Teaching Children to Read: The Teacher Makes the Difference / Edition 5

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Why is preparation so critical for reading teachers? Because research tells us that it’s the teacher who makes the difference in effective reading instruction. Capable literacy teachers think about their teaching decisions, and they understand and meet the needs of individual students. The new edition of Teaching Children to Read: The Teacher Makes the Difference emphasizes the teacher’s role in literacy development, pointing out the five pillars of effective reading instruction–teacher knowledge, assessment, effective practice, differentiated instruction and family/home connections. Chapters are organized around each of these pillars to present a solid understanding of the teacher’s role in every aspect of literacy education.

New to this edition….

Teacher Knowledge

  • Presents all the background knowledge, research, and foundational information you need to recognize evidence-based instruction
  • Supplies needed information on students’ earliest seeds of literacy, particularly in Chapter 2 Developing Children’s Oral Language, a unique chapter in the field


  • Offers full sections in each chapter that look specifically at the ways evaluation and assessment drive instruction
  • Guides you to the assessment tools most appropriate to gauge students’ literacy development and direct instruction accordingly

Effective Practice

  • Provides practical strategies that explain how to sequence instruction to develop critical literacy skills and strategies
  • Illustrates exemplary teaching practice through Video Classrooms, text features that guide you through clipson the accompanying CD ROM and on the Teacher Prep website

Differentiated instruction

  • Points out ways to differentiate instruction to meet the individual needs of students, adapting your instruction to help every student succeed in literacy
  • Features Getting to Know English Learners provide research-based applications to help you meet the needs of students whose first language is not English

Family/Home Connections

  • Explains how teachers can connect with parents to keep them informed about their children’s learning and provides suggestions to guide parents in helping their children become successful readers and writers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780136138068
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 7/5/2007
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 624
  • Product dimensions: 8.01 (w) x 9.99 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. D. Ray Reutzel is the Emma Eccles Jones Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair of Early Childhood Education at Utah State University. Ray is a former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Southern Utah University; Associate Dean of Teacher Education in the David O. McKay School of Education; and former Chair of the Department of Elementary Education at Brigham Young University. While at BYU, he was the recipient of the 1992 Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Research and Creative Arts Professor Award and was an integral part of developing BYU’s nationally celebrated Public School Partnership, the field-based Elementary Education program, the Center for Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling (CITES) and the Utah/CITES Balanced Literacy initiative as a part of the U.S. and Utah’s Goals 2000 funding. He has served as technical assistant to the Reading Excellence Act and the Reading First federal reading reform projects in the state of Utah. Several years ago, he took a leave from his university faculty position to return to full-time, first-grade classroom teaching in Sage Creek Elementary School. Ray has taught in Kindergarten, 1st grade, 3rd grade, and 6th grade.

Dr. Reutzel is the author of more than 165 refereed research reports, articles, books, book chapters, and monographs published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Literacy Research, Journal of Educational Research, Reading Psychology, Reading Research and Instruction, Language Arts, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and The Reading Teacher, among others. He has received more than $5.5 million in research/professional development funding from private, state, and federal funding agencies. He was recently awarded a $1 million research grant as principal investigator under the Teacher Quality Research Program of the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.

He is the past editor of Reading Research and Instruction, the journal of the College Reading Association. He is co-author, with Robert B. Cooter, Jr., of The Essentials for Teaching Children to Read, Second Edition, Teaching Children to Read: The Teacher Makes the Difference, Fifth Edition, and Strategies for Reading Assessment and Instruction: Helping Every Child Succeed, Third Edition published by Pearson Professional & Career. He has written a professional book titled, Your Classroom Library: How to Give It More Teaching Power, with Parker C. Fawson. He is or has been a reviewer for The Reading Teacher, Reading Research Quarterly, Reading Psychology, Journal of Educational Research, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Reading Research and Instruction, Journal of Reading Behavior, Journal of Literqacy Research, and The Elementary School Journal.

Dr. Reutzel received the A.B. Herr Award from the College Reading Association in 1999 for Outstanding Research and Published Contributions to Reading Education. He was the e4ditor of the International Reading Association’s professional elementary section journal The Reading Teacher from 2002-2007. He was awarded the Researcher/Scholar of the Year Award by the College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University in May, 2004. He was elected Vice-President of the College Reading Association in April of 2005 and served as that organization’s President in 2007. Dr. Reutzel was recognized as a recipient of the College of Education’s 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming and is the D. Wynne Thorne Outstanding University Research Award recipient from Utah State University in April 2007. Dr. Reutzel was given the John C. Manning Public School Service Award from the International Reading Association in May 2007. Ray will also serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association from 2007-2010.

Dr. Robert B. Cooter, Jr. is the Ursuline Chair of Teacher Education at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. Prior to moving to Bellarmine University, Dr. Cooter was Distinguished Professor of Urban Literacy Research at The University of Memphis. Professor Cooter teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in reading/literacy education, and his research focuses on the improvement of reading instruction for children living at the poverty level. In November 2007, Robert Cooter, and colleagues J. Helen Perkins and Kathleen Spencer Cooter, received the 2007 Urban Impact Award from the Council of Great City Schools for their work creating and implementing the Memphis Literacy Academy for teacher capacity-building in high poverty schools.

In March of 2006, Robert Cooter and J. Helen Perkins (University of Memphis) were selected by the International Reading Association to serve as editors through 2011 of The Reading Teacher, the largest literacy education journal in the world.

In higher education administration, Professor Cooter has previously served as departmental chair at Texas Christian University (Curriculum & Instruction), Southern Methodist University (Teacher Education), and The University of Memphis (Instruction and Curriculum Leadership). Dr. Cooter also served as Dean of the College of Education at Austin Peay State University (Tennessee).

Professor Cooter founded the award-winning Memphis Literacy Academy, an outreach program in Memphis City Schools dedicated to raising the expertise and of hundreds of inner-city teachers of reading, and is also co-principal investigator for the Memphis Striving Readers Program (grades 6-9 content areas), a $16 million middle school literacy research project in Memphis City Schools funded under a major grant by the U.S. Department of Education for 2006-2011. Dr. Cooter formerly served as the first “Reading Czar” (associate superintendent) for the Dallas Independent School District (TX) and engineered the district’s highly acclaimed Dallas Reading Plan involving the training of approximately 3,000 teachers in “comprehensive literacy instruction.” In 1998 then Texas governor George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush named him a “Texas Champion for Reading” for his development of the Dallas Reading Plan.

Cooter has authored or co-authored more than 60 journal articles and some 19 books in reading education. His books include the best-selling Teaching Children to Read: The Teacher Makes the Difference, 5th ed. (Merrill/Prentice Hall), an evidence-based reading (SBRR) text currently used at over 200 universities; Strategies for Reading Assessment and Instruction: Helping Every Child Succeed (Merrill/Prentice Hall) which is at present the top text in reading assessment in the U.S., Perspectives on Rescuing Urban Literacy Education: Spies, Saboteurs, & Saints (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), The Flynt/Cooter Reading Inventory for the Classroom (Merrill/Prentice-Hall), and the new Comprehensive Reading Inventory (Merrill/Prentice Hall), a norm-referenced reading assessment for classroom use.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Effective Reading Instruction: The Teacher Makes the Difference

Chapter Questions

The First Day…

Why is Learning to Read so Important?

What is Reading?

Teachers Make the Difference

The Seven Characteristics of Highly Effective Reading Teachers

Characteristic 1: Highly effective reading teachers understand how children learn oral language and how children learn to read.

The Structure of Language

Characteristic 2: Highly effective reading teachers are excellent classroom managers.

Characteristic 3: Highly effective reading teachers begin reading instruction by first assessing what students already know and can do.

Characteristic 4: Highly effective reading teachers know how to adapt instruction to meet the needs of learners with special needs.

Characteristic 5: Highly effective reading teachers teach the essential components of reading using evidence-based instructional practices

Characteristic 6: Highly effective reading teachers model reading and writing applications throughout the day.

Characteristic 7: Highly effective reading teachers partner with other teachers, parents and community members to ensure children's learning.

The Five Pillars of Effective Reading Instruction

Summary: Reading Teachers Make the Difference!

Classroom Applications

Recommended Readings

Chapter 2 Developing Children’s Oral Language

Chapter Questions

A Trip to the Zoo… and a Hairy Question

What Do Teachers Need To Know About Oral Language?

What Is Language?

Phonology: Sounds in Spoken Words

Orthography: Connecting Letters and Sounds

Morphology: The Building Blocks of Meaning in Words

Syntax and Grammar: The “Rule Book” in Language

Semantics: Connecting Past Experiences to Reading

Pragmatics: Using Language to Get What We Need

How Do Children Develop Oral Language?

The Behaviorist View of Oral Language Development

The Innatist View of Oral Language Development

The Constructivist View of Oral Language Development

Social Interactionist View of Oral Language Development

The Developmental Stages of Oral Language Development

What Does Research Say About The Relationship Between Oral Language And Reading?

Assessing Children’s Oral Language development and Usage

Teacher Rating of Oral Language and Literacy (TROLL)

Get it Got it Go! - Picture Naming Test

The Oral Language Acquisition Inventory (OLAI)

Principles of Effective Oral Language Instruction

Promoting Oral Language Learning in the School and Classroom

Oral Language Instructional Strategies

Instrumental Oral Language Instruction: Interviews

Regulatory Oral Language Instruction: Giving and Following Commands

Interactional Oral Language Instruction: “Phone” and “Small Group” Conversations

Personal Oral Language Instruction: About Me!

Heuristic Oral Language: Explaining and Convincing

Imaginative Oral Language: Let’s Pretend

Representational Oral Language: Instructions & Directions

Divertive Oral Language: That’s Funny

Authoritative Oral Language: Now Hear This!

Perpetuating Oral Language: Remember This!

Differentiating Oral Language Instruction

Making Family and Community Connections

Involving Parents Having Limited English or Reading Ability


Classroom Applications

Recommended Readings

Chapter 3 Early Reading Instruction: Teaching the Essentials

Chapter Questions

Inviting Them In…

What Is Early Reading And How Do Young Children Become Readers?

What Does The Research Say About The Essentials Of Early Reading Instruction?

How Is Young Children’s Early Reading Assessed?

Print Concepts

Phonemic Awareness

Letter Name Knowledge

What Are The Characteristics Of Effective Early Reading Instruction?

What Are Strategies For Teaching Early Reading Effectively?

Print Concepts Instruction

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Instruction

Letter Name Instruction

How Can Early Reading Instruction Be Adapted to Meet The Needs of Diverse Learners?

What Can Families and Communities Do to Develop Children’s Early Reading


Classroom Applications

Recommended Readings

Chapter 4 Phonics And Word Identification

Chapter Questions

Mr. Bill and Emily

How Do Children Learn to “Decode” Words?

What is phonics?

Learning the Alphabetic Principle

Phonics and Related Word Attack Skills

Some Important Phonics Generalizations to Teach

Other Important Phonics Terms and Skills to be Taught

Onset and Rime

Structural Analysis: An Important Decoding Tool

Putting It All Together: A Sequence for Phonics and Word Identification Skill Instruction

How Do Effective Teachers Assess Letter And Word Identification?

Letter Naming Test (LNT)

Word Attack Survey

The Running Record

Commercial Diagnostic Reading Tests

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)

What Does Research Evidence Show Are The Best Ways Of Teaching Phonics?

Phonics: What Do We Know From Research and Practice?

Favorite Strategies for Teaching Phonics

Creating Nonsense Words

Online Phonics and Word Attack Activities

Who Has Difficulty In Learning Phonics And What Can Be Done To Assist Them?

Interactive Strategies

Students with Dyslexia

English Language Learners

What Strategies Can Parents Use To Help Their Child Learn Phonics Skills?

Words to Go!

Activities for Parents to Increase Children’s Print and Phonological Awareness


Classroom Applications

Recommended Readings

Chapter 5 Developing Children’s Reading Fluency

Chapter Questions

One Minute of Reading

What Is Reading Fluency?

How Do Children Develop Reading Fluency?

Chall’s Stages of Reading Fluency

The Stages of Reading is Action

What Does Research Say About Fluency And Reading?

How Is Reading Fluency Assessed?

Assessing Oral Reading Fluency

Assessing Expressive Reading

What Are The Characteristics of Effective Fluency Instruction?

Fluency Begins Early

What Are Effective Fluency Teaching Strategies?

Implementing the Fluency Instruction Plan

How Can Reading Fluency Instruction Be Adapted oo Meet Diverse Student Needs?

What Can families and Communities do to DEVELOp Children’s READING FLUENCY


Classroom Applications

Recommended Readings

Chapter 6 Increasing Reading Vocabulary

Chapter Questions

What Does Research Tell Us About Vocabulary Learning?

How Do Students Acquire New Vocabulary?

Research on Vocabulary Learning

Vocabulary is Built through Language Interactions

There Are Four Types of Vocabulary

There Are Levels of Vocabulary Learning

What Research Tell Us about Teaching Vocabulary

Which Words Should Be Taught?

Why You Shouldn’t Try to Teach ALL Unknown Words

Words You Should Teach

How Can Teachers Effectively Assess Students’ Vocabulary Knowledge?

Before and After Word Knowledge Self-Ratings

Teacher-Constructed Vocabulary Tests

Modified Cloze Passages

Maze Passages

Vocabulary Flash Cards

Published Diagnostic Vocabulary Tests

What Are Examples Of Research-Proven Strategies Used In Vocabulary Instruction?

Word Banks

Specific Word Instruction

Making Words

Function (“Four-Letter”) Words

Teaching Word Functions and Changes

Helping Students Acquire New Vocabulary Independently

Word Learning Strategies

Encouraging Wide Reading

Computer-Assisted Vocabulary Learning

Vocabulary Overview

What Can Be Done To Assist Students With Special Needs In Vocabulary Learning?

The Vocabulary Cluster Strategy

Semantic Maps

Linking Multicultural Experiences with Vocabulary Development

How Can “Reading Backpacks” Be Used to Involve Parents In Their Child’s Vocabulary Learning?


Classroom Application

Recommended Readings

Chapter 7 Teaching Reading Comprehension

Chapter Questions

Vignette Title

What Is Reading Comprehesion?

How Do Children Develop Reading Comprehesion?

What Does Research Say About Reading Comprehension Instruction?

A Sequence for Reading Comprehension Skill Instruction Grades K-3

How Is Reading Comprehension Assessed?

Eliciting and Scoring Narrative Oral Retellings

Eliciting and Scoring Expository Oral Retellings

What Are The Characteristics Of Effective Comprehension Instruction?

What Are Effective Reading Comprehension Strategies We Should Teach?

The Reader

The Activity or Strategies

Asking Questions at Differing Levels of Thinking

Question—Answer Relationships

Questioning the Author

Comprehension Monitoring and Fix Ups


The Situational Context

Explicit Comprehension Strategy Instruction

Affective Responses: Interpreting and Elaborating Meaning.

Multiple Strategies Reading Comprehension Instruction

How Can Reading Comprehension Instruction Be Adapted to Meet Diverse Student Needs?

What Can Families and Communities Do to Develop Children’s Reading Comprehension?


Classroom Applications

Recommended Readings

Chapter 8 Writing

Chapter Questions

It Begins…

How Is Reading Related to Writing?

How Writing Develops

Transitional Stage

Unique Writing Patterns Used by Authors

How is writing development evaluated?

Rubrics and Writing Assessment: Some Things to Remember

Analytic Scoring Rubrics

Holistic Scoring Rubrics

The 6-Trait Model for Writing Assessment

How is the writing process taught?

Understanding the Writing Process

How Do Interactive Writing Procedures Help Learners Acquire New Writing Skills?

Writing Aloud, Writing TO: A Way of Structuring Your Teaching

Shared Writing

Organizing for Instruction: The Writing Workshop

Organizing for Instruction: The Writing Center

Classroom Computers and Writing Development

The First Six Weeks of Writing Instruction

How Can We Adapt Writing Instruction To Meet The Needs of All Learners?

Reading and Analyzing Nonfiction Strategy (RAN)

Online Technology Experts

What Is A Proven Strategy For Involving Parents in Writing Instruction?

Traveling Tales Backpack


Classroom Applications

Recommended Readings

Chapter 9 Assessment

Chapter Questions

Great Teaching Begins with Assessment!

Princples and Purposes of Reading Assessment

There Are Four Purposes of Reading Assessment

Where Do We Begin? A Classroom Teacher’s Perspective

SCREENING and Progress-Monitoring ASSESSMENTS

Screening Assessments

Progress-Monitoring in the Reading Classroom

Kid Watching

Assessing Reading Interests and Self-Perception

Self-Rating Scales for Subject Area Reading

Assessing Background Knowledge

Family Surveys of Reading Habits

Screening Checklists and Scales

Assessing Students’ Reading of Nonfiction Texts

Published Reading Tests For Screening & Progress-Monitoring Assessments

Informal Reading Inventory

Curriculum-Based Measurement

Outcome Assessments

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)

Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI)

Diagnostic Assessments

Diagnosing Vocabulary Knowledge

Individual Diagnostic Reading Tests

Individually Administered Achievement Tests

Getting Organized: Profiling Your Class

Two Documents Needed for Profiling

Classroom Profiling Document

IF — THEN Thinking


Classroom Applications

Recommended Readings

Chapter 10 Programs and Standards for Reading Instruction

Chapter Questions

Which reading program is best?

What is meant by “standards” for reading instruction?

Overview of the Standards-Based Movement

Where can I find my state’s reading standards and the tools to assess them?

What are basal or “core” reading programs?

Understanding the Basal Reader

Anatomy of the Basal Reading Approach

Beginning Reading Texts

The Workbook


Record Keeping

Production and Organization of Basal Readers

Organization of the Basal Reader

Standards for Evaluating and Adopting Basal Readers

Ways of Evaluating Basal Readers

A Consumer’s Guide to Evaluating a Core Reading Program

Recent Evaluations of Basal (Core) Reading Programs: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and Fluency

What programs are available for the struggling reader?

Reading Recovery

Success for All

Four Blocks

Early Steps

Reading Mastery

Reading Expeditions: Language, Literacy, & Vocabulary!

Waterford Early Reading Program

Supplementing Your Reading Program with “Leveled Books”

How can basal reading programs be adapted to assist the struggling reader?

Reading the Basal Straight Through

Repeated Readings

Supported, or Buddy, Reading

What programs area available for helping students with diverse cultural or language needs succeed?

How can teachers help parents better understand reading standards?


Classroom Applications

Recommended Readings

Chapter 11 Effective Reading Instruction and Organization in Grades K-3

Chapters Questions


What Do Teachers Need To Know And Do To Provide Effective K-3 Reading Instruction?

How Do K-3 Children Develop As Readers?

Before Stage 1: Pseudo Reading

Stage 1 Reading Development: Making the Connection Between Letters and Sounds

Stage 2 Reading Development: Confirmation, Fluency and Ungluing from Print

What Does Research Say about the Relationship Between K-3 Reading Instruction And K-3 Children’s Reading Achievement?

What Are The Characteristics Of Effective K-3 Reading Instruction?

What Are The Characteristics Of Effective K-3 Reading Instruction?

First Steps: Preparing the Classroom Environment

Designing a Classroom Floor Plan

Planning Whole-Class Instruction Areas

Planning Small Group Instruction and Learning Centers

Organizing Classroom Literacy Tools and Materials

Making the Most of Classroom Display Areas to Support Literacy Learning

Planning and Organizing Necessary Storage Spaces

Grouping Students for Effective Reading Instruction

Getting Off to a Good Start: Planning the First Day of School in the K-3 Classroom

Preparing Parents and Students for Success: Making the Initial Contact with a Letter

The First Day: First Impressions

Establishing a Routine for What to Do Before School Begins Each Day

Establishing a Morning Routine for What to Do Each Day When School Begins

Making the Classroom Work: Rules and Consequences

Reading from the Start: Getting Attention and Giving Directions

Reading and Writing Activities on the First Day

Planning the First Week of K-3 Reading and Writing Instruction

Assessing Where Students Are

Training Students to Effectively Use Learning Centers

Preparing Written Lessons Plans to Build Teacher Capacity for Explicit Instruction

Designing a Year Long Curriculum Plan

Effective Reading and Writing Practices for All Year Long

Differentiating K-3 Instruction to Meet Diverse Student Needs

Making Family and Community Connections in the K-3 Schooling Years


Classroom Applications

Recommended Readings

Chapter 12 Effective Reading Instruction and Organization in Grades 4-8

Chapter Questions

Ms. Trahan Gets Things Popping!

What does research tell us about the special challenges of content reading materials?

Changing Realities: Reading Instruction in the Transition Years

Keeping Our “Balance”

The Challenge of the “Textbook Genre”

Textbook Reading is Vastly Different from Reading Stories

Scientifically-based Reading Strategies

How can teachers assess students’ subject area knowledge?

Analyzing Texts Begins: Performing a Content Analysis

How do you assess student ability with content texts?

The Comprehensive Reading Inventory

Oral Retellings of Expository Texts

How do teachers prepare to teach informational texts?

Constructing Learning Tools for Students

Using Trade Books as Supplements to Textbooks

Using Graphic Organizers or GO! Charts

Study Guides

What are some successful ways to organize for instruction?

Integrating the Curriculum

Guidelines for Conducting Themed Studies

Thematic Unit Materials

Unit Scaffolding

How is reading and writing instruction organized?

Developing Integrated Curriculums

The Reading Workshop

Core Book Units

Themed Literature Units

Teaching Themed Literature Units: The Nuts and Bolts

Gathering Learning Resources

How can teachers use writing to improve learning?

Understanding the Writing Process

Prewriting Stage

Drafting Stage

Revising and Editing


The Writing Workshop

What are some study strategies that can help students improve their reading comprehension?

Efficient (Speed Reading) Study Strategies


Using Text Structures

What can done to help struggling readers succeed?

Good Decoding Is Not Sufficient for Comprehension Development

Commercial Programs for Low-Performing Readers

Comprehension “Strategy Families"

Improving Fluency

How can we help English Learners do well with content texts?

Modifying Linguistic Variables

Modifying Knowledge Variables


Classroom Applications

Recommended Readings

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