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Beyond Retelling: Toward Higher Level Thinking and Big Ideas / Edition 1

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Patricia Cunningham and Debra Renner Smith help close the literacy gap and achieve academic success for all students with
Beyond Retelling:

Toward Higher Level Thinking and Big Ideas!

To meet today’s educational demands, Patricia Cunningham and Debra Renner Smith present teachers with a framework based on years of reading research to help students attain higher level thinking skills and develop their ability to think critically about what they read. Their “Thinking Theme” lesson framework allows teachers to pose “The Big Question” and support students as they think about “The Big Idea.” With the guidance of Pat and Deb, teachers will find their students will be able to formulate thoughtful answers to the big question and will move from proficiency to literacy achievement.

Reviewers Can’t Put This Book Down!

“In an era of phonics-based instruction, especially for students in poverty and English Language Learners, it is refreshing to see a balanced view of what good reading instruction can look like…. Additionally, the lessons described in Beyond Retelling demonstrate that all students are capable of deep thinking about their reading…. Beyond Retelling is a phenomenal book.”

–Sheila Bostrom, Thomson Elementary, Brush, CO

“The authors have done an amazing job and have hit upon one of the biggest issues confronting teaching reading today. In a time when teachers are pressured to cover material at a lightening pace, higher level thinking skills are not being taught as they should. This book reminds us that we should be creating critical thinkers and lifelong learners…”

–Pam B. Cole, Department Chair, Kennesaw State University

This book will become a must-read for any teacher whose state requires students to be evaluated on the higher level thinking processes of synthesis, analysis, evaluation, or application as they move through elementary and middle school!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205542178
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 6/22/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Meet the Authors

Patricia M. Cunningham is a Professor of Education at Wake Forest University. She has over 30 years of experience, taught in various elementary grades and remedial reading, and was a curriculum coordinator and director of reading. Her major professional goal is promoting literacy for all children and currently engages in Four-Blocks® workshops and staff development with educators.

Debra Renner Smith is a reading and writing consultant. Deb co-authored Writing Mini-Lessons for Second Grade with Dorothy Hall and Patricia Cunningham. She was a contributing author to True Stories from Four Blocks Stories Edited by Cunningham and Hall (chapter 5). She taught kindergarten, fourth, and second grades in Michigan for twelve years and worked to develop curriculum using the Four-Blocks® Literacy Model linked to Michigan standards. Deb is currently involved in Four-Blocks® workshops and staff development that involves training, modeling, coaching, and collaborative conversations with teachers and administrators across the United States. School districts whose teachers have attended Deb’s customized professional development courses and implemented the methods she presents have experienced significant positive impacts on student achievement. Deb’s thorough modeling of techniques gives them the practical how-to information that teachers need most of all for immediate success in their classrooms. Deb excels in discussing best practices when coaching. Her belief is that every teacher can teach reading and writing well and her mission is to help that happen! Deb continues to share literacy techniques at International Reading conferences.

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Table of Contents

Chapter One Why Higher Level Thinking?

Chapter Two The Big Question, The Big Idea and Deep Thinking

Chapter Three A Sample Thinking Theme Lesson

Chapter Four Making the Concept of Theme Kid-Friendly

Chapter Five Linking Characters to Theme

Chapter Six Teaching Children to Write Responses about Characters and Theme

Chapter Seven A Sample Lesson Comparing Theme Across Two Selections

Chapter Eight Organizing for Thinking Theme Lessons Across the Year


Common Themes and Books that Support these Themes

Skeleton Charts and Checklists

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