Challenge #13: Trust yourself and keep growing all year long.

Challenge #13: Trust yourself and keep growing all year long.  Cultivating a community of readers is a year long labor of love. It starts before you ever even meet this year’s students and doesn’t end until the last good-byes in May or June.


“There is not one right or wrong way to do this work. So loosen up,

have some fun, and when in doubt trust your instincts

to follow your students.”

-Kari Yates & Christina Nosek


We’re delighted you decided to be part of this challenge. 

We hope the challenges we posed have affirmed many of the things you’re already working so hard to do, given you some ideas of how to refine others, and maybe planted a few ideas about ways you might stretch yourself in the weeks and months ahead. 

The thirteen challenges together are meant to help you lay the foundation for a building a vibrant community of readers this year. Of course each of these ideas is simply a starting point. The real trick is to keep your courage and your energy high throughout the entire school year, as you work to help readers thrive, not only as individuals, but as true members of a community of readers. 

And it’s probably no secret that we believe one of the best ways to do that is to spend time every day conferring with readers. Each time your students set out with their self-selected texts for independent treading, we hope you’ll set out with your conferring tools, pulling up alongside each of them in partnership, committing to to both know and nurture them as readers and as people. By trusting your your students to lead you, we believe you’ll grow a thriving community of readers- one one child, one moment at a time, one conversation at a time.

Embrace the messiness of choice. Commit to love every child in your class. Trust your students to lead. Trust yourself to respond.  Engage in self-care. 

We think we can hear the children coming… 

It’s time to go and get books in their hands!

-Kari and Christina

All Challenges in the Series

Challenge #1: Make a Pledge to Nurture Self-selected Independent Reading Every Day 

Challenge #2: Make sure your classroom library is in tiptop shape, well-stocked, well-organized, accessible, and appealing

Challenge #3: Prepare displays, table baskets, book shelves, or stacks of enticing books.

Challenge #4: Make a Plan for Student Storage and Management of Self-selected Texts

Challenge #5: Start Taking Note of the Authentic Ways You Respond to Your Own Reading

Challenge #6: Start Creating a Thoughtful Stack of Books You Can’t Wait to Read Aloud to Your Students

Challenge #7: Make a List of Books you Want to Highlight Through Book Talks in the First Month of School 

Challenge #8: Envision the ways you will encourage and nurture interactions within your community of readers

Challenge #9: Get organized for conferring!

Challenge #10: Select and prepare note taking tools for conferring

Challenge #11: Identify 3- 5 book finding strategies that are essential for students in the ages and stages you work with

Challenge #12: Map out 3-5 ways you want to encourage healthy habits beyond the school day

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