The saying goes that "children learn to read in grades K2, and read to learn in grades 3 and up." However, teachers in grades 3 through 6 are discovering this conventional wisdom is wrong—their students have to deal with an increasingly sophisticated range of texts that require additional reading skills. Upper elementary teachers face the difficult task of trying to offer appropriate reading instruction just as many of their students have their first experiences with textbooks, high stakes exams, and complex reading in new genres.
In Still Learning to Read, Franki Sibberson and Karen Szymusiak provide guidance on how to devote more time to reading instruction, without neglecting the content demands of the curriculum. Because they work daily with students, the authors share a teacher's perspective on building reading instruction into the packed school day, and matching instruction and texts to the specific needs of older readers. The book presents many sample lessons, descriptions of classroom routines, and stories taken from the heart of the authors' reading workshops. Teachers will be inspired and reassured that reading in the upper elementary grades can be purposeful, thoughtful, and effective. Included are:
- Planning forms for whole class, small group and individual instruction;
- Assessment and conference strategies;
- Detailed descriptions of how to use readers' notebooks flexibly;
- Sample lessons for specific skills instruction;
- Annotated bibliographies of children's books to use in lesson design;
- Activities to extend and deepen read aloud and whole group conversations;
- Tips for designing lessons using nonfiction texts and student magazines;
- Ways to organize the classroom and library to promote student independence;
- Alternatives to levels for matching students, books and skills instruction.
Are students in grades 36 still learning to read? You bet! And teachers who are still learning how to balance reading instruction with the other instructional priorities at this level will find a wealth of helpful ideas in this book.