Engaging Literate Minds

Developing Children’s Social, Emotional, and Intellectual Lives, K–3

Increasingly, educators are recognizing that for children to thrive intellectually they need socially and emotionally healthy classrooms. Conveniently, this is exactly what parents have always wanted for their children—classrooms that offer and grow positive relationships and behavior, emotional self-regulation, and a sense of well-being.

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Using the guiding principles from Peter Johnston’s best-selling professional resources, Choice Words and Opening Minds, Peter and six colleagues (Kathy Champeau, Andrea Hartwig, Sarah Helmer, Merry Komar, Tara Krueger, and Laurie McCarthy) began a journey to create just such classrooms—environments in which children meaningfully engage with each other through reading, writing, making, and discussing books.

In Engaging Literate Minds, you’ll discover how these teachers struggled and succeeded in building such classrooms. Inside you’ll find the following:

  • Practical ways to develop a caring learning community and children's socio-emotional competence
  • Powerful teaching practices from real classrooms
  • Engaging ways to encourage inquiry and student agency
  • Suggestions on how to use formative assessment in everyday teaching practices
  • Helpful research behind the classroom practices and children’s development
  • Ways to help students inspire and support each other

Building a just, caring, literate society has never been more important than it is today. By embracing the ideas and teaching strategies in Engaging Literate Minds, you can help children to become socially, emotionally, and intellectually healthy. Not only do these classroom practices develop the skills to achieve district benchmarks and beyond, they help develop children’s humanity.

Meet the Authors of Engaging Literate Minds


eBook Available Through Major Retailers

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About the Author(s)

Peter Johnston's research explores relationships among classroom talk, engagement, and children’s social, emotional and literate development. Elected to the Reading Hall of Fame, he has received numerous awards for his research and writing.


Product Details

Grade Range: K-3
Media: 344 pp/paper
Published: 02/2020
Item No: 1162
ISBN: 978-1-62531-162-7
Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers