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The 3 keys to starting text talks

Text talks—those “book clubs” that help teachers plan instruction—represent a completely new approach to planning for most educators. In our previous post, teachers at Fall Hamilton in Nashville told us why they love them. 

Are you ready to try text talks at your school? Here is Fall Hamilton’s advice for implementing them as part of text-based planning:

1. Study text complexity.

Before starting text talks, make sure you understand the Common Core shift about complex texts so you can weed out books that are not complex or are better suited for other grade levels.

It’s about giving kids the ability to do what we know they are able to do.
— Matthew Portell, Principal

What is text complexity?

2. Choose stories you enjoy.

Find texts that you like reading yourself. If you love the text, your students will feed off of your enthusiasm! As long as they’re complex and grade-appropriate, trust that all of the standards will be covered. 

After a year, you’re going to have teachers saying, ‘I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.’
— Kristin Vaughn, Dean of Instruction

3. Stick with it.

Instituting text talks is hard work and requires a time commitment; but they quickly become second nature. And the inspiration you get from your talks will invigorate your teaching and boost your students’ learning!

Once you get the hang of it, it is the most amazing, beautiful thing that you will do. The way my class has grown is a true...testament to the type of planning that we do.
— Erin Garrett, 2nd Grade Teacher

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