Not THIS but THAT Series

9780325049045_p0_v1_s260x420Last school year I was fortunate enough to be chosen to attend some PD sessions on Word Study offered by my school district.  During one session the instructor mentioned a series of books that aims to replace some existing practices in education with approaches that are more effective.

Below is a list of books in this Heinemann series:

  • No More Independent Reading Without Support
  • No More Look Up the List Vocabulary Instruction
  • No More Phonics and Spelling Worksheets
  • No More Sharpening Pencils During Work Time and Other Time Wasters
  • No More Summer Reading Loss
  • No More Taking Away Recess and Other Problematic Discipline Practices

I recently purchased the first two texts in this list and just finished reading No More Independent Reading Without Support.  This was a short text (72 pages) packed with information!  The book was structured into 3 parts:

  • Section 1: NOT THIS! (Explains what most are doing)
  • Section 2: WHY NOT?  WHAT WORKS? (Cites research)
  • Section 3: BUT THIS! (Shows you what to do instead and how to do it)

Here are some important points from the book:

  • Independent Reading (IR) refers to time students spend reading self-selected texts (p.11)
  • The amount of time a reader should be given for IR depends on the reader’s proficiency (p. 17)
  • We need A LOT of books in our classroom libraries (between 300-600) (p.29)
  • DEAR time or SSR is not effective…teachers must be ACTIVE during IR to have an impact on student learning (p. 39)
  • Reading Workshop is recommended and described…including how to find time to teach this way (p.42)
  • If activities do not have a purpose, authenticity, choice, and explicit instruction then it is something we can discard (p. 47)

A favorite quote of mine was: “Teaching children to make wise choices takes time, energy, persistence, and practice” (p. 50).  This is indeed true! If you are interested in establishing Reading Workshop in your class next year let me know.  I would love to help you in your journey.

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