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NCTE: Reading Identity

I saw a few reading rock stars this afternoon-- spending a delightful ninety minutes watching Franki Sibberson, Debbie Miller, Ann Marie Corgill, and Karen Szymusiak where they discussed methods for building student's self-identities as readers and writers in their session, "Book Choice Matters: Teaching Young Learners How to Make Wise Independent Choices".

Quoting Peter Johnston, Franki Sibberson said, "If nothing else, children should leave school with the belief that if they act strategically, they can achieve their goals." Sibberson revealed several questions that can guide teachers and librarians when assessing students' ability to make their own reading choices and help them:How does the child choose books? How can we support his/her book choices? What patterns do we notice?

Debbie Miller discussed students need opportunities to choose their own books, read widely, and explore a range of texts like songs, poetry, leveled texts, nonfiction, and stories, so they can develop preferences. Addressing the connection between reading and writing, Ann Marie Corgill shared her beliefs that a reader is a writer's apprentice. Through reading, children discover writing craft.

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