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Reading Instruction That Works, Third Edition: The Case for Balanced Teaching (Solving Problems in the Teaching of Literacy) 3rd Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593852283
ISBN-10: 1593852282
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Editorial Reviews


"No one does a better job of describing a truly balanced approach to reading instruction than Michael Pressley, particularly with the new chapters on fluency, vocabulary, and writing. If I had only ten books on reading on my bookshelves, this would be one of them."--Michael F. Graves, PhD, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota

"After reading the third edition of this book, I knew that I had another valuable resource for my classroom. I was encouraged to find coverage of new aspects of reading instruction, including new research that is relevant to my students. Current instructional standards are reflected in the new chapters on fluency, vocabulary, and writing. I highly recommend this book to elementary teachers and special educators."--Sheri Louis, MA, Special Education Teacher, Westcott Junior High School, Westbrook, Maine

"Reading Instruction That Works, Third Edition, demonstrates once again how scholarship can inform instructional practice. With a keen analytical eye, Pressley takes disparate research findings and integrates them into a model of teaching children to read that goes well beyond the recommendations of the National Reading Panel. Moving thinking in the field forward, this third edition is an invaluable resource for both emerging scholars of literacy development and accomplished practitioners and researchers. The reader is left with an overarching sense of what is important: Pressley shows how effective literacy instruction begets engagement and how, as teachers learn to become excellent, 'they also seem to become agents of peace in children's lives.'"--Anne McGill-Franzen, PhD, Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, and Reading Center, University of Tennessee
"This book is a tremendous resource for teachers and principals in school districts across the country. It emphasizes research-based practice in a manner that supports the importance of balanced reading instruction. Ideal for teachers' book groups and district-wide staff development initiatives, the book is also an important reference for reading specialists and reading supervisors. School districts could avoid a lot of 'bandwagons' by making use of the wealth of research in this text."--Carol S. Beers, School of Education, College of William and Mary; former Superintendent, Williamsburg-James City County (Virginia) Public Schools

"Pressley thoroughly defines and describes each type of instruction before showing how successful classrooms provide teacher support as children apply the skills they are learning."--Curriculum Connections
(Curriculum Connections 2005-12-02)

About the Author

Michael Pressley, PhD, was University Distinguished Professor, Director of the Doctoral Program in Teacher Education, and Director of the Literacy Achievement Research Center at Michigan State University. An expert on effective elementary literacy instruction, he was the author or editor of more than 300 journal articles, chapters, and books. Dr. Pressley was the recipient of the 2004 E. L. Thorndike Award (American Psychological Association, Division 15), the highest award given for career research accomplishment in educational psychology.

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Product Details

  • Series: Solving Problems in the Teaching of Literacy
  • Paperback: 469 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 3rd edition (November 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593852282
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593852283
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Pressley's stated goal is to provide a "reader-friendly review of the research evidence pertaining to beginning reading, one that doesn't require [readers] to have technical background knowledge in reading research." In this he succeeds admirably. While the text is chock-full of references to studies and analyses, it is by no means a dry, dense tome. It is most definitely reader- and teacher-friendly.

As denoted in the subtitle, Pressley argues for balanced instruction. "Whole-language theorists," he writes, "had it about half-right with respect to the development of reading skills. Yes, authentic reading and writing are important in the development of literacy, but systematic instruction in skills is also very important." Both whole language and skills only instruction are incomplete models, notes Pressley. What is needed is a balance of the two.

Throughout the book and in numerous ways, Pressley makes several points that any teacher (no matter what his or her grade level or subject area) should keep in mind:

-reading is an extremely active process

-the point of reading is not to simply read the words but rather to construct meaning

-students can and should be taught comprehension strategies beginning even in the primary years

-effective reading instruction includes skills instruction, immersion in a rich literacy environment, and the explicit teaching of comprehension strategies

Readers will find a gold mine of information throughout the text. Especially helpful, for example, is an overview and discussion of an analysis that he and Peter Afflerbach did in 1995. The two reviewed studies published up to that point and constructed a summary of what good readers do.
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The information contained is golden, but there is a lot of names and dates of researchers interlaced to such a degree that it makes the reading of the content choppy. I would have preferred numbers with the references to research all listed at the end.
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Very informative and has lots and lots of information. If you are a reading teacher or learning to be one, this is the book for you.
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