#SOL18: #LitEssentials

What is essential in literacy instruction? 

How do you know? 

Is this something you were taught? 

Or is this something you have learned?

As you can see, “curious”, my #OLW is already in play for 2018.  It sits on my shoulder daily encouraging me to wonder about new and old issues.  So let’s take up “essential”.

What does essential mean?

“1.  absolutely necessary; indispensable:

Discipline is essential in an army.
2.  pertaining to or constituting the essence of a thing.
3. noting or containing an essence of a plant, drug, etc.

4. being such by its very nature or in the highest sense; natural; spontaneous:

essential happiness.”  Dictionary.com
Without a doubt, Regie Routman is using all these definitions in her use of “essentials” in her newest book . . .
And the words that I want to emphasize, from the definitions, are:
This book is not about following a script or a recipe for success.  This book is about empowering teachers and leaders as thinkers.

Why this book? 

Because Regie is first of all a teacher.  Working with students is her passion and she wants to help you regain, regrow and re-empower your expert teaching voice.  . . .”you – one caring and knowledgeable teacher – can make an enduring difference in a child’s life.” (Routman, Stenhouse, p. 3)

What additional information is available?

@Stenhousepub tweet:

“”…without that culture of joy and celebration of strengths…we are never going to get our students where they need to be and where they want to be.” @regieroutman talks about her new book, Literacy Essentials:”

Video LInk”


What makes this book so appealing?

  1. The format of the book.

The three big “units” are Engagement, Excellence, and Equity.

You CAN begin with any of those sections.  They are very well cross-referenced so that you can dip into the pieces that you need!

       2.  The format in the chapters.

There’s a conversation with Regie with facts, questions, and anecdotes that illustrate the point.  Then there is a detailed “Take Action” section. This is repeated multiple times in each chapter which has endnotes for a closing.  A single teacher could choose actions to make changes in their classroom.  A group of teachers could choose actions to make changes in their building or district.  The possibilities for thinking teachers are endless.

         3. The teacher in the book.

Calm, practical, thoughtful and thought-provoking conversations.  Not a bunch of “mumbo jumbo” from publishers, test-writers, or those who have not been in classrooms recently or perhaps . . . EVER!  Real solutions that will NOT add hours to your day.  Real solutions that you can advocate for.  Real solutions that will bring joy back into your life!

Not yet convinced?

Join the #G2Great chat Thursday, January 11th.  Be a part of the conversation or listen in – whichever role is most comfortable for you.   Listen in to hear the essence of the text, the indispensable actions, the natural, spontaneous actions that can bring JOY back into your teaching life. Then consider your next steps!

Screenshot 2018-01-06 at 5.50.53 PM.png

Why does this matter to me?

I remember meeting Regie at a Regis Literacy Institute in the late 1980’s or early 90″s.  She was the first real live, up close and personal “edu-hero” that I ever met.  She was so kind, so thoughtful and so willing to talk to me even though her coffee was growing cold in the cafe and I was totally interrupting. She’s a teacher.  She’s a leader.  She’s a reader. She’s a writer.  Regie’s amazing!

What professional reading do you have planned for 2018? 

What books are you “curious” about? 

Where will you begin?

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

18 responses

  1. Clare Landrigan | Reply

    We have that on our list to read –thanks for the review. Hoping to join the chat on Thursday! Thanks – your OLW is going to benefit us all.

    1. Clare,
      You will love it! It’s such a fun read because of its structure. I literally felt like Regie was in the room and we were having this grand conversation. The list of new books for 2018 is just so amazing! 🙂

  2. Oh, this book! It keeps popping up. Regie is my first edu-hero as well! I remember so clearly reading INVITATIONS. I will do everything I can to make it to #G2Great and I must order this book. Thank you for your inspiration!

    1. Michelle,
      Regie is such an incredible person. I remember waiting for each of her books to come out after I met her because she was so personable! And now I know so many “real life” authors! Common edu-heroes! That does not surprise me! You will love this book! So many entry points!

  3. Fran, We have something in common Regie is my edu-hero and I preordered this book. I can’t wait to dive in and your endorsement is going to make me hurry this up. I kept reading for that little slice, nugget of a connection and I really enjoyed you sharing when you got to meet her and how her coffee grew cold. See you at the chat!

    1. Mandy,
      Of course, I loved the permission to dive into “ANY” section of the book (because that’s what I do & how I read)! It’s simply gorgeous! You will love it!

  4. Fran, thanks for the book review! I was struck by your opening questions: How do you know? Is this something you were taught? Lately I’ve been reflecting on why teachers teach what they teach and often it seems that “We teach what we know” This is fine if the teacher is a learner and always looking to learn more. But is it OK to not keep learning? I think not and your book review is a reminder that I need to keep reading and stay curious!!
    Love your new blog background, too. Now off to order me this book!

    1. Sally,
      You are welcome for the book review. And of course, it is NOT okay for folks to stop learning! Life changes, the world changes and we have to continue to grow!

      And yes, me too, I had so much fun thinking about how to change my background. Keeps my #OLW so visible!

  5. Have used Teaching Essentials and Reading Essentials in graduate classes before. Can’t wait to read this one!

    1. Aileen,
      It’s so incredibly good and practical for today! How do we keep track of all that’s important? Each little bit matters and Regie makes our thinking and doing so very possible!

  6. Looks like I need to add another book to my TBR pile! Thank you for growing excitement in me! I have yet to get on the Thursday G2G chats… Maybe this week will be the week! Looks great!

    1. You are welcome, Christine. This is a book that is too incredibly good to miss. Stop in and chat with us. We have so much fun!

  7. What a fabulous review. This is the quote that sets the tone ”you – one caring and knowledgeable teacher – can make an enduring difference in a child’s life.” Looking forward to this book.

    1. Julieanne,
      And that’s her approach . . . kind, thoughtful, caring . . . throughout the entire book! You will love it!

  8. The line that really stands out to me is ” The possibilities for thinking teachers are endless.” Being able to take someone’s knowledge and adapt it to our own classroom offers teachers limitless ways and means to get the most out of their students and help them succeed. Thanks for sharing this book, Fran.

    1. Thanks! I like that line. I just think many teachers feel like they are locked in a box of no choices when teaching and that really is NOT the case everywhere!

  9. […] #SOL18: Lit Essentials – Regie Routman’s Literacy Essentials with an entire section dealing with […]

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