Those eager to share “pristine” nonfiction text with students may appreciate the Kilgallon’s mentor sentence choices, which cross genres, topics, and cultures. But ELA teacher Amy Estersohn finds their workbook approach at odds with her workshop vision of teaching.
In “The Writing Strategies Book” Jennifer Serravallo has pulled together 300 useful writing strategies and lessons, coordinated by grade, genre, and point in the writing process. Serravallo’s well-organized and easy-to-use resource is sure to come in handy right away, says reviewer Kevin Hodgson.
Paraphrasing is the first step on Sarah Tantillo’s “stairway” to deep reading comprehension and needs to be deliberately taught early in the school year. She shares a two-step process that can help students paraphrase strategically and offers a tool for student practice.
John Spencer’s book on tools for language acquisition will likely be most useful to teachers who are new to working with ELLs but not new to using technology in their lessons. ESL educator Susan Schwartz would have liked fuller explanations for various strategies.
In the valuable book Infusing Grammar into the Writer’s Workshop, Amy Benjamin and Barbara Golub make an effective team, says special ed teacher Marci Warboys. Benjamin focuses on research and pedagogy and Golub provides detailed lesson plans and resources.
The difficulty students have in writing clearly can be traced to many factors, says literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo, from muddled pre-CCSS standards to weak teaching practices. Here she offers concrete suggestions to correct persistent writing problems in the secondary grades.
In “Grammar Matters,” Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty make the case for embedding grammar in Writing Workshop and across the curriculum. Our reviewer recommends this hands-on exploration of mentor texts and engaging instruction and its many useful resources.
Sean Ruday tackles some of the more challenging grades 6-8 ELA standards, giving detailed explanations using mentor texts in mini-lessons to gradually build student understanding, says reviewer Rebecca Crockett. He has also written for grades 3-5.
What better way to start a New Year than with a good read? Our MiddleWeb reviewer/educators have a stack of professional books reviewed and ready for your selection. You’ll find content area titles, teaching strategies, leadership tips – and, of course, the Core.
The Killgallons’ sentence-composing approach to grammar instruction, bolstered by “a mountaion” of model sentences and mentor texts, could be a valuable tool if teachers would like to see less hesitation and more acrobatics in their students’ writing, says reviewer Jenny Ovadia.