Literacy for the 21st Century: Teaching Reading and Writing in Grades 4 through 8 / Edition 1

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Overview

Literacy for the 21st Century: Teaching Reading and Writing in Grades 4 Through 8 provides a concrete picture of effective literacy instruction for students in these grades. Included are a wealth of age-appropriate assessment tools, minilessons, and authentic classroom activities. You'll also find illustrative examples of how effective teachers engage middle-grade students in the act of reading and writing, providing particular instructional support for working with those students who struggle with literacy. Features of this text include:

  • Chapter-opening vignettes and How Effective Teachers... features at the end of each chapter highlight real classrooms and real teaching strategies.
  • Struggling Readers and Writers notes throughout all chapters, along with Chapter 11, "Working with Struggling Readers and Writers," pinpoint specific ways to address the needs of this population of middle-grade students.
  • ELL margin notes throughout the text specify strategies and methods most appropriate for the English language learner.
  • Free CD-ROM features video footage from an authentic middle-grade classroom. The CD is integrated into the text via margin notes and a full-color insert.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130986542
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 12/12/2003
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 9.98 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Gail E. Tompkins is a Professor at California State University, Fresno, in the Department of Literacy and Early Education, where she teaches courses in reading, language arts, and writing for preservice teachers and students in the reading/language arts master's degree program. She directs the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project and works regularly with teachers, both by teaching model lessons in classrooms and by leading staff development programs. Recently Dr. Tompkins was inducted into the California Reading Association's Reading Hall of Fame in recognition of her publications and other accomplishments in the field of reading. She has also been awarded the prestigious Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching at California State University, Fresno.

Previously, Dr. Tompkins taught at Miami University in Ohio and at the University of Oklahoma in Norman where she received the prestigious Regents' Award for Superior Teaching. She was also an elementary teacher in Virginia for eight years.

Dr. Tompkins is the author of five other texts published by Merrill/Prentice Hall: Literacy for the 21st Century, 3rd edition (2003), Langauge Arts: Content and Teaching Strategies, 5th edition (2002), Teaching Writing: Balancing Process and Product, 4th edition (2004), 50 Literacy Strategies, 2nd edition (2004), and Literacy for the 21st Century: Teaching Reading and Writing in Pre-kindergarten through Grade 4, (2004). Dr. Tompkins is also a contributing author to two Merrill texts: Sharing the Pen: Interactive Writing with Young Children (2004) and Teaching Vocabulary: 50 Creative Strategies, Grades K-12 (2004). She has written numerous articles related toreading and language arts that have appeared in The Reading Teacher, Language Arts, and other professional journals.

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Read an Excerpt

Founded on the principles and research that have made Literacy for the 21st Century the best selling literacy text in the market, my new text, Literacy for the 21st Century: Teaching Reading crud Writing in Grades Four Through Eight, focuses on the literacy needs and development of 4th through 8th grade learners. My aim is to present, clearly and thoroughly, the theory, application, examples, and strategies prospective teachers need to fully understand teaching and assessing reading and writing in these grades.

Created for core literacy courses that have been split to meet a growing demand for credentialing teachers with more in-depth knowledge of upper elementary literacy strategies, this text provides a solid foundation for teaching and using vocabulary, content area reading, the reading and writing connection, narrative text, and print skills with middle grade students. Of particular importance is the strong focus on the needs of struggling readers.

Middle grade teachers have special concern for their struggling readers. By the middle grades, students are no longer learning to read, but reading to learn. If students are uncomfortable, or unfamiliar, with the basics of reading and writing by the time they reach grade four, all their learning will suffer. For that reason, middle grade teachers need the understanding, strategies, and skills to best address the needs of struggling readers. A special feature in each chapter addresses the needs of struggling readers and writers, culminating in a complete chapter addressing the topic.

This comprehensive text presents sound approaches to literacy instruction and guides teachers toward best practice inteaching strategies as well as skills. The principles of effective reading instruction outlined in Chapter 1 provide a strong, easily understood foundation for the entire book. I have culled and created minilessons and assessment tools geared specifically toward teaching and assessing strategies and skills in grades 4-8; the authentic classroom activities and student artifacts included spotlight a number of middle grade teachers who illustrate how they plan for and engage their students in literacy activities; English Language Learner margin notes address the specific concerns of this audience of learners; and the accompanying CD-ROM of classroom footage, along with a full-color CD insert within the text, further establish what is best practice for literacy teachers working with students in this age range. DRIVING PRINCIPLES

My goal in this text is to show beginning teachers how to teach reading and writing effectively in middle grades, how to create a classroom climate where literacy flourishes, and how to empower the diverse array of readers and writers in today's classrooms to function competently as literate adults in the twenty-first century. To that end, I have based the text on four contemporary theories of literacy learning: constructivist, interactive, sociolinguistic, and reader response theories.

You will lea n how to implement a reading program with strategies and skills taught in context using a whole-part-whole organizational approach. The approach I take can, I believe, best be described as balanced and comprehensive. You will learn how to teach vital strategies and useful skills within the context of authentic reading and writing experiences. I have carefully selected the principles, strategies, skills, and examples of literature that will empower the beginning teacher to get up to speed quickly with their early adolescent readers. In creating this textbook, I used knowledge I gleaned from a host of teachers who have been students in my reading courses over the years, and I also sifted through the array of practices and procedures proven effective in today's classrooms and with today's diverse student populations. Although there are many other useful ideas and strategies that can accomplish the goal of producing literate students, I have deliberately and painstakingly chosen research-based, classroom-tested ideas—the best of the best—as the focus of this textbook. THEMES OF THIS BOOK These special features increase the effectiveness of the text and address the most current resources in the field of literacy. Struggling Readers and Writers

One essential focus for middle grade teachers is supporting the learning of struggling readers. You will find insights and ideas embedded in each chapter, as well as one complete chapter dedicated to the topic.

Struggling Readers and Writers Feature: Throughout chapters this feature provides guidelines that will help you address the needs of the struggling reader and writer.

Chapter 11: Working with Struggling Readers and Writers: The chapter-by-chapter look at supporting struggling readers culminates in a complete chapter, addressing the spectrum of needs facing this group of readers. I address the needs of English language learners and unmotivated readers and writers, cover interventions and strategies, and focus teachers' attention, again, on best practice.

English Language Learners: Throughout the text are ELL margin notes specifying which strategies and methods are most appropriate for English language learners and how to adapt teaching to benefit all students. Real Classrooms

My texts have always been grounded in real classroom teaching and learking. I want readers to experience the effective instruction that takes place in classroom communities, so I always provide as many examples from real classrooms as I can, to model best practice and teacher decision-making.

  • Starting with Chapter 2, I begin each chapter with a vignette in which you will see how a real teacher teaches the topic addressed in the chapter. These vignettes are rich and detailed, with photos, dialogue, student writing samples, and illustrations. Readers will be drawn into the story of literacy instruction in an actual classroom as they build background and activate prior knowledge about the chapter's topic. Throughout the chapter, I refer readers to the vignette so that they can apply the concepts they are reading about and make connections to the world of practice.
  • The CD-ROM and full color CD insert provide concrete illustrations of real classroom teaching and connections between chapter content and teaching.
Instructional Procedures

Components of a Balanced Literacy Program: In each chapter you will find a figure outlining the components of a balanced literacy program, and explaining how the topic of that chapter fits into a balanced literacy program. This piece makes it easy for prospective teachers to see how to address each component, no matter the content they are addressing with their students.

Mini-lessons: This feature presents clear information showing how to teach strategies and skills within reading and writing classrooms in grades 4 through 8.

Assessment Resources. This feature builds on the discussion and examples in Chapter 3, providing ideas and illustrating tools for meaningful assessment.

Compendium of Instructional Procedures: The easily accessible Compendium of Instructional Procedures at the back of the book offers clearly articulated instructional methods, an invaluable resource and quick reference. When the procedures are mentioned in the text, they are marked with ' to alert readers that they can turn to the Compendium for more information. Technology

I have taken an integrated approach to technology in this text, highlighting resources and applications within the text and including technological resources as part of the text package.

CD-ROM. A free CD comes with my text. The CD, Literature Circles: Responding to Literature in an 8th Grade Classroom contains footage of a master teacher in her eighth-grade reading and writing classroom. You will have the opportunity to observe the classroom footage, hear from the teacher and students involved, listen to my feedback, and consider the research behind the teacher's decisions. Margin notes in appropriate chapters and a full-color insert in Chapter 8 walks you through using the CD to the fullest.

Technology Links: You will learn about innovative uses of technology in teaching reading and writing through the Technology Links. Among the topics I present in these special features are electronic dialoguing to write back and forth to a reading buddy to respond to literature, videotape portfolios to document student learning, and computer programs that middle grade students can use as they create writing projects.

Companion Website: Margin notes and chapter-ending features provide full text integration with the robust Companion Website that accompanies my text. Providing more ways to use technology effectively as a teaching tool, the Companion Website, available at www.prenhall.com/tompkins, offers opportunities for self-assessment; analysis, synthesis, and application of concepts; regularly updated links to web addresses; and special information for teachers required to pass state tests in teaching reading in order to obtain credentials.

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Table of Contents

1 Becoming an Effective Teacher of Reading 2
2 Teaching the Reading and Writing Processes 30
3 Assessing Students' Literacy Development 66
4 Refining Students' Print Skills 100
5 Learning About the Meanings of Words 136
6 Facilitating Students' Comprehension 172
7 Becoming Familiar With the Structure of Text 206
8 Teaching With Narrative Texts 242
9 Teaching With Content-Area Textbooks 282
10 Connecting Reading and Writing 314
11 Working With Struggling Readers and Writers 350
12 Becoming Lifelong Readers and Writers 380
Compendium of Instructional Procedures 408
Glossary 459
Index of Authors and Titles 463
Subject Index 474
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