Table of Contents

Introduction: We Can Do This

  • Asking Beautiful Questions
  • Paying Attention to What Doesn't Feel Right
  • Asking, "What If?": Creating Space for Possibility

Chapter One: What If Each Day's Teaching Focused on Children's Agency?

  • Finding Our Way to a Beautiful Question: The Disengaged Child
  • What's the Best That Could Happen? Agency Fosters Engagement
  • Imagining New Possibilities for a Child
  • Conferring to Support Access and Choice
  • Paying Attention During Independent Work Time
  • Conferring to Inquire and to Offer Community
  • Postscript

Chapter Two: What If We Made What Children Make and Do Our Priority?

  • Finding Our Way to a Beautiful Question: Workshop Planning
  • What's the Best That Could Happen? Meaningful Work
  • Planning for What Children Will Do First
  • Planning for What Teachers Will Do During Work Time
  • Figuring Out What to Teach
  • Playing with the Sequence
  • Taking Ownership

Chapter Three: What If Our Classroom Environment and Routines Offered Choice?

  • Finding Our Way to a Beautiful Question: Frustration over Supplies
  • What's the Best That Could Happen? Managing Their Own Work
  • Being Intentional in Our Language
  • Cocreating Routines
  • Designing Agentive Environments

 Chapter Four: What If We Owned the Units We Are Asked to Teach?

  • Finding Our Way to a Beautiful Question: The Units We're Given
  • Are These the Right Goals?
  • Which Texts Work Best?
  • How Will We Know When We're Done?
  • How Can This Happen Within Daily Workshop?
  • What's the Best That Could Happen? Perfection in Imperfection

Chapter Five: What If Read-Aloud Sustained Children's Independent Thinking?

  • Finding Our Way to a Beautiful Question: The Wisdom in Children's Thinking
  • Expecting Brilliance
  • Finding Time for Read-Aloud
  • Reading Aloud for Joy
  • Teachers and Children Thinking Aloud
  • What's the Best That Could Happen? Being Inspired to Act

Conclusion: In Pursuit of Beautiful Questions