Disrupting and Challenging My Thinking

Upon the recommendation of my fellow book lover and colleague, I decided to join The Book Love Foundation Summer Reading Club. There are four books for this club: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst, Revolution by Deborah Wiles and A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. So far, I have been enjoying my reading journey with the texts chosen and want to spend a few moments of your time discussing the professional resource, Disrupting Thinking – Why How We Read Matters.

51VK2PHg7rL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_I always seem to gravitate to literacy professional resources. They tend to confirm my beliefs about how our students are not reading enough and what we have always done, does not necessarily work with today’s children.

I thought I would approach this blog post answering the questions that are at the root of Disrupting Thinking, so here goes…

What changed, challenged or confirmed your thinking?

  • Simply extracting information from a text is not enough
  • Students/adults need to read more for pleasure to connect on an emotional/personal level
  • We must disrupt our students thinking; make our students challenge what they read and see ideas from multiple perspectives
  • Relevance is not determined by the educator
  • “When a right answer is most important, students come to believe their thoughts don’t matter.”
  • “New ideas rarely work the first time, so if we are to make changes, we have to accept the probability that our first efforts won’t go quite as well as we want them to.”
  • “Don’t choose a book that will take four weeks to read aloud, you want to finish a book in a week” – Yikes! I am not sure I agree, but do know that reading a book too long can be painful.
  • Would I read a novel over the course of eight weeks on a schedule that is determined by someone else and read by everyone in a classroom as an adult? Nope. Highly unlikely.

“The more capable readers are of compassion, the more likely it is that they will be able to read well.”

What assumptions make that change hard?

  • Educators preconceived beliefs and ideas about what works
  • “What we find confusing is that sometimes we all want to say we’re doing research-based best practices, but other times too many of us are willing to ignore what we know from research.”

What surprised you?

Percentage of Children Who Read Books for Fun 5-7 Days a Week


A few thought provoking questions from the text:

  • “How do you define best practices? what about your colleagues? Are there practices you follow that cannot be supported by research? Why do you use them? Should you reconsider?”
  • “Why do some teachers change on to what’s been done in the past?”
  • Who determines relevance in your classroom?
  • “Do you find yourself asking your lower-performing students more monologic questions than dialogic questions?”

Disrupting Thinking Why How We Read Matters was a read that I do not regret and will recommend to others. The questions Beers and Probst asked I will continue to ponder and pose to other educators. This text supports much of what I believe when it comes to literacy – that reading for pleasure matters.



Yours in reading,




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