Reading Instruction That Works, Third Edition: The Case for Balanced Teaching / Edition 3

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Now in a revised and expanded third edition, this widely adopted text provides a comprehensive guide to effective literacy instruction in the elementary grades. Distinguished scholar and educator Michael Pressley presents research-based, classroom-tested best practices for combining skills-based and whole language approaches in the context of a highly motivating environment. Updated throughout with the latest data, the book explains the theoretical underpinnings of recommended strategies and techniques and shows how exemplary teachers actually put them into practice. Three all-new chapters provide state-of-the-science coverage of fluency, vocabulary, and writing.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"No one does a better job of describing a truly balanced approach to reading instruction than Michael Pressley, particularly with the new chapters on fluency, vocabulary, and writing. If I had only ten books on reading on my bookshelves, this would be one of them."--Michael F. Graves, PhD, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota

"After reading the third edition of this book, I knew that I had another valuable resource for my classroom. I was encouraged to find coverage of new aspects of reading instruction, including new research that is relevant to my students. Current instructional standards are reflected in the new chapters on fluency, vocabulary, and writing. I highly recommend this book to elementary teachers and special educators."--Sheri Louis, MA, Special Education Teacher, Westcott Junior High School, Westbrook, Maine

"Reading Instruction That Works, Third Edition, demonstrates once again how scholarship can inform instructional practice. With a keen analytical eye, Pressley takes disparate research findings and integrates them into a model of teaching children to read that goes well beyond the recommendations of the National Reading Panel. Moving thinking in the field forward, this third edition is an invaluable resource for both emerging scholars of literacy development and accomplished practitioners and researchers. The reader is left with an overarching sense of what is important: Pressley shows how effective literacy instruction begets engagement and how, as teachers learn to become excellent, 'they also seem to become agents of peace in children's lives.'"--Anne McGill-Franzen, PhD, Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, and Reading Center, University of Tennessee

"This book is a tremendous resource for teachers and principals in school districts across the country. It emphasizes research-based practice in a manner that supports the importance of balanced reading instruction. Ideal for teachers' book groups and district-wide staff development initiatives, the book is also an important reference for reading specialists and reading supervisors. School districts could avoid a lot of 'bandwagons' by making use of the wealth of research in this text."--Carol S. Beers, School of Education, College of William and Mary; former Superintendent, Williamsburg-James City County (Virginia) Public Schools

Curriculum Connections

"Pressley thoroughly defines and describes each type of instruction before showing how successful classrooms provide teacher support as children apply the skills they are learning."--Curriculum Connections
Interjects a voice of reason into current polarizing debates on the "one best way" to teach reading, synthesizing insights and data from a variety of disciplinary perspectives to provide the scientific basis for an eclectic approach. Discusses various components of both whole language and skills instruction, shows how the balanced approach is applied in real classrooms, and describes ways to stimulate literacy from the primary level through the middle and upper elementary grades. For educators, graduate students, and reading specialists. Can also serve as a text in reading methods and materials courses. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Pressley (Catholic education, psychology, U. of Notre Dame) presents the second edition of this text for reading educators and specialists, staff developers and in-service professionals who focus on reading, teacher educators, graduate students, policymakers and parents concerned with elementary school reading instruction. The new edition incorporates material from the wealth of literacy research completed since the publication of the first edition in 1998. The revised text includes new material on phonemic awareness, comprehension problems, decoding and comprehension, vocabulary instruction, development of word knowledge, the use of many motivational mechanisms in the classroom, and the place of Reading Recovery instructional techniques within balanced instruction. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593852283
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/30/2005
  • Series: Solving Problems in the Teaching of Literacy Series
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 469
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Pressley, PhD, was University Distinguished Professor, Director of the Doctoral Program in Teacher Education, and Director of the Literacy Achievement Research Center at Michigan State University. An expert on effective elementary literacy instruction, he was the author or editor of more than 300 journal articles, chapters, and books. Dr. Pressley was the recipient of the 2004 E. L. Thorndike Award (American Psychological Association, Division 15), the highest award given for career research accomplishment in educational psychology.
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Read an Excerpt

1. Whole Language
2. Skilled Reading
3. Children Who Experience Problems in Learning to Read
4. Before Reading Instruction Begins
5. Learning to Recognize Words
6. Expert Primary-Level Teaching of Literacy Is Balanced Teaching
7. The Need for Increased Comprehension Instruction
8. Motivation and Literacy
9. Concluding Reflections...for the Time Being
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Table of Contents

1. Whole Language
2. Skilled Reading
3. Children Who Experience Problems in Learning to Read
4. Before Reading Words Begins
5. Learning to Recognize Words
6. Fluency, with Lauren Fingeret
7. Vocabulary, with Laurel Disney and Kendra Anderson
8. Expert Primary-Level Teaching of Literacy Is Balanced Teaching, with Ruth Wharton-McDonald and Jennifer Mistretta Hampston
9. The Need for Increased Comprehension Instruction, with Ruth Wharton-McDonald
10. Writing, with Mary M. Juzwik
11. Motivation and Literacy
12. Concluding Reflections...for the Time Being
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