From Striving to Thriving – My Action Plan

I just finished reading a tremendous book From Striving to Thriving: How to Grow Confident, Capable Readers by Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward. I cannot say enough great things about this book; I think it would be good for all teachers, whether you teach reading or not.

I think I put a sticky note on almost every other page!

So much of this book spoke directly to the heart of what I try to do every day – cultivate the reading lives of my students. With so much happening in education, it’s easy to lose sight of what is important, and this was one of those professional development books that helps make the goal clear again.

As a result, these are the steps I am planning to take to improve my practices and the outcomes for my students.


  1. Share the comprehension continuum with all of the ELA teachers at my school. I think this document will help everyone think about how our questions can help students move to deeper levels of comprehension of a text.
  2. Start a “Wonder Wall.” To cultivate a culture of curiosity, I am planning to implement a space for students to record their wonderings. Each student will have a mini-wonder wall (a piece of paper) in their folder where they can record all of their wonders. We will discuss and record our group wonderings on sticky notes that will be kept on a piece of chart paper hung in the room.

This Week

  1. Do the Areas of Speciality practice with all of my students. As we work together to set goals (see the During March list) for the end of the year, it will be nice to draw on these Areas of Speciality for inspiration.
  2. Start daily book talks – and keep a list of them for each group.
  3. Use the ARR three steps to collect full-spectrum data on each striver.

During March

  1. Start all groups with independent reading time. This is something I did last year but got away from for various reasons. Having each group for only 23 minutes, it’s difficult to prioritize this; however, I will be able to confer 1:1 with students during this time. We will still do skill instruction during the remaining time. 
  2. We will discuss the ARR full spectrum data and work together to set goals and create a  reading plan to guide their end of the year reading. I plan to reach out to each ELA teacher to coordinate this with any activities they have planned around choice and independent reading. 
  3. Review the fix-up strategies and being to promote them during independent reading conferences.
  4. Reach out to our district librarian to connect and seek her expertise to find books for kids as needed. Collaborate with ELA teachers to meet those same goals.

Throughout the end of the school year

  1. Continue daily reading time and conferring with readers. 
  2. Continue collaboration with ELA teachers to support our students and the development of their reading lives.
  3. Connect with families about each student’s reading plan and goals for the end of the year.
  4. Support students with direct instruction in the comprehension areas they need.
  5. Use the wonder wall to encourage students in the search for their next book and for topics for our comprehension strategy lessons.
  6. Advocate for choice and independent reading in my school and district. There are a lot of great resources for research in the book. 

I’ll try to update on how this goes for the rest of this school year!

How have you implemented ideas from From Striving to Thriving? Leave a comment or connect on Twitter!

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