Learning to Read: Lessons from Exemplary First-Grade Classrooms

Learning to Read: Lessons from Exemplary First-Grade Classrooms

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An important goal in every first-grade classroom is to get children reading--but how? This book examines current research on first-grade literacy instruction, and shows how it translates into what good teachers really do in the classroom. The authors, premier early literacy scholars and educators, describe several studies of effective beginning reading instruction conducted across the country. They then take readers directly into the classrooms of five highly successful teachers, exploring the reading, writing, and classroom management techniques these practitioners use to boost student engagement and achievement. The book provides readers with a vivid picture of the complexities of successful teaching. In particular, it demonstrates ways that teachers can blend elements of both holistic and skills approaches to provide rich and enjoyable learning environments for young readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781572306493
Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date: 04/02/2001
Series: Solving Problems in the Teaching of Literacy Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)
Age Range: 5 - 7 Years

About 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.

Richard L. Allington, PhD, is the Irving and Rose Fien Professor of Education at the University of Florida, where he continues the study of exemplary elementary teaching.

Ruth Wharton-McDonald, PhD, is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Wharton-McDonald's research interests focus on the school literacy experiences of young children. She has collaborated with several of the other authors in this book on studies of exemplary teachers and their students. She is currently involved in a study of first graders' perspectives on schooling.

Cathy Collins Block, PhD, is Professor of Education at Texas Christian University. She has directed eight nationally funded research projects related to comprehension instruction, teaching comprehension, teacher education, and professional development.

Lesley Mandel Morrow, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Learning and Teaching, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Table of Contents

I. First Grade: History and Contemporary Practice
1. A Brief History of First-Grade Reading Instruction
2. Surveying Nominated-Effective First-Grade Teachers about Their Instruction
3. The Nature of First-Grade Instruction That Promotes Literacy Achievement
4. Teaching Writing in the First Grade: Instruction, Scaffolds, and Expectations, Ruth Wharton-McDonald
II. The Case Studies
5. Barbara Wiesner, Michael Pressley
6. Andy Schultheis, Ruth Wharton-McDonald
7. Georgia Leyden, Kim Baker, Richard L. Allington, and Greg Brooks
8. Missy Allen, Cathy Collins Block
9. Patricia Loden, Lesley Mandel Morrow and Elizabeth Brown Asbury
III. Thoughts about Teacher Development
10. How I Became an Exemplary Teacher: (Although I'm Really Still Learning Just Like Anyone Else), Jeni Pollack Day
11. Concluding Reflections


Primary-grade teachers, reading specialists, curriculum supervisors, and school administrators; literacy educators and students. It also serves as a supplemental text in undergraduate and graduate-level courses.

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