Cover image for A novel approach : whole-class novels, student-centered teaching, and choice / Kate Roberts.
A novel approach : whole-class novels, student-centered teaching, and choice / Kate Roberts.
Publication Information:
Portsmouth, NH : Heinemann, [2018]

Physical Description:
xiv, 167 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
809.300712 ROB Book Adult General Collection

On Order



As an English teacher, Kate Roberts has seen the power of whole-class novels to build community in her classroom. But she's also seen too many kids struggle too much to read them--and consequently, check out of reading altogether. Kate's had better success getting kids to actually read - and enjoy it-when they choose their own books within a workshop model. "And yet," she says, "I missed my whole-class novels."

In A Novel Approach, Kate takes a deep dive into the troubles and triumphs of both whole-class novels and independent reading and arrives at a persuasive conclusion: we can find a student-centered, balanced approach to teaching reading. Kate offers a practical framework for creating units that join both teaching methods together and helps you:

- Identify the skills your students need to learn
- Choose whole-class texts that will be most relevant to your kids
- Map out the timing of a unit and the strategies you'll teach
- Meet individual needs while teaching whole novels
- Guide students to choice books and book clubs that build on the skills being taught.

Above all, Kate's plan emphasizes teaching reading skills and strategies over the books themselves. "By making sure that our classes are structured in a way that really sees students and strives to meet their needs," she argues, "we can keep reaching for the dream of a class where no student is unmoved, no reader unchanged by the end of the year." Video clips of Kate working with students in diverse classrooms bring the content to life throughout the book.

Author Notes

KATE ROBERTS is a national literacy consultant, top-selling author, and popular keynote speaker. She taught reading and writing in Brooklyn, NY and worked as a literacy coach before joining the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project in 2005, where she worked as a Lead Staff Developer for 11 years. Kate's latest book, A Novel Approach, asks how we can teach whole class novels while still holding onto student centered practices like readers workshop. She is also the co-author of Falling in Love with Close Reading (with Christopher Lehman), DIY Literacy (with Maggie Beattie Roberts), and she co-wrote two Units of Study books on Literary Essay. Her work with students across the country has led to her belief that all kids can be insightful, academic thinkers when the work is demystified, broken down and made engaging. To this end, Kate has worked nationally and internationally to help teachers, schools, and districts develop and implement strong teaching practices and curriculum. Follow Kate online. Twitter: @TeachKate Pinterest: /IndentBlog Blog: