There's no better informed, keener observer of the magical entry into reading than one who has helped more than 600 children become readers-someone who also devoted her doctoral research to reviewing dozens of videotapes of teachers working side by side with young students. That teacher-researcher is Ardith Cole, who has not only witnessed, but documented every explicit and nuanced instructional move regular classroom teachers make as they lead beginners into the world of print. In When Reading Begins she offers the most detailed, precise, and inspiring explanation of the exact moments when children cross the bridge into reading and the profoundly sensitive ways in which teachers make the crossing with them.
Cole clearly demonstrates why thoughtful teachers, rather than packaged, scripted, or systematized programs, are what schools need if they want to teach reading effectively. She shows how teachers' words and gestures support beginning readers within two instructional contexts:
- the micro, which involves processes in sound patterns and meaning
- the macro, which involves processes in chunking, comprehension, and fluency.
Cole argues that what works depends on the reader, the teacher, the text, and the context and that much too often practices and policies are implemented, even mandated, without much thought about variations in learners and/or teachers. She addresses the indispensables of reading instruction and shows how teachers use different techniques to scaffold readers as they move from preword reading into word reading and on to fluency. Through an engaging blend of lucid narrative, illuminating photos, transcripts, classroom vignettes, telling analogies and metaphors, and "Grist for Discussion," Cole will revitalize your perspective. Read her book to:
- understand children's reading processes
- plan instruction that is based on how children think and learn
- individualize reading instruction
- appreciate the complexity of your role in teaching reading
- be inspired to take a closer look at your own practices.