How Reading Responses Have Saved My Life This Year (+ how they can save yours, too)

Ever since Marilyn Pryle’s Reading With Presence I have kept her book on the edge of my desk and picked it up every single week. The simplicity and elegance of Marilyn’s reading responses unlocked something for me — something that streamlined and systematized reading instruction, something that made my goals clear to me and clear to students, something that improved my students’ work and made their thinking visible.

While I don’t write about it often on this writing instruction blog, those who know me well know I’m an absolute devotee.

Because reading responses aren’t just an assignment. They aren’t a way to put a grade in the grade book. They are a way to teach students to write, talk, and think about texts.

And this year, when conferring with students is so very different, reading responses have been a lifeline — a lifeline into students’ work and progress, but also into their hearts and minds as readers. I can confidently tell you about my readers and their individual progress because of our reading response routine.

When we started planning Moving Writers PD for 2021, I knew that what I really wanted was to spend time with Marilyn and I wanted you guys to, too. We’re hosting a two-part webinar starting THIS WEEK on Thursday, February 11 (and then on Thursday, February 18). We’re talking about:

  • Reading response basics!
  • Sharing middle and high school student samples!
  • Talking about assessment and using micro-progressions to nudge students work forward to higher levels of thinking and writing
  • A protocol for creating your own reading response categories that meet the needs of your students and your curriculum
  • Using reading responses to create larger pieces of text-based writing

I am so excited to spend two evenings soaking up Marilyn’s wisdom and sharing how this simple tool has transformed so much about my classroom!

You can join us by heading here to register! If you can’t make it live, sessions will be recorded and available for 30 days! We really hope to see you this week!

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