full toolkit for learning to read and reading to learn.”

    The 7 Strengths are:

    • Belonging: Identifying as a valued, represented member of a larger community

    • Curiosity: Fostering a willingness to explore new territory and test new theories

    • Friendship: Having close, trusting relationships and personal connections to others — learning to interact in positive, productive ways

    • Kindness: Being compassionate toward others, expressing tenderness that has an impact, near and far

    • Confidence: Thinking independently and expressing ideas with assurance

    • Courage: Having the strength to do something that you know is right, even though it may be difficult

    • Hope: Thinking optimistically and believing that today’s efforts will produce good things in the future for yourself and the world

    Focusing on the strengths of children is a key element of the book. Reading is taught all over the world, but when we take solid, foundational reading theory, and couple it with the 7 Strengths framework, we empower our children to become super readers, and make positive change in our world. “The 7 Strengths are habits and feelings that educators and parents must nurture in children to provide them with the foundations they need to become super readers.”

     

    Nurturing Super Readers

    At back-to-school night, I have always told families that they are their child’s first and most important teacher. I am so grateful for all that happens at home before my kinders show up for the first year in school. I cannot even imagine how much more difficult my job would be without the parental influence on my students! Ensuring every child becomes a reader is a BIG job, but this book reinforces what I have always believed. Literacy is a fulltime job for our children, and they need to be reading every opportunity they can get. We have an obligation to form a relationship with our students’ parents. Every child deserves to have a team behind them, and with Every Child A Super Reader, there is finally a framework and a game-plan on just how to form that relationship and provide literacy support from both home and school.

    Super readers do not just read at school. Reading has to be something that is valued and modeled at home as well. One of my favorite resources included in the book is the Family Guide in the Top 10 Ways to Nurture a Super Reader. The guide is extremely practical and straightforward, and when parents support and nurture the natural strengths in their children, we can’t help but see them flourish and grow as readers. I am beyond the moon excited to share this new book with my families as I know they are going to love it!

    “This practical guide reminds educators that the most powerful way to promote independent learning, critical thinking, and higher order skills is by helping every child to become an avid reader. Pam and Ernest’s advice is clear and sound, and their insights are illuminating. For educators who want to help children develop a love of learning, this book is an invaluable resource.” (Pedro A. Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies)

    Every child is a super reader in their own way, and our job is to foster a love for literacy in each and every one of them!

    Thanks for reading, have fun with your kiddos, and I’ll see you here next time!

    Happy Teaching!

    Shari 

    Scholastic provided this book to me to read, review, and report about how it might be applied in the classroom.

     

    I think most people would agree that reading can "open a world of possible" for every child. As teachers we are certainly aware of how critical are reading skills to the success of our children in school and throughout their lives. We also know that to create a reader, it "takes a village."

    Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell's Every Child A Super Reader is NOT just for teachers — it’s a practical guide for all the people who come into contact with a child. The authors tell us, “As teachers, family members, caregivers, librarians, and out-of-school providers, it has never been more important for us to work together to cultivate strong and confident readers. Literacy is humankind’s greatest innovation because it is so adaptable to new worlds.

     

    What All Children Deserve

    Children’s Defense Fund president Marian Wright Edelman writes in the foreword to Super Reader, “All children deserve to fall in love with the power of the written word to transport them to new worlds and teach them new ideas, and to experience what writer Pat Mora has called bookjoy.” Edelman believes that Every Child a Super Reader provides a blueprint that will nurture the strengths that already exist in children, and when these strengths are nurtured, a world of possible will be opened for them — which in turn will change their lives and the world we live in. 

     

    What Is a Super Reader?

     

    A super reader is confident, understands the demands of the text, and reads copiously. Super readers are reflective and aware of how they are growing as readers. They set small and large goals for continued growth and are aware that reading is an ongoing process that will continue to develop throughout their lives.

    As described in the book, “The super reader is a flashlight-in-the-bed kind of reader, a back-of-the-cereal-box kind of reader, a text-messaging kind of reader, and a comic-book-to-classic-novel kind of reader. And, indeed, the super reader LOVES to read!”

     

    The 7 Strengths Model: A New Way to Ensure Every Child’s Success

    Morrell and Allyn have a unique perspective on children and reading that I find most interesting. There are a lot of books out there about teaching literacy, but I love that Super Reader has a social-emotional emphasis. It is at the core of their 7 Strengths Model, which they explain, "connects reading to the inner life of the child, providing a full toolkit for learning to read and reading to learn.”

    The 7 Strengths are:

    • Belonging: Identifying as a valued, represented member of a larger community

    • Curiosity: Fostering a willingness to explore new territory and test new theories

    • Friendship: Having close, trusting relationships and personal connections to others — learning to interact in positive, productive ways

    • Kindness: Being compassionate toward others, expressing tenderness that has an impact, near and far

    • Confidence: Thinking independently and expressing ideas with assurance

    • Courage: Having the strength to do something that you know is right, even though it may be difficult

    • Hope: Thinking optimistically and believing that today’s efforts will produce good things in the future for yourself and the world

    Focusing on the strengths of children is a key element of the book. Reading is taught all over the world, but when we take solid, foundational reading theory, and couple it with the 7 Strengths framework, we empower our children to become super readers, and make positive change in our world. “The 7 Strengths are habits and feelings that educators and parents must nurture in children to provide them with the foundations they need to become super readers.”

     

    Nurturing Super Readers

    At back-to-school night, I have always told families that they are their child’s first and most important teacher. I am so grateful for all that happens at home before my kinders show up for the first year in school. I cannot even imagine how much more difficult my job would be without the parental influence on my students! Ensuring every child becomes a reader is a BIG job, but this book reinforces what I have always believed. Literacy is a fulltime job for our children, and they need to be reading every opportunity they can get. We have an obligation to form a relationship with our students’ parents. Every child deserves to have a team behind them, and with Every Child A Super Reader, there is finally a framework and a game-plan on just how to form that relationship and provide literacy support from both home and school.

    Super readers do not just read at school. Reading has to be something that is valued and modeled at home as well. One of my favorite resources included in the book is the Family Guide in the Top 10 Ways to Nurture a Super Reader. The guide is extremely practical and straightforward, and when parents support and nurture the natural strengths in their children, we can’t help but see them flourish and grow as readers. I am beyond the moon excited to share this new book with my families as I know they are going to love it!

    “This practical guide reminds educators that the most powerful way to promote independent learning, critical thinking, and higher order skills is by helping every child to become an avid reader. Pam and Ernest’s advice is clear and sound, and their insights are illuminating. For educators who want to help children develop a love of learning, this book is an invaluable resource.” (Pedro A. Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies)

    Every child is a super reader in their own way, and our job is to foster a love for literacy in each and every one of them!

    Thanks for reading, have fun with your kiddos, and I’ll see you here next time!

    Happy Teaching!

    Shari 

    Scholastic provided this book to me to read, review, and report about how it might be applied in the classroom.

     

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