Reading Essentials: The Specifics You Need to Teach Reading Well

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With all the controversy and confusion over "best practice" issues in teaching reading, someone with the necessary experience, the ability to take the long view, and most of all a level head is essential to set things straight. This is where Regie Routman steps in: giving clarity, support, specific demonstrations, and confidence to teachers so they can teach reading in a manner that is consistent with research and learning theory and respectful of students' needs, interests, and abilities. In Reading Essentials, ...

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With all the controversy and confusion over "best practice" issues in teaching reading, someone with the necessary experience, the ability to take the long view, and most of all a level head is essential to set things straight. This is where Regie Routman steps in: giving clarity, support, specific demonstrations, and confidence to teachers so they can teach reading in a manner that is consistent with research and learning theory and respectful of students' needs, interests, and abilities. In Reading Essentials, she realistically describes how to achieve these goals-and get high test scores too.

Based on her continuing work teaching in schools, Routman proves that good teaching doesn't have to mean lots of hours spent planning. What's necessary is good thinking-thinking about what matters to kids, what kids need to know, how we can move them forward, and how to ensure that they comprehend and enjoy what they read-including struggling students. Readers will discover research-based strategies, immediately doable ideas, and detailed lessons-all based on an instructional framework that includes:

  • demonstrations
  • shared demonstrations
  • guided practice
  • independent practice.
Thoughout the text, Routman emphasizes the use of professional common sense and demonstrates how to maximize your time, making the most of every teachable moment. Practical, philosophical, and political, Reading Essentials gets to the heart of what excellent reading instruction is all about-and puts the fun back into your teaching.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781417624461
  • Publisher: San Val
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Format: Library Binding

Meet the Author

Regie Routman's intimate knowledge of teaching and learning, down-to-earth style, and dedication to children's success have made her one of the most vibrant and respected names in literacy education. Her books, Teaching Essentials; Writing Essentials; Reading Essentials; Conversations; Literacy at the Crossroads; Invitations; The Blue Pages; and Transitions, all published by Heinemann, have encouraged hundreds of thousands of teachers to take charge of their professional learning and create efficient, joyful practices. Currently she is dedicating herself to a new, dynamic framework to support teachers' professional development. The DVD-based Regie Routman in Residence supports in-depth, yearlong literacy staff development that replicates the demonstration teaching she conducts in weeklong residencies and brings to life the practices she advocates in Teaching Essentials. Regie continues to inform and inspire teachers as a language arts coach in schools across the country, as a speaker at national conferences, and as a presenter of one-day workshops through Heinemann Professional Development.
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Table of Contents

A Note About Notes xv
Acknowledgments xvii
1 The Essential Reading Life
1 Simplify Your Teaching Life 3
Why Reading Essentials? 4
Be as Knowledgeable as You Can Be 5
There Is No One "Right" or Best Way 6
Question Research 6
Teach What's Essential to the Well-Being of the Child as a Learner and a Developing Person 7
What About Learners with Special Needs? 8
Teach to the Child, Not the Label 9
View Teaching as an Art Supported by Science 9
2 Bond with Your Students 11
How Does Bonding Work? 13
Work Your Magic with Students 13
Ensure Early Success for Every Child 14
Model Respect 15
Encourage Shared Decision Making 16
Bring in Stories 17
Tell the Stories of Your Life 17
Value Children's Stories 18
Read Stories Aloud 18
Get to Know Your Students as Readers 20
Learn About Students' Reading Lives at Home 21
Enjoy Your Students 21
Celebrate Your Life 22
3 Share Your Reading Life 23
Tell Students Why You Read 24
Share Your Reading Habits 25
Let Students Know What You Are Reading and What You Will Read Next 25
Share Your Passion for Reading 26
Discuss the Importance and Pleasure of Having a Personal Library 27
Talk About Favorite Authors and Favorite Books 27
Talk About How Book Clubs Work 30
Explain How You Choose Books to Read 30
Read a Variety of Genres 32
Maintain a Reading Record 33
Show Your Students How You Read 37
Demonstrate Your Pleasure in Reading 37
2 The Essential Reading Day
4 Teach with a Sense of Urgency 41
Do More Teaching 42
Rely on an Optimal Learning Model 43
Demonstration 45
Shared Demonstration 45
Guided Practice 46
Independent Practice 46
Understand and Apply the Learning Model 47
Work Toward Independence 48
Promote Joy in Learning 48
Put the Learning Model into Action 49
Integrate Basic Skills into Challenging, Relevant Curriculum 50
Focus on Language Acquisition, Not Just Letters and Sounds 51
Ground Phonemic Awareness Work in Language Play 51
Maximize Whole-Class Teaching 52
Include Interactive Reading 52
Connect Reading with Writing 53
How Much Written Response Is Appropriate? 54
Create Your Own Texts for Shared, Guided, and Independent Reading 54
Put It into Action: An Integrated Reading-Writing Lesson 55
Summary of Reading-Writing Activities 57
Text-Solving Activities 57
Word-Solving Activities 60
Raise Your Expectations 62
5 Organize an Outstanding Classroom Library 63
Classroom Libraries and Books Improve Reading Achievement 64
Expand Access for Struggling Readers 65
Be Sure to Include and Value "Light Reading" 65
Take a Critical Look at Your Classroom Library 66
Provide Lots of Choices and Books 67
Find Out Students' Favorite Authors, Series, and Book Titles 68
Pay Attention to Students' Interests and De-emphasize Leveled Books 69
Include Lots of Nonfiction 70
Make Books and Book Talk "Hot" in Your Classroom 71
Make Classroom and School Libraries Attractive, Comfortable, and Accessible for Reading 73
Involve Your Students in Library Design and Organization 75
Teach Students How to Care for Books 79
Start a Summer Reading Program 80
Classroom Libraries Simplify Guided Reading 81
There Is No Substitute for Quality Books 81
6 Plan for and Monitor Independent Reading 82
Students Need to Do More Reading 83
Struggling Readers Need Much More Time to Read 84
What Do We Mean by an Independent Reading Program? 85
Research Strongly Supports Independent Reading 85
Connect Independent Reading with Teaching and Evaluating 86
Notice Where Independent Reading Fits in the Optimal Learning Model 86
An Independent Reading Program Is Essential 87
Set Up Classroom Procedures 88
Value Independent Reading in Kindergarten 89
Depend on Partner Reading 91
Evaluate Partner Reading 93
Teach Students How to Select "Just-Right" Books 93
Establish Selection Guidelines 94
Demonstrate That Reading Words Accurately Is Not Enough 96
Don't Underestimate the Importance of Choice 97
7 Make Assessment Instruction's Working Partner 98
Make Assessment Work for You and Your Students 99
Make Assessment and Evaluation a Daily Routine 100
Regularly Evaluate Students Regarding the Texts They Are Reading 100
Conduct Informal Reading Conferences 101
A Framework for an Informal Reading Conference 104
Child-Friendly Reading Goals 106
Teach Intentionally 107
Try Some Informal Reading Conferences 108
Use Standards and High-Stakes Testing to Improve Comprehension 108
Make Ongoing Accountability Central to Teaching Reading 111
Have a School Policy in Place 111
Work to Change Cumbersome District Policies 112
3 Teaching Essentials
8 Teach Comprehension 117
Teach Comprehension Right from the Start 117
Start with the Texts Students Are Reading 118
Demonstrate That Proficient Readers Use Many Strategies 118
Be Careful About How You Teach Comprehension 119
Balance Explicit Instruction with Lots of Time for Application 119
Teach and Apply Your Own Comprehension Processes 120
Make Your Reading/Thinking Process Visible 121
Teach Rereading as the Single Most Useful Strategy 122
Use Writing to Help Recall Key Points 123
Teach Students to Survey Text Before They Begin to Read 123
Make Connections 124
Teach Self-Monitoring as Crucial to Understanding 124
Interact with Peers to Increase Comprehension and Enjoyment 126
Use Texts That Are Easy Enough and Meaningful Enough to Support Comprehension 127
Keep Fluency in Perspective 128
Teach Students How to Ask Significant Questions 128
Use Caution and Common Sense When Teaching Strategies 129
9 Emphasize Shared Reading 130
Make Shared Reading an Integral Part of Your Reading Program 130
Notice Where Shared Reading Fits in the Optimal Learning Model 131
Use Shared Reading to Demonstrate Reading of All Kinds of Texts 132
Add Shared Reading Aloud 133
A Framework for Shared Reading Aloud for All Grades 134
Observe Shared Reading Aloud in Action 139
Enjoy a Picture Book in a Shared Read-Aloud 139
Present an Informational Book Through a Shared Read-Aloud 143
Introduce a Literary Genre Through a Shared Read-Aloud 147
Evaluate Shared Reading Aloud 149
10 Examine Guided Reading 150
Clarify Guided Reading for Yourself 150
Understand Where Guided Reading Fits in the Optimal Learning Model 151
Be Cautious About How You Group Children 152
Create Opportunities for Flexible Grouping 153
Choose Books for Guided Reading Carefully 153
Examine Your Book Collection for Quality 154
Qualities of an Excellent Text for Guided Reading 155
Establish a Workable Schedule 156
Broaden Your Groups and Shorten the Time You Meet with Them 157
Examine Your Instructional Reading Schedule 157
Be Flexible About Guided Reading in Kindergarten 159
Make Management Easy and Meaningful 160
Have Students Spend Most of Reading Time Reading 160
Make Sure Your Literacy Centers Are Worth the Time They Take 163
Make Sure Your Management Techniques Are "Manageable" 163
Model Exactly What You Expect Students to Do 163
Evaluate How Well Students Not in a Guided Reading Group Have Managed Themselves 165
Plan Your Guided Reading Lessons with a Focus on Meaning 167
Some Important Purposes for Guided Reading 168
A Framework for Thinking About a Guided Reading Lesson 170
Essential Materials for Guided Reading 172
Excerpts from Guided Reading Groups 175
Grade 1 Readers Who Struggle 175
Grade 1 High-Achieving Readers 178
Grade 2 Average Readers 180
Grade 4 High Average Readers 182
4 Advocacy Is Also Essential
11 Build on Best Practice, Know the Research, and Use Programs as a Resource 185
Build on Best Practices in Teaching Reading 186
Be Knowledgeable About Relevant Research 187
Be Informed About the Influential National Reading Panel Report 189
Know and Apply the Research on Effective Teaching 191
Use Programs Only as a Resource 191
Take a Close Look at Your Commercial Basal Reader 193
Become Knowledgeable About Direct Instruction 193
Ask Questions Before Any Program Adoption 195
A Word About Computerized Reading-Incentive Programs 198
Take Professional Responsibility for What You Believe 200
12 You Only Have So Much Time 201
Live an Interesting Life 202
Spend Most of Your Time Thinking 202
Trust Your Own Experiences to Help You Plan Well 203
Keep Work Meaningful 203
Keep Work Simple 204
Make Every Minute Count 205
Use All Time Spent with Your Students to Teach and Assess 205
Make Ongoing Evaluation Part of Every Literacy Activity 205
Keep a Lively Pace 206
Create Structures That Maximize Participation and Learning 207
Fight for More Time for Students Who Struggle 207
Use Transitional Periods as Teaching Times 208
Introduce "Mystery Words" 208
Make Work Done While Waiting for the Bell to Ring Sensible and Pleasurable 209
Make Resources in the Room Useful and Easy to Access 210
Minimize Coloring 210
Reduce Interruptions 211
Reevaluate Time Blocks 211
Look at Your Schedule Carefully 212
Make Time for Ongoing Professional Development 212
Sample Teacher Schedules 213
Take Part in Schoolwide Conversations 216
Make Time for Personal and Professional Reading 217
Do Less, More Effectively 218
Build in Time to Reflect 218
Cultivate a Love of Learning 218
Enjoy! 220
Without Human Caring, the Best Science Is Minimally Effective 221
A. Selected Strategies for Struggling Readers 2
B. 12 Practices of the Most Effective Teachers 3
Letters to Parents
C. Why Independent Reading Is Necessary 4
D. Help Your Child Choose a "Just-Right" Book and Encourage Home Reading 5
Choosing Books
E. Use the Goldilocks Strategy to Choose Books 6
F. Choosing Books for Independent Reading 7
G. SSR Reading 8
Reading Forms
H. Informal Reading Conference 9
I. Reading Log 10
J. Monthly Recording 11
Brief Definitions of Terms 12
Notes 17
Index 1
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