Saturday, September 13, 2014

Book Review: Developing Literacy in the Primary Classroom

I really enjoy reading educational research articles. The authors are pleasantly careful and measured in their descriptions of studies and conclusions. Instead of making huge claims and offering easy solutions, real educational research articles are like quiet coffee-time conversations. Authors work hard not to overstep and over-generalize. As a reader, I'm left with plenty of ideas to consider and think about as I watch the learners in my classroom.

In the course of this reading, I've found many new concepts and ways of thinking about reading, like the Simple View of reading, Four Resources Model, and task feedback. These different concepts have changed how I teach.

This is why I'm so delighted to have been given a copy of Developing Literacy in the Primary Classroom by Gary Woolley. Dr. Woolley's articles have been a deep influence on my teaching, especially as I teach students how to visualizing and self-monitor. Now, he has put together an easy-to-read yet comprehensive resource for teaching reading in elementary schools. All kinds of new and interesting models are discussed, with digital resources embedded within chapters and given a chapter of their own as well.

As Dr. Woolley works in Australia, this book offers American readers a refreshing change from constant talk of the Common Core. But strong literacy instruction is good practice no matter what you call it or what standards you apply to it. Reading and writing combine a number of different processes, and awareness of those processes helps teachers to design the best classroom environment and learning experiences.

This book is useful for any elementary teacher looking to expand their reading and literacy horizons. Short chapters and lots of headings make it easy to pick up and read in short segments. It would also be an excellent introduction to literacy instruction for college students, especially with the end of chapter questions and activities. (Plus there is a bit from my blog included--how exciting!)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Emily,

    I am glad that you enjoyed reading my book. Thank you for writing the book review, I value your comments very much.

    Your blog has been an inspiration to me and I am sure that many teachers have benefitted from the great ideas that you regularly post.

    Keep up the good work.

    Gary Woolley