Fourth-graders around the country face new, high-stakes standardized tests, drawing increased attention to the need for effective literacy instruction in the upper-elementary grades. This essential book goes beyond political catch-phrases to examine what actually works in the fourth-grade classroom. After reviewing current research on upper-elementary reading instruction, the book takes readers directly into the classrooms of six highly successful teachers. Like the previously published Learning to Read, which focused on the first grade, Reading to Learn offers a rare view of the techniques and strategies good teachers use to engage students, help them develop as thoughtful readers and writers, and bolster self-directed learning and literate conversation. Bringing to life the complexities of day-to-day work with diverse students, the book provides inspiration and practical ideas for any teacher in the upper-elementary grades.
'This book is a gift, offering a rare opportunity to examine the complexities and dilemmas of successful fourth-grade literacy teaching. Allington and Johnston provide the theoretical and research foundation to make Reading to Learn an excellent text for preservice teachers and graduate students. Yet the policy discussion and rich descriptions of classrooms across the country where fourth-grade students achieve at high levels will also make it a valuable resource for elementary teacher study groups. Will join our list of 'must reads." - Brenda Joiner Overturf, EdD, District Reading Specialist, Jefferson County (KY) Public Schools 'This book sets the pace for what teaching - and therefore, assessment-could and should become. The authors provide rich descriptions of classroom environments where students enthusiastically and confidently accept responsibility for their own learning during the fourth-grade shift from 'learning to read' to 'reading to learn.' The voices of students are clearly heard in the case studies, and the lack of a 'cookie-cutter' model of teaching is reassuring. The key ingredients of effective instruction are illuminated, including inquiry, dialogue, diversity, variety, participation, and respect. Together, these concepts add up to learning that is serious fun!' - Kathy N. Headley, EdD, Department of Reading Education, Clemson University