Table of Contents

  1. The Essential Reading Life
    1. Simplify your teaching life
      • Why Reading Essentials?
      • Be as knowledgeable as you can be.
      • Teach what's essential to the well-being of the child.
      • View teaching as an art supported by science.
    2. Bond with your students.
      • How does bonding work?
      • Work your magic with students.
      • Bring in stories.
      • Get to know your students as readers.
    3. Share your reading life.
      • Share your reading habits.
      • Show your students how you read.
  2. The Essential Reading Day
    1. Teach with a sense of urgency.
      • Do more teaching.
      • Rely on an optimal learning model.
      • Reduce isolated skills work.
      • Maximize whole class teaching.
      • Connect reading with writing.
      • Take a look at an integrated reading-writing lesson in grades 1-2.
      • Raise your expectations.
    2. Organize an outstanding classroom library.
      • Classroom libraries improve reading achievement.
      • Take a critical look at your classroom library.
      • Make classroom and school libraries attractive, comfortable, and accessible.
      • Classroom libraries contribute to easy management during guided reading.
      • There is no substitute for quality books.
    3. Plan for and monitor independent reading.
      • Students need to do more reading.
      • What do we mean by an independent reading program?
      • An independent reading program is essential.
      • Depend on partner reading.
      • Value independent reading in kindergarten.
      • Teach students how to select "just right" books.
    4. Make assessment instruction's working partner.
      • Make assessment work for you and your students.
      • Regularly evaluate students on the texts they are reading.
      • Use standards and high stakes testing appropriately.
      • Make ongoing accountability central to teaching reading.
  3. Teaching Essentials
    1. Teach comprehension.
      • Teach comprehension right from the start.
      • Demonstrate that proficient readers use many strategies.
      • Use texts that are easy enough and meaningful enough to support comprehension work.
      • Keep fluency in perspective.
      • Use standards and high stakes testing to improve comprehension.
      • Use caution and common sense when teaching strategies.
    2. Emphasize shared reading.
      • Make shared reading an integral part of your reading program.
      • Add shared read aloud.
      • Listen in on several shared read aloud lessons.
    3. Examine guided reading.
      • Clarify guided reading for yourself.
      • Be cautious about how you group children.
      • Choose books for guided reading carefully.
      • Establish a workable schedule.
      • Be flexible about guided reading in kindergarten.
      • Make management easy and meaningful.
      • Plan your guided reading lessons with a focus on meaning.
      • Framework for a guided reading lesson
      • Excerpts from guided reading groups
  4. Advocacy Is Also Essential.
    1. Build on best practice, know the research, and use programs as a resource.
      • Build on best practices in teaching reading.
      • Be knowledgeable about relevant research.
      • Use programs only as a resource.
      • Take professional responsibility for what you believe.
    2. Build on best practice, know the research, and use programs as a resource.
      • Live an interesting life.
      • Spend most of your planning time thinking about instruction and learning.
      • Maximize your time, make every minute count.
      • Make time for ongoing professional development.
      • Do less, but do it more effectively.
      • Enjoy!

Appendixes: guidelines, letters to parents, forms