Maddie Witter was a founding teacher and the Director of Instruction of KIPP Infinity Middle School and is currently coaching teachers who work with incarcerated youth in Australia. She is the author ofReading Without Limits: Teaching Strategies to Build Independent Reading for Life (Jossey-Bass, 2013). Visit Maddie at www.maddiewitter.com.
We first read Maddie’s book in February and are returning to it over the summer for new ideas. As teachers in an area with high poverty, we feel that it is difficult to find reading resources written by teachers who experience our current reality. In our schools, we face many struggles that are often not addressed in the books that we read for professional development. Maddie has taught in a successful school with children like our students. It was encouraging to read what she has encountered and to learn new ideas that worked for her students. We believe this is an important book to add to your summer reading list!
When we began reading the book, we thought we would skim the beginning background information and then get right to the activities we could use in our own classrooms. However, as we started, we were completely drawn in to the back story of KIPP Infinity Charter School. It helped us to believe that the activities we found within the book would be meaningful. We weren’t disappointed! Maddie offers countless ideas that engage and teach children. The suggestions are ranked as mild, medium and spicy. The mild ideas are ideas that you can read about today and be ready to use in your classroom tomorrow. The medium ideas require a little planning and the spicy ideas require more in depth planning. Like all teachers, we often get to school and decide we aren’t happen with our plans for the day. This ranking helps us make sure we choose a manageable activity for the amount of time we have to plan.
Another great aspect of this book is that teachers from elementary through middle school (and maybe even high school) will be able to find numerous activities to be used. We know we’ll be coming back to this great resource again and again throughout our school year.
We hope you enjoy this book as much as we do!
You can purchase Maddie’s book via Amazon here…
Also, be sure to visit the Reading Without Limits web site for videos and other extensions of the book! You will find the site here: http://reading-without-limits.com/. And… you can follow Maddie on Twitter @Maddie_Witter.
Have you already read Maddie’s book? Please share what activities you like best below.