Cover image for Learning to read : lessons from exemplary first-grade classrooms
Learning to read : lessons from exemplary first-grade classrooms
Pressley, Michael.
Publication Information:
New York : Guilford Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xii, 242 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Pt. 1. First grade : history and contemporary practice. A brief history of first-grade reading instruction -- Surveying nominated-effective first-grade teachers about their instruction -- The nature of first-grade instruction that promotes literacy achievement -- Teaching writing in first grade : instruction, scaffolds, and expectations / Ruth Wharton-McDonald -- pt. 2. The case studies. Barbara Wiesner / Michael Pressley -- Andy Schultheis / Ruth Wharton-McDonald -- Georgia Leyden / Kim Baker, Richard L. Allington, Greg Brooks -- Missy Allen / Cathy Collins Block -- Patricia Loden / Lesley Mandel Morrow, Elizabeth Brown Asbury -- pt. 3. Thoughts about teacher development. How I became an exemplary teacher (although I'm really still learning just like anyone else) / Jeni Pollack Day -- Concluding reflections.
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Format :


Call Number
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Item Holds
LB1525 .L36 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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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.

Author Notes

Michael Pressley, PhD (deceased), 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.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

One of the remarkable features of this text is its appeal to anyone interested in "best practices" in exemplary first-grade classrooms--preservice and practicing teachers of reading, parents, administrators, and policy makers. Wharton-McDonald begins with the history and current "best practice" of first-grade reading instruction qualified by significant research supporting effective literacy instruction in the first grade, including "Teaching Writing in the First Grade: Instruction, Scaffolds, and Expectations." Following the introduction are five case studies of exemplary, effective first-grade teachers in a variety of school districts across the US--urban, suburban, and rural--representing the Northeast, the Midwest, California, and Texas. Although each case study is organized differently, the narratives generally discuss the daily schedule; types of reading and writing instruction, including skill development and quality literature; classroom management approaches; a "day in the life" of the teacher; and motivational strategies. The text concludes with summative, synthesizing remarks on the implications of the research, focusing on the development of excellent first-grade teachers. It is a refreshing approach to describing the first-grade experience because it avoids the negative, accusatory remarks often associated with teaching students to read in grade 1. Recommended for general readers, lower-division undergraduates, two-year technical program students, and professionals. D. L. Norland Luther College

Table of Contents

Part 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 First Grade: Instruction, Scaffolds, and ExpectationsRuth Wharton-McDonald
Part II The Case Studies
5 Barbara WiesnerMichael Pressley
6 Andy SchultheisRuth 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
Part III Thoughts about Teacher Development
10 How I Became an Exemplary Teacher (Although I'm Really Still Learning Just Like Anyone Else)Jennifer P. Day
11 Concluding Reflections