Long a fan of the whole class novel, I too have been inspired by Kate Roberts. I agree that it can be a powerful community building magic.
It started with a book, a featured dollar deal from Scholastic. With what would equal the cost of two hardback books, I got 34 copies of The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. I had no idea what I’d use them for. Perhaps student Christmas gifts.
The box sat in the back of my classroom for weeks.
And then, I found Kate Roberts’ ideas about teaching whole group novels. In her September Ed Collab session, Kate described the possibility of using the pedagogy of reading workshop with a whole class read. This is well worth watching in that she outlines her journey from the traditional secondary whole class read to the workshop approach and then circles back to what could be harvested from each. After watching, here are my takeaways:
• The level of the text should not be “profoundly” difficult.
• Focus the teach by identifying one…
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