Opal School closed in 2021. You can continue to access these resources for free at teachingpreschoolpartners.org/resource-library/.

Summer Reading

Summer Reading

Opal School staff have relaxed into summer vacation with two great books to read when they are missing their friends and colleagues! 

The first is What Readers Really Do: Teaching the Process of Meaning Making by Dorothy Barnhouse and Vicki Vinton.

This fantastic book is for the teachers working with our 8 – 11 year olds. It offers support for developing communities of readers who understand the potential of texts to lead us to an experience of empathy with the author, and with one another. The authors quote Diane Ackerman:

An occasion, catalyst, or tripwire †permits the poet to reach into herself and haul up whatever nugget of the human condition distracts her at the moment, something that can't be reached in any other way.

Diane Ackerman
The New York Times,10 Mar 1991

These nuggets live in an text, ready to be mined by a group of readers curious enough to share the meaning they've made with each other. Barnhouse and Vinton offer strategies for keeping our focus on the kind of meaning making that takes us beyond simple connections, mental images, inference. 

But because it would be rather useless, if not impossible, to try and read together with an attention and sensitivity towards these nuggets of the human condition in a classroom that is standardized, monologic, and sees the world through a fixed frame, we are all diving deeply into Peter Johnston's new book Opening MInds: Using Language to Change Lives:


Enjoy this podcast featuring Peter Johnston talking aobut fixed learning frames vs dynamic learning frames:


I am already looking forward to how these powerful texts will influence our work and our thinking together next year!