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I Am Reading

Nurturing Young Children's Meaning Making and Joyful Engagement with Any Book

I Am Reading reminds us that we’re teaching children, not reading levels. Kathy and Matt show how to nurture, nudge, and instruct young readers to make meaning in any text, whether or not they are reading the words.

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It’s vital that we support young children’s reading in ways that nurture healthy reading identities, that foster an attraction to books and a love of reading, and that teach them how make meaning in any text they choose, whether or not they can read the words.
—Kathy Collins and Matt Glover

What do we see when young children interact with books before they can read the words?

Kathy Collins and Matt Glover see real reading, characterized by purposeful meaning-making and opportunities for reading growth and language development.

“One of our biggest hopes,” write Kathy and Matt, “is to help you see and value all of the powerful work young children do as readers.” With I Am Reading you’ll see that fostering what little ones do before they can read the words is important early instruction.

Kathy and Matt show how to nurture, nudge, and instruct young readers to make meaning in any text, whether or not they are reading the words. They share:

  • observation guides for children reading any kind of book
  • specific descriptions of language and independence development
  • sample reading conferences and whole-class minilessons
  • suggestions for creating reading opportunities in preschool and reading workshops in K–1
  • action plans to get you going
  • 25 online video clips of children making meaning and teachers supporting them.

I Am Reading pairs two important voices in early literacy to remind us that we’re teaching children, not reading levels. “In the rush toward ever higher reading levels in the early years,” write Kathy and Matt, “we may fail to value the strategy use and high-level thinking children do before they are reading conventionally.” Join Kathy and Matt and look anew at your young readers so you can provide the kind of support that gets them off to a great start.

Additional Resource Information

(click any section below to continue reading)


1. Reading or Not—Here We Come!
2. I Know This One! Reading Familiar Picture Books
3. Instructional Implications When Children Read Familiar Books
4. Reading Unfamiliar Books
5. Instructional Implications When Children Read Unfamiliar Books
6. Reading Informational Texts Before They’re Reading Conventionally
7. Growing Independence with Text
8. Supporting Preschool Readers Before They’re Reading Conventionally
9. Supporting Emergent Kindergarten and First-Grade Readers
10. Yearlong Planning
11. Making the Move from Thinking About It to Acting on It
Appendix A. Note-Taking Sheets for Conferences
Appendix B. Library Considerations
Appendix C. Key Descriptors Tip Sheet
Appendix D. Language and Independence Level Grids


Companion Resources

1.1 Natalie Reads Knuffle Bunny (Familiar)

2.1 Alex Reads Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Familiar)

3.1 Colton Reads I Went Walking and Rosie's Walk (Familiar)

3.2 Dion Reads Three Billy Goats Gruff (Familiar)

3.3 Natasha Reads Go Dogs Go (Familiar)

3.4 Emily Reads The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Familiar)

3.5 Jazzalynn Reads Clip Clop (Unfamiliar)

3.6 Hannah Reads Bad Case of Stripes (Familiar)

4.1 Wade Reads Zoom (Unfamiliar)

4.2 Sha'nya Reads Hello Twins (Unfamiliar)

4.3 Garrett Reads Hello Twins (Unfamiliar)

5.1 Jake Reads Dogs (Unfamiliar)

5.2 Wade Reads Biscuit (Unfamiliar)

5.3 Aliah Reads Roller Coaster (Unfamiliar)

5.4 Neve Reads Horses (Unfamiliar)

6.1 Alex Reads Rockets and Spaceships (Informational)

6.2 Sebastian Reads My Football Book (Informational)

6.3 Jake Reads Red Eyed Tree Frog (Informational)

6.4 Kinley Reads Going to a Horse Farm (Informational)

6.5 Griffon Reads Butterflies (Informational)

7.1 Alice Reads Hello Twins (Unfamiliar)

7.2 Natasha Reads Hello Twins (Unfamiliar)

7.3 Jazzalynn Reads Clip Clop (Unfamiliar)

8.1 Preschool Whole Group

9.1 Kindergarten Whole Group

9.2 1st Grade Whole Group

Related PD Services

PD Resources From Kathy Collins


PD Resources From Matt Glover