<img height="1" width="1" alt="" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=940171109376247&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Dedicated to Teachers


Engaging With Compelling Ideas

E09815_Nichols_Bookcover_7570Developing strong learning relationships is necessary, but not sufficient to ensure communities will passionately engage and pursue meaning, perhaps to the point of becoming captivated. There’s another factor at play. Children also need to know that they’re pulling together to do things of significance—things that matter in the world. In literacy pursuits, that means time with texts filled with compelling ideas worth talking about— ideas that connect with children’s minds and touch their hearts.

Download a Sample Chapter from Building Bigger Ideas

Compelling texts are often ripe with ambiguity, open to multiple interpretations, and resist closure. They launch ideas that matter to children, and abound with characters that are
relatable, complex, and imperfect, with all-too-human struggles. They touch the heart as well as the mind and offer fodder for thinking about the world beyond the text. 

 
 
 
Video Thumbnail
Video Thumbnail
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

One of the biggest impediments to engaging with ideas, even the most compelling, is an overarching emphasis on answers. When children believe reading is a process of finding answers inside their own minds, they see no need to think and talk with other readers. A focus on answers also creates a right-wrong mindset, shutting down children’s willingness to explore a range of ideas.

As you consider creating a place for talk to thrive in your own classroom, remember that if children are to develop as a learning community, they must believe that their efforts to engage with each other and with ideas matter. They need to connect what they are doing with a real why—the development of purposefully literate lives. And they need to see that purposefully literate lives are at the same time both individual and social. When children set about real work in real ways, and feel the support of their community alongside them, the learning becomes their own, and they agree to grow together.

Learn more about Building Bigger Ideas at Heinemann.com

Download a Sample Chapter from Building Bigger Ideas


glyph-logo_May2016Follow us on Instagram @heinemannpub to stay up to date on the latest books, your favorite authors, and upcoming events!


marianicholsMaria Nichols is a literacy consultant and Director of School Innovation for the San Diego Unified School District. A former elementary classroom teacher, Nichols received the Distinguished Elementary Educator Award from the San Diego chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, 2002.

Maria is the author of Comprehension Through Conversation andBuilding Bigger Ideas. 

You can follow Maria on Twitter @marianichols45 

Posted by: Steph GeorgePublished:

Topics: Video, Maria Nichols, Building Bigger Ideas

Comment on this post:

Related Posts

Moving Students Toward Independence

Our goal for all of our students is that they will use the skills we teach them independently. So, when w...
Steph George Jun 24, 2019 3:35:43 PM

What Is Implicit Bias?

Bias is when we have our mind made up about something based on prior experience, our environment, or some...
Steph George Jun 19, 2019 6:47:00 AM

Always Keep Learning

As teachers, there will always be factors that are outside out sphere of influence: the school's demograp...
Steph George Jun 3, 2019 7:46:00 AM

Making A Case For Researcher's Workshop Across The Day

Anne Goudvis, Stephanie Harvey, and Brad Buhrow love to talk about their favorite subject: inquiry. “It’s...
Lauren Audet May 16, 2019 11:29:23 AM