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Peak with Books: An Early Childhood Resource for Balanced Literacy Paperback – October 30, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0766859487 ISBN-10: 0766859487 Edition: 3rd

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Peak with Books: An Early Childhood Resource for Balanced Literacy + Let's Begin Reading Right: A Developmental Approach to Emergent Literacy (6th Edition) + Self-Paced Phonics: A Text for Educators (5th Edition)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 3 edition (October 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0766859487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0766859487
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Peak with Books provides wonderful guidance for introducing young children to literature. We have especially enjoyed the inclusion of songs, poems, and art. The book selections include timeless classics and new favorites. The step-by-step instructions are a great help to the new teacher or homeschooler. Highly recommended by Ruth Beechick and others, this well-rounded program is a great place to start with your preschool and kindergarten aged children!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. Alphs on July 24, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great resource for language arts Pre K to Grade 1. The authors have selected 40 titles in children's literature many of them Caldecott winners/nominees to be read aloud which incorporate activities such as poetry, songs, fingerplays, art, thinking skills, narration, vocabulary, drama, and cooking. There are also 500 storybooks referenced so you can expand on a particular story if you would like to. Dr. Ruth Beechick noted educational authority has commented on "Peak with Books": "I think this book is topnotch. Any parent who used these lesson plans for awhile would be getting a good education in using books with children and building upon them to expand vocabulary, experiences and thoughts. For people who want to do the "living books" thing that Susan Macaulay has popularized, here is the kindergarten program all worked out for them." This edition is the 3rd and has been rewritten to accomidate children from ages Pre-K to Grade 1. This volume is a great companion to Dr. Ruth Beechick's "Language and Thinking for Young Children."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Heather Hatch on July 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book was not written to be the answer to an entire early learning curriculum. It is what it says, a classroom resource. Ms Parrish and Ms Nelson are mentor-teachers, modeling use of 30 picture books as spines, plus 470 addl titles, for teaching literacy through multiple re-readings and associated discussion and activities. It is classic, with an underlying and a stated outright use of phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary and fluency that pervades all modeled teaching. Whereas the phrase 'balanced literacy', that threw one customer off, is a "blocks" term, 'hot method' terminology.

For pre-k teachers, Peak with Books is phonetic-awareness rich, incorporating more literacy and cognitive development than most theme curriculum; full of word study, writing opportunities, language building. Distant kin to the Story Stretchers series, but more cognitively solid. 'Peak'is not outlined as 'Do this, then this' lesson plan, but more like, 'Using this book, here's a map to possible lands of learning'.

For homeschooling, it filled a need for my kindergartner who had progressed beyond 'letter of the week' approaches. I found no other meaningful curriculum I could 'stretch' in difficulty, adapt so easily. I matched science, social studies and math to the author's excellent choice of Caldecott themes, and pushed the difficulty. I weave in the our daily reading lesson into the read alouds, as related word work.

It takes personalization to implement at home and an experienced teaching vision to build on the possibilities. (!) It takes restraint to fill out the structure into a complete 'day', without doing 'too much' or spending too long on dramatics, creation, or writing. 'Peak' does need a math component, and some social studies to meet standards. But this method, full of rhyme, rhythm, composition, and the beauty of good books, builds a love for, and a facility with, learning that far exceeds checklists.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maria Saluto-Biggers on September 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my first experience with homeschooling products. I've just started using the program but I'm pretty happy with it so far. My daughter seems to be a gifted 3 year old. She loves books but doesn't do really well with worksheets so I was looking for something to keep her stimulated and encourage her learning. Some of the activities are a little advanced & tailored to a group/classroom setting but they give a variety of activites so that I can pick and choose what works for her. I especially love the additional book suggestions to support the book of the week & the Involvement section which she really loves. I've been able to find many of the books for free at the library. However, I have found all the books suggested on Amazon but if you had to purchase all suggested it could get quite costly. Sadly, I'm not in a position financially to acquire all the books suggested :( I believe that I could reuse this program as she gets older for the activities she is not yet ready for. I am VERY HAPPY that I was able to find it on Amazon for half the price charged by the website. I love Amazon!! I definitely would suggest it, especially if you get if for half price on Amazon.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Early Childhood Consultant on September 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
I strongly disagree with the negative customer review that claims Peak
With Books is not balanced literacy. What better way to balance
literacy instruction than to explicitly teach phonemic awareness,
graphic awareness, concepts of print, creative dramatics, story
structure, and higher level thinking skills, all within the context of
beloved children's stories?

I find this approach in Peak With Books to be refreshing and
delightful. Children learn best when they are emotionally engaged in
relevant and endearing children's stories, as well as poems with
rhythmic gems for active learning. This is balanced literacy at its
best, a goldmine for any teacher!
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More About the Author

Meet the Author
Hi, there! I'm Marjorie Nelsen, married, mother of four, and grandmother of 14. For as long as I can remember, my life has revolved around faith, family, children, learning, and literature. So I guess it's no surprise that I've been an early childhood educator of children, their teachers, and their parents for 39 exciting years. My highest honor - the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship Award for educators - was presented to me by the United States Department of Education in 1986. But for today, I live with my family in a house full of books, and any number of visiting children. Click on From the Author to find out why you should buy Gently into Sleep: A Bedtime Ritual and A Child's Book of Responsibilities.

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