The Writing Strategies Book **NEW**

The Reading Strategies Book  has helped hundreds of thousands of teachers and their readers. Now The Writing Strategies Book does the same for writing. Organized around 10 crucial instructional goals, the book is filled with 300 strategies to support students as they compose with pictures, engage with writing, generate their own ideas, focus, organize, elaborate, consider word choice, spell, consider grammar and punctuation choices, and collaborate with other writers in partnerships and writing clubs. Whether you teach with writing workshop, 6+1 Traits, or by any other means, you’ll discover a wealth of ideas for strategies to share with students for whole-group, small-group, or one-to-one instruction.

The Reading Strategies BookThe Reading Strategies Book

For years I’ve been getting emails almost daily asking, “Isn’t there a book of the strategies themselves?” Now there is.

Strategies make the often invisible work of reading actionable and visible. In The Reading Strategies Book, I collected 300 strategies to share with readers in support of thirteen goals-everything from fluency to literary analysis. Each strategy is cross-linked to skills, genres, and Fountas & Pinnell reading levels to give you just-right teaching, just in time. With this book you’ll:

  • develop goals for every reader
  • give students step-by-step strategies for skilled reading
  • guide readers with prompts aligned to the strategies
  • adjust instruction to meet individual needs with Jen’s Teaching Tips
  • craft demonstrations and explanations with her Lesson Language
  • learn more with Hat Tips to the work of influential teacher-authors.

Whether you use readers workshop, Daily 5/CAFE, guided reading, balanced reading, a core reading program, whole-class novels, or any other approach, The Reading Strategies Book will complement and extend your teaching. Rely on it to plan and implement goal-directed, differentiated instruction for individuals, small groups, and whole classes.

“We offer strategies to readers to put the work in doable terms for those who are still practicing,” writes Jen Serravallo. “The goal is not that they can do the steps of the strategy but that they become more comfortable and competent with a new skill.” With The Reading Strategies Book, you’ll have ways to help your readers make progress every day.

The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook

Two versions: One for K-2 and one for 3-6. The aim of The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook is to help you collect data that is helpful, analyze the data correctly, and make plans based on that data. National and state standards set learning goals, and it’s up to us to help each student find their path to meeting them. That’s why I open up my thinking on reading and writing assessment and instruction in this workshop-in-a-book.

My four-step protocol leads you toward goal-directed instruction:

  • collect the data that will be the most useful to you
  • analyze the data to understand deeply what kids know and can do
  • synthesize data from multiple assessments to create learning goals
  • develop instructional plans and follow-ups to monitor progress.

Included with this book are downloadable packets of student work from actual fourth graders representing two types of learners who tend to puzzle us. I model my thinking with one, and you can try the process along with me with a second.

Independent Reading Assessment 

Winner of a 2013 AEP award, and the 2014 Revere Award the Independent Reading Assessment is the only whole-book comprehension assessment available, and it’s the only assessment that also includes hundreds of lessons to actually help teachers turn what they learn from the results of the formative assessment into instruction.

Now in fiction and nonfiction versions for grades three, four and five, it comes with a collection of 32-36 trade books and sticky notes with questions. The assessment takes just a few minutes of classroom time to get students oriented, then children complete the assessment on their own, during independent reading. Using easy-to-follow rubrics filled with actual student answers from pilot studies, teachers evaluate student responses. Through the evaluation, teachers learn about text complexity in ways that will fuel their ongoing teaching during conferring, small groups, guided reading, and whole class reading instruction. An if-then chart helps teachers uncover what the student’s response patterns reveal so that they arrive at a clear goal to begin instruction.

The teaching section contains 100+ lessons in each version (200+ lesson if you combine the fiction and nonfiction Teacher’s Guides) and guidance for selecting those that are just right based on goal and reading level. Online, a teacher can watch dozens of instructional videos, store results from the assessment, sort students to plan for instruction, keep anecdotal conference notes, and more.

Teaching Reading In Small Groups

My goal in this book is to help teachers meet instructional challenges effectively and efficiently.

In this book, I show how small groups help you uncover hidden time in your teaching for meeting individual students’ needs. You’ll work more closely with more children each day with my how-tos on:

  • using formative assessment to create groups of readers with common needs
  • differentiating for individuals, even when they’re in a group
  • enhancing your Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruction.

You’ll read about how I work to hold true to the strength of individual conference while working with multiple students—even if they aren’t reading the same book. For comprehension, fluency, engagement, print work strategies, and comprehension, I share ideas for assessment and flexible grouping structures. You’ll help readers:

  • get into texts and get more out of them
  • learn vital strategies that help them read more challenging texts
  • talk about books with rigor and vigor.

When we supplement individual conferences with small-group conferences, we work more efficiently and can deal well with higher benchmarks, larger class sizes, and the increasing demands placed on readers and teachers.

Conferring with Readers

A great reading conference only takes five minutes, but its impact can last a lifetime. That’s because conferences are the critical, one-to-one teaching that forms the backbone of reading instruction. In Conferring with Readers Gravity Goldberg and I show you how to confer well and we demonstrate why a few moments with students every week can put them on the path to becoming better, more independent readers.

Conferring with Readers is a comprehensive guide that shows you how to determine what readers have learned and what they need to practice, then provides suggestions for targeting instruction to meet students’ needs. It provides explicit teaching methods for use in effective conferences. You’ll learn how to:

  • research a student’s use of skills through questions and observations
  • compliment to support and build upon successes
  • follow up on prior instruction for accountability and depth of understanding
  • explain a reading strategy by providing an explicit purpose and context
  • model the strategy to make the invisible brainwork of reading more visible
  • guide a reader in practicing the strategy
  • link the strategy to independent reading.

Conferring with Readers presents repeatable frameworks for conferences that focus on six specific purposes of reading instruction:

  • matching students to just-right books
  • reinforcing students’ strengths
  • supporting students during whole-class studies
  • helping students move from one reading level to the next
  • holding students accountable for previous learning
  • deepening students’ conversations about books in order to deepen their thinking.