Why does one classroom hum with productivity and enthusiasm and the one next door sag under the weight of the work? Both have teachers committed to children and the curriculum, using similar materials and methodology. To understand the invisible forces within a classroom of busy children, we must look beneath the surface to the relationships that shape behavior and determine daily patterns of teaching and learning.More than Meets the Eye focuses on the fascinating web of relationships that define the classroom environment: the relationship between the teacher and the student; the relationship between and among the students; the relationship between the teacher and the reading-writing curriculum; the relationship between the student and the reading-writing curriculum. Citing recent research and classroom examples, this groundbreaking book illuminates the importance and potential of each of these key relationships and offers practical, classroom-tested ways to build and strengthen them. It delves to a deeper understanding of what supports readers and writers as they grow.

When we make these connections a priority in the classroom, our query shifts from what do we want to cover in the curriculum to more complex questions: How do I foster a lifelong relationship between my students and their reading and writing? How do I help students live meaningful lives in the classroom community? How do I value and learn from each child? Looking at the classroom through the lens of relationships offers a timely and innovative way to view the daily dynamics of literacy learning. This book will help you improve your reading-writing program as you begin to see the classroom as a learning organization alive with connections that hinder or enhance all that is possible.