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And With a Light Touch: learning about reading, writing, and teaching with first graders [Paperback]

Carol Avery , Donald Graves
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Paperback, July 19, 1993 --  
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Book Description

July 19, 1993 0435087878 978-0435087876

With its first edition, ...And with a Light Touch was immediately praised for its authentic portrayal of classroom life and learning. "It's my bible for teaching young children" and "It reads like a novel," said veteran and preservice teachers alike. Those with minimal background in children's literature have found the book a godsend. Every page rings true with the voice of a caring, real-life classroom teacher-one who marvels at what young children can do if given the chance to work in daily reading and writing workshops taught with a sensitive and responsive approach.

Now, Carol Avery offers a second edition, giving more insight and examples of children and a teacher learning together. Since her first edition, Carol has worked extensively in kindergarten and second grade, has had her own fourth- and sixth-grade classrooms, and has watched three grandchildren learn to read and write. Her latest edition incorporates Carol's stories and learning from these new experiences. It also expands sections on crafting writing, phonics instruction, read-alouds, and documenting assessment, and includes an updated bibliography. At the same time, it retains its focus on these major areas, addressed in depth:

  • the writing process-structuring daily writing workshops and the development of young writers
  • the reading process-structuring daily reading workshops and learning to read without a basal reader
  • children's literature-incorporating children's literature into the daily life of the classroom and stimulating children's responses to literature
  • classroom environment and tone-organizing and managing the classroom
  • expanding literacy-reading and writing across the curriculum and a focus on kindergarten
  • assessment-documenting and reporting student progress.

Throughout, Carol rejects the concept of "one right way" to teach, but believes instead that a responsive environment provides the greatest possibilities for student growth.

As Donald Graves notes, Carol shows "real children in the process of learning to learn". Classroom teachers, preservice teachers, parents, and anyone concerned with young children learning to read and write will appreciate this book for its honest look into a first-grade classroom, both its ups and its downs.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


“There is nothing more practical than a good theory, someone once said. "Well, this is the most practical inside-the-classroom book about the primary years that Ive read to date."”–From the Foreword by Donald Graves --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Carol Avery is a past president of the National Council of Teachers of English and is widely respected for her expertise in language arts teaching and for her advocacy of teachers and children. She is the author of ...And With a Light Touch, a book on teaching language arts, which is lauded by classroom teachers and educators for its insightfulness and relevance to classroom practice. She has facilitated hundreds of workshops and presentations for teachers throughout the United States and Canada, as well as several abroad. She has special expertise in children's literature and, in her capacity as a reviewer, recommends the best new books to teachers attending her workshops. Carol has worked as a consultant for schools nationally and internationally, demonstrating reading and writing lessons in K-12 classrooms and sharing stories of her classroom experiences in both suburban and urban schools. She has taught at the elementary, secondary and college levels and also served as a school librarian. She holds a bachelor's degree in library science and masters degrees in elementary education and writing. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann (July 19, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0435087878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0435087876
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,148,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book helped me the most! February 17, 2000
By A Customer
When I entered my first year of teaching, I did not know where to begin. This book helped me implement and find success with my students' literacy development. This book has been a very valuable tool. We are lucky to have such a fine teacher's footsteps to follow.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful resource for first grade teachers! December 30, 1998
By A Customer
Ms. Avery does a wonderful job of introducing a writing workshop and reading workshop to the teacher who doesn't know how to get started. I have read the book twice in addition to using it as a handbook in my classroom.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carol Avery makes teaching look enjoyable and easy! March 5, 1999
By A Customer
This text was an extremely easy text to read and one can relate so well with the real life classroom situations. I have taught for five years in the primary grades and by re-reading this book, it brought back the sense of fun that I have long since forgotten about with my classroom children.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a treasure! October 24, 2001
Bravo to Carol Avery for writing such a wonderful book! "And With a Light Touch" contains chapter after chapter of helpful ideas that can be implemented in the classroom, but the author also has such an honest and insightful voice, I actually put aside the novel I was reading and looked forward to reading about Avery's adventures in the classroom! Avery books gives a gold standard of value to the often overlooked teacher's anecdote, I wish more folks would share the way she does. As a mother of a first grader, I was very curious as to what the experience of teaching and learning in the classroom was like, and this book gave me a real inside view. I balked at the textbook price for a paperback, but this book was worth every penny and I would recommend it to anyone interested in teaching, children, or a good story.
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