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Harvey "Smokey" A. Daniels

Daniels, Smokey

"Smokey" Daniels has been a city and suburban classroom teacher and a college professor, and now works as a national consultant and author on literacy education. In language arts, Smokey is known for his pioneering work on student book clubs, as recounted in Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups, and Minilessons for Literature Circles. Smokey has also coauthored four bestselling books on content-area literacy: Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading; Comprehension & Collaboration; Subjects Matter, and Content-Area Writing. He is coauthor of the new Best Practice, Fourth Edition and The Best Practice Video Companion as well as editor of Comprehension Going Forward. Smokey works with elementary and secondary teachers throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, offering demonstration lessons, workshops and consulting. He focuses on creating, sustaining and renewing student-centered inquiries and discussions of all kinds. Smokey shows colleagues how to simultaneously build students' reading strategies, balance their reading diets, and strengthen the social skills they need to become genuine lifelong readers.

Watch the author consulting video: Meet Smokey Daniels

Areas of expertise
  • Classroom Engagement
  • Collaboration, and Social Skills
  • Inquiry Circles
  • Literature Circles
  • Strategies for Teaching Reading in Content Areas
  • Strategies for Teaching Writing in Content Areas


  • Comprehension, Collaboration, and Inquiry: This practical, hands-on workshop answers questions raised by concerned teachers across the country: How can I make sure my students understand, remember, and apply the content they read in social studies, science, and language arts? How can I help them to handle increasingly complex text through the year, as the outcomes require? And even more, how can I stir kids' curiosity, so that they engage deeply in big ideas, build knowledge through their schooling, and ultimately, act wisely as citizens?
  • Drawing on his three recent books, Subjects Matter: Every Teacher's Guide to Content-Area Reading; Content Area Writing; and Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action, Harvey "Smokey" Daniels will show you how kids can think better around challenging nonfiction and fiction texts, and how they can use writing as a tool for learning in all classrooms. After reviewing the cognitive strategies used by proficient readers, writers, and inquirers, Smokey will engage you in a variety of reading and writing demonstrations and mini-lessons that are adaptable across grade levels and subject areas.
  • Smokey will show you how to organize productive small-group reading and writing activities that replace more passive large group discussions and end of the chapter quizzes with productive, accountable talk: The workshop will also review the typical array of school reading assignments, showing how to extend students' range, supplementing textbooks with real-world nonfiction text from print and internet sources. Finally, Smokey will demonstrate a new structure called "inquiry circles" that organizes small teams of students into curricular investigations that build deep understanding, ensure differentiation, and tap students' energy and curiosity.

Program Highlights

  • three keys to growing proficient, lifelong readers and learners
  • how smart readers think-and how skilled writers compose
  • mini-lessons that support students before, during, and after reading and writing
  • scaffolding students up a stairway of increasingly complex text
  • writing as a tool of reading comprehension and discussion
  • broadening students' reading diets
  • how to use a textbook more effectively-and less often
  • broadening students' reading diets, and building text sets of engaging material
  • explicitly teaching the social skills of small group discussion
  • supporting struggling readers and language learners
  • formative and summative assessments of kids' growth as readers, writers, thinkers, and collaborators