With First Grade Readers, you have the wonderful opportunity to spend time with Stephanie Parsons, learn a lot, and laugh a lot. As you read, let Stephanie take you (and your students) on the journey of a comprehensive, yet well-paced, year of reading workshop. Read closely as she shares brilliant ideas for creating a robust, child-friendly reading workshop characterized by high expectations and plentiful learning opportunities.
By providing a clear vision of a year of first-grade reading, Stephanie makes reading workshop seem very possible to implement…immediately. Stephanie shares teaching ideas and specific suggestions for units of study that focus on accuracy, fluency, comprehension, genre, and independence. Throughout, she helps us reimagine possibilities for familiar units while also introducing ideas for innovative units.
Stephanie’s writing, like her classroom and her teaching, is crisp, clean, efficient, yet also warm and welcoming. The units are presented in an intuitive and focused way, making everything feel as if it’s within reach, no matter if you’re a brand-new teacher beginning your first year or a veteran teacher with lots of workshop teaching experience, no matter if you’re a teacher in an urban school with a concrete playground or a teacher at a rural school with an unobstructed view of the horizon.
In addition to compelling units of study, Stephanie also teaches us about the culture of a healthy, vibrant reading workshop. As you read, you’ll notice the language of invitation, the act of demonstration, and the power of opportunity—Stephanie’s teaching is infused with words that invite young readers to imagine themselves reading the best they can and demonstrations for exactly how to do that; and words that invite students to read, think, and talk together about books with growing sophistication, and opportunities for book talks that push young readers to think, and then to outgrow their thinking.
Stephanie doesn’t only mentor us to teach first graders how to read with power and joy; she shows us how to teach with power and joy. Thank you, Stephanie. We need this now.
Author of Growing Readers