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Beyond Leveled Books


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About the Author

Franki currently teaches third graders in Dublin, Ohio She has worked in elementary schools for over 25 years as a classroom teacher, a Reading Support Teacher, a curriculum support teacher and a school librarian. Franki is the co-author with Karen Szymusiak of many books and videos on teaching reading in the intermediate grades. Franki's books include Digital Reading: What's Essential in Grades 3-8 (NCTE), Beyond Leveled Books, Second Edition (Stenhouse), Still Learning to Read, Second Edition (Stenhouse), Day-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop (Scholastic) and The Joy of Planning (Choice Literacy). Franki learns the most about learning and literacy from her students. She is committed to an authentic Reading Workshop and has more recently been interested in how literacy is impacted by digital tools. The changing definition of literacy has been important to Franki's recent thinking as she works to give students authentic experiences as readers. Throughout most of Franki's career, she has focused on the unique needs of readers in Grades 3. She believes that students need authentic experiences as readers and that intentional classroom design and thoughtful planning are critical for these readers to become lifelong readers. Franki believes that teachers are lifelong learners. She blogs regularly at A Year of Reading (readingyear.blogspot.com) and she is also a regular contributor to Choice Literacy. Writing is the best way Franki knows to better understand the complexities of learning and teaching. Because she believes strongly in the power of community, she has always been a member of many professional organizations. Literacy organizations such as NCTE, OCTELA, and The Literacy Connection have been important in Franki's professional life. She was recently elected Vice President of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and will begin her term in November of 2016. Franki has taught in the Dublin City Schools for her entire career. Her husband, Scott has also spent his career in Dublin City Schools. Franki and Scott have two daughters, Alexa and Ana. When Karen was young, she learned from some wonderful educators who inspired her to consider becoming a teacher. She recalls telling her fifth grade teacher that she wanted to become a teacher when she grew up. It was meant to be. All those years she played school with her brother and sisters were preparing her for a career in education. Karen considers herself fortunate to have spent her days alongside children because she knows there is so much to learn from them. "When we really listen to children, they tell us all there is to know about teaching wisely and well." Karen believes in giving children voice and choice in their daily lives at school and that wonder and curiosity can promote learning in and out of school. Karen has had a lifetime of experiences in education. She taught elementary school in Vermilion, Ohio until her family relocated to Central Ohio. She spent the remainder of her career in the Dublin City Schools in Dublin, Ohio. Reading and writing workshops were always important routines in her classroom. She enjoyed watching her students develop their independence. Karen believes strongly that building relationships with students is the best way to promote a community of learners. In addition to being a classroom teacher, Karen worked for several years as Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction for Dublin City Schools. She was able to work with teams of teachers to design thoughtful curriculum and effective instruction in response to the changing roles of learners and teachers. She also planned and implemented professional development for teachers in the district. She understands the power of teacher collaboration and the collective wisdom that supports strong beliefs about learning and teaching. Karen also served as a Principal for the Dublin City Schools. After several years as an elementary school principal, Karen was given the opportunity to fulfill a longtime passion of hers. She was selected to open a new school in the district. Karen hired staff, welcomed new families and sought to build a community of students, parents and teachers who believed in the unlimited potential of every child. While she was principal of Glacier Ridge Elementary School, she and the staff were featured in The Literacy Principal in Action, a DVD produced by Choice Literacy. Karen enjoys both professional and personal writing. She has co-authored several books and videos with Franki Sibberson. Her publications include Beyond Leveled Books (Stenhouse), Still Learning to Read(Stenhouse), Bringing Reading to Life (Stehnouse) and Day-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop(Scholastic). Karen also blogs at Talkworthy. She has shared her knowledge and expertise at state and national conferences. Karen is currently retired but will always be connected to the world of learning, teaching and leading. She spends time reading and writing, gardening, and spending time with her grandchildren who remind her about what it means to be a learner. Lisa Koch has been teaching in Ohio since 1990. She has worked with parents, teachers and literacy coaches helping them to choose meaningful and entertaining books for their classroom libraries. Lisa has also worked with new moms teaching the importance of early literacy. She has presented at many conferences and workshops in regards to reading and using picture books with students of all ages. She is currently teaching journalism in Morrow, Ohio.

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