Simple Starts: Making the Move to a Reader-Centered Classroom

Kari Yates

Heinemann Publishing, 2015


You can do this! You can help kids fall in love with reading. You can fill your classroom with piles of amazing books kids will be itching to get their hands on. You can find stretches of time every single day during which kids read books they care about. You can observe, respond, and interact with your readers in powerful and meaningful ways. You can make it happen, starting today.

Reader-centered instruction doesn’t happen all at once. It happens one thoughtful next step at a time.

Simple Starts is my getting-started guide to creating the reading classroom of your dreams—and your students’. Teacher to teacher, I distill research and best practice into essentials that help you:

  • Engage readers with books they’ll love
  • Provide kids the time for reading and discussion
  • Nurture independence through choice
  • Guide students’ growth and yours by asking “What’s next?”

Conversational, practical, and inspirational, Simple Starts is filled with teaching strategies, quick reflection charts, example anchor charts, and teacher know-how from thirty years in classrooms and schools.

What’s next is simple. You don’t have to know everything about books or reading. You just need to follow a few simple steps.

So come on in! Your kids are counting on you, and it’s time to bravely begin.

To know and Nurture a Reader: Conferring with Confidence and Joy

Kari Yates and Christina Nosel

Stenhouse Publishing, 2018


Every student deserves a teacher who committed to know and nurture them through the practice of conferring. And developing a conferring practice that really works is within reach for any teacher committed to build one.

But conferring conferring can sometimes feel intimidating or overwhelming. And that’s why we wrote this book. We want to help. Here we have provided practical, reflective, student-centered teaching moves that you can use to develop an intentional, joy-filled conferring practice.

To Know and Nurture a Reader is a get-going guide to conferring. The book includes step-by-step guidance that is also considerate of time and other classroom challenges, as well as:

  • numerous tools such as guiding questions, reproducible planning, and note-taking documents;
  • classroom vignettes that pull you close to a reader and teacher in a conference setting;
  • video clips of classroom conferences to show what conferring looks like in action.

The book breaks conferring into manageable chunks with specific goals for knowing and nurturing young readers, then puts all the pieces together with various classroom scenarios and examples. The tools, examples, and ideas in this book make conferring something every teacher can do right away and master with continued effort and practice.