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Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print Paperback – February 3, 1994


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Product Details

  • Series: Bradford Books
  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: A Bradford Book; Reprint edition (February 3, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262510766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262510769
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book is destined to become a classic work on early reading instruction.

(Judith A. Bowey Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology)

Review

"This book is destined to become a classic work on earlyreading instruction." Judith A. Bowey, Quarterly Journal ofExperimental Psychology --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I learned more about teaching reading from this book than any other book I've read.
Debra Wynkoop
If you are a reading specialist or parent or elementary school teacher, you should read this book and get everyone you know to read this book.
Amazon Customer
Marilyn Adams lead a Federally funded research team to conclusively determine what methods best support beginning readers.
Getting Warm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Getting Warm on June 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
Marilyn Adams lead a Federally funded research team to conclusively determine what methods best support beginning readers. All educators can gain for Adams' informed investigation of whole language, phonics and other methods for teaching reading. The limits and strengths of these programs are clearly defined. More importantly, Adams defines what works for all readers- understanding the role the 44 sounds of spoken language plays in reading. Adams has put this understanding- phonemic awareness- in the forefront of reading. 70% of students acquire this awareness as part of their early development, as part of learning to speak. The 30% of students -millions of people- that do not pick this up after learning to speak and being exposed to literature rich environments need explicit instruction in this code. This is not phonics, but must be taught before phonic can help struggling readers. This is a wonderfully simple, easy to teach method that makes sense to children. It makes sense because this is how our brains have learned to process sounds for hundreds of thousands of years. This is important reading. Adams' other book, "Phonemic Awareness in Young Children", is a wonderful methods book for children under 6 years old.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book was written under a federal contract in conjunction with the International Reading Association. Marilyn Jager Adams has compiled the most comprehensive review of the literature on learning to read done in the last 25 years. I have worked with teachers of reading for 20 years and this is the best book I have ever seen to give them guidance on what they should and should not do in the classroom. Well worth the money
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Kathie on October 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have 30 years of experience as an educator in the area of indigenous education. This is a wonderful and exciting book for educators and researchers, who are used to the technical terminology and academic genre, but for teachers and parents, a 148-page summary of the book has been published, which is not an easy-reading style, but is beautifully written. Unfortunately it is out of print, but it is listed on Amazon.com, and sometimes it might be available used. This unabridged version was comissioned by the US government, to evaluate all of the research in beginning reading to the date when it was written. The author did a remarkable job of pulling it all together under one cover, and a brilliant job of evaluating and applying the research. Obviously there could be one or another research project since its publication which might invalidate some conclusion in the book. However, the major questions involved in teaching beginning reading have been thoroughly researched and there ARE definitive answers to the questions that are still being debated by teachers and parents ten and twenty years after the research was done. For example, this book (and its summary edition) tells you what kind of reading methods are most effective (there is no reason to continue to debate the phonics vs. whole language issue based on how you feel about them - see what research has proven to be most effective), what kind of preschool experience can still set the students apart even when they are graduating from high school, and other important facets of education which teachers and parents ignore to the detriment of their students.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By aaa-Pam TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book contains gems: there is no question about that. The `reading-literacy' project was given solid funding by the government and Ms. Adams has done a superlative job of surveying the literature and coming up with reasonable conclusions.

That said, there is a problem. And the problem is that "Beginning to Read" was written for bureaucrats. The straightforward language we might expect from an educator and researcher is therefore made obscure, obtuse, and overly `officious'. [No doubt pleasing to the edu-crats.]

For example, (from page 413; the summary): "It is because of the process of comprehension consists of actively searching the overlap among words for syntactic and semantic coherence that reading depends so critically on the speed and automaticity of word recognition."

[Or, in other words, reading comprehension depends on speed and automatic word recognition so that the nascent reader can make use of syntax and semantics. ]

Not incomprehensible in it's original form, Adam's verbiage is awkward and somehow embarrassing for a book that is supposed to be about `reading' and `comprehension'.

Three Stars. A comprehensive survey of current and past literature, this book attempts--and in my opinion succeeds-- in reconciling the phonics versus whole language camps. However, expect a slog of it. [Unless of course you are an edu-crat in which case the officiousness will sound very convincing indeed-lol]

Anyone else interested in this topic but with less time might find the same information in a `tastier' format in the following books: Mem Fox's "Reading Magic"; and the slightly less digestible "Raising Lifelong Learners" by Lucy McCormick Calkins.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Nixon on June 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the book that other books on teaching reading refers to. It provides all of the "who, what, where, when, why, and hows" of teaching reading to children. A must-buy if you're a teacher of reading or at all interested in the topic.
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Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print
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