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Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding

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Strategies That Work

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"Yes, this one is worth the time!", August 22, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from San Diego
Elemenatary teachers: READ THIS BOOK! I know, I know! ANOTHER book about teaching strategies! Haven't we (as teachers) read enough? The answer is no if you want to improve/create your reading program! I have taught 6th grade for 7 years and I was always unhappy with my reading programs. To add to my frustration, I began to support new teachers in the BTSA program who desperatly needed my help in creating an effective reading program for their classroom. Fortunately, my school decided to reorganize our instruction to focus on Guided Reading. That is when I found this book! Strategies that work is not just another list of strategies that need to be taught. It SHOWS you how to plan and implement lessons that will engage children and teach reading comprehension strategies. My favorite chapter was 8 beacuse it specifically dealt with inferring and this is an important piece for 6th graders in reading and writing. Don't worry - it's an easy read that IS worth your time. Don't let the title lull you into thinking it is just another "teacher text". Side Bar: Try to read it with another teacher, the discussions you will have will be invaluable!!!

What Really Matters for Struggling Readers

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What Really Matters for Struggling Readers

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Great book for parents too, June 20, 2003
Reviewer: A dad from Gainesville, FL United States
I bought the book in search of ways to help my 6 year old overcome apparent reading difficulties. This book is so well grounded on scientific findings rather than hearsays. Yet it also provides guidelines for tutoring struggling readers and pointers to various resources. After reading this book, I realized that my child had the typical word-by-word problem described in the book, most likely due to interrupting corrections to his pronunciation. This book taught me how essential it is to use books of the right level and the right way to tutor a struggling reader. I put what I learned into practice during a recent vocation and saw great improvement even just after one week. Now my son no longer feels frustrated when asked to read, rather he starts to enjoy reading. I really wish that my son's teacher had read this book, but I am glad I found it. This book really makes me in awe of the power of knowledge gained through serious scientific research. I recommend it wholeheartedly to parents and teachers alike.

Mosaic of Thought : Teaching Comprehension in a Reader's Workshop

Buy New: $29.00

Mosaic of Thought

Spotlight Reviews

Absolute must for ALL English/ Language Arts Teachers, April 14, 1999
Reviewer: A reader from Spanish Fork, Utah
But don't stop there. ALL teachers need to read this book. Provides the perfect explanation and strategies for teaching comprehension to upper level students. Fits perfectly with the new Utah State Core for English! I've read it twice and plan to read it again so that I can build each year in the way I use the strategies.

Best professional book!, September 9, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from Hopkinton, MA USA
I can't recall ever wanting to read a professional text more than once. I almost couldn't wait to finish the book so that I could read it again. I find myself using the strategies they discuss in my own reading and of course, in my student's. I plan to use this text as a handbook for reader's workshop in my class this year.

Teaching Reading in Middle School (Grades 5 & Up)

Buy New: $16.77

Teaching Reading in Middle School (Grades 5 & Up)

Teaching Reading in Middle School, January 4, 2001
Reviewer: Dr. Ruth Nathan
The very best thing about Laura Robb's newest book is that after you read it, you don't feel you need to meet her. As I read, whenever I had a question,want to see an example, or wish that a checklist might be on the next page, there it was! After reading it you will have post-its on specific pages, feel organized and know that you have to have two copies, one for home and one for school. The book is perfectly organized. A short chapter on the research that shapes a middle school reading program, is followed by strategy lessons that go through the process of reading almost anything: before,during, and after reading. These chapters are prefaced by a most helpful chapter on what strategic reading looks like in middle school. The chapters after are on ways to connect students to books, cross grade projects and a wonderful chapter on assessment. The appendices are perfect! They hit the nail on the head from reading surveys to open ended discussion questions (by genre). This book is truly the answer to a middle school reading teachers prayers!

Improving Comprehension With Think-Aloud Strategies : Modeling What Good Readers Do

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Improving Comprehension With Think-Aloud Strategies

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Think-Aloud while you Read-Aloud, November 9, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Des Plaines, IL United States
If you read aloud to your class, you must read this book! This books brings to our attention the during reading strategies that we do automatically and demonstrates how to teach them to our students. Appropriate for any grade level.

Reading Reminders : Tools, Tips, and Techniques

Buy New: $29.00

Reading Reminders

Superlative, January 7, 2003
Reviewer: Leslie from IN
As a 26 year veteran of the high school English classroom, I am thrilled with Jim Burke's latest book, Reading Reminders. It has come at a perfect time as well since, like many schools in our state, we have adopted a reading goal as part of our school improvement plan. Not one of the teachers in my department has a reading endorsement or any idea of how to teach reading. So this book has been incredibly helpful to us all (as well as to colleagues in other departments). It is so practical, so well-researched and thought out! It also reminds me of some of the best practice I engaged in when I started teaching but have somehow forgotten over the years. I also appreciate how easy it is to use - you can start implementing the strategies immediately although I think it is most effective to read it through beforehand to appreciate how beautifully it aligns with what is overall best practice in teaching English. Having done a great deal of research lately on this subject, I have not found any materials to equal this book.

(I also give his English Teacher's Companion to all of our new English teachers. They invariably rave about it.)

When Kids Can't Read: What Teachers Can Do: A Guide for Teachers 6-12

Buy New: $28.50

When Kids Can't Read

This is a winner! Every MS and HS teachers needs to read it, December 18, 2002
Reviewer: Georgia Hedrick (see more about me) from Reno, NV, USA
Passion. Voice. Soul. Reality. This book has all of this and more. It has substance. I wish I had been given this book when i was teaching Middle School and High School. I wish I had known then what I have now learned, now that I am a retired teacher after 37 years of teaching.

This is a book that makes sense in all its many pages, as to what teachers can and ought to do, WHEN KIDS CAN'T READ. I loved the idea that 'it's okay to reread a book!' duh. (Why didn't I think of that?) I loved 'think alouds'. I loved 'say something'. I loved all the methods given because I know they work--she presents the word for word classroom dialogue to show how they work.

Here is a book that reaches out and touches you, no, more, it reaches out and grabs you by the eyeballs to look, to look again; to read, and read again; to model the methods and model them again.

Am I being paid for this to say this? No! Do I even know Kylene Beers? no. Do I love this book and think it is a savior to poor adolescent readers everywhere? A resounding YES !!!

Reading With Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades

Buy New: $26.25

Reading With Meaning

First Grade Readers Really Can Comprehend!, June 16, 2003
Reviewer: Cynthia A Fletcher from Kansas City, Kansas United States
I read this book to help me work with my students on comprehension. I had read Strategies That Work and Mosaic of Thought and still didn't know how to implement this comprehension study in my classroom. Reading With Meaning cleared it up for me and gave me clear examples of how to integrate a true comprehension study right along with decoding instruction. This book helped me to outline a two year comprehension study with my first and second grade looping classroom. My kids not only read well but they can comprehend great too! If you are struggling with your students to understand a text deeper this is a must read.

Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12

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Words, Words, Words

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One of the best books on vocabulary instruction, August 22, 1999
Reviewer: A reader from san diego, ca
Janet Allen has done a terrific job of blending theory with practice. Taking the last twenty years of research on vocabulary, Allen synthesizes the major guiding principles and illustrates a variety of strategies for helping students to acquire and develop vocabulary. As always, Allen writes in a clear, reader-friendly, no-nonsense style--a refreshing change from many of the language arts books in the field. As a reading specialist for the past twenty years, I highly recommend her new book.

Classrooms That Work: They Can All Read and Write (3rd Edition)

Buy New: $20.30

Classrooms That Work: They Can All Read and Write (3rd Edition)

A superb resource for teachers and concerned parents, June 8, 2002
Reviewer: Midwest Book Review (see more about me) from Oregon, WI USA
Now in a revised and updated third edition, Classrooms That Work by Patricia M. Cunningham (Professor of Education, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina) and Richard L. Allington (Irvin and Rose Fien Professor of Education, University of Florida) is a solid, practical no-nonsense guide to creating a positive educational environment in both public and private schools, with emphasis on teaching literacy in first through sixth grades. The authors offer useful strategies and techniques for helping children learn including cross-checking, means of accurately assessing reading skill, multilevel guided reading, and much more. Classrooms That Work is a superb resource for teachers and concerned parents seeking to improve the quality and learning atmosphere of the formal and informal classroom setting.

Reading Placement Tests, 4Th-6Th Grades: Easy Assessments to Determine Students' Levels in Phonics, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension

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Reading Placement Tests, 4Th-6Th Grades: Easy Assessments to Determine Students' Levels in Phonics, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension

Easy Assessments to Determine Students Levels in Phonics, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension

A concise, ready-to use collection of assessments to use at the beginning of the school year. With these tests, you can determine each child¹s level of proficiency in reading, identify instructional needs for individuals and for the group as a whole, and have a baseline from which to measure a child¹s growth in reading. Covers comprehension, vocabulary, and oral reading.

About the Author
Written by a well-regarded standardized test writer and a team of literacy specialists at Scholastic.

Teaching Struggling Readers: Articles from the Reading Teacher

Buy New: $29.95

Teaching Struggling Readers: Articles from the Reading Teacher

This compilation addresses instructional issues for teachers of children with reading/learning disabilities. The book is designed to help the reader redefine professional beliefs regarding what can be accomplished and to provide useful, specific examples of programs and practices that foster reading development in all children, both inside and outside the classroom.