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The Art of Teaching Reading [Paperback]

by Lucy McCormick Calkins
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 28, 2000 0321080599 978-0321080592 1

Written in Calkins' graceful and passionate style, The Art of Teaching Reading serves as an eloquent and desperately needed reminder of what matters most in teaching.

  • Incredibly valuable resource for current and future teachers and educators.
  • Offers a wealth of practical classroom examples to demonstrate principles and methods in practice.
  • "I can think of no one in New York City who is more trusted by school people than Lucy," - Judith Rizzo, Deputy Chancellor for Instruction, New York City Board of Education.
In The Art of Teaching Reading, nationally acclaimed educator Lucy Calkins offers a compelling glimpse into the methods, insights and day-to-day classroom practices which have helped hundreds of teachers do more in the teaching of reading than most dreamt possible. This is the story of brilliant teachers whose children learn to read with eagerness and to talk and write in stunning ways about their reading. Full of inspirational classroom stories, The Art of Teaching Reading is even more powerful when one considers that the methods Calkins describes are transforming teaching practices across the largest school district in the world.

Lucy Calkins is a Professor of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University, and an acclaimed speaker, with frequent keynote addresses at conferences across the country. She is also the author (or co-author) of numerous books, including the best-selling sister volume, The Art of Teaching Writing (Heinemann), Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parents' Guide (Perseus Books), and A Teacher's Guide to Standardized Reading Tests: Knowledge is Power (Heinemann).


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The Art of Teaching Reading + The Art of Teaching Writing + Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Written in Calkins' graceful and passionate style, The Art of Teaching Reading serves as an eloquent and desperately needed reminder of what matters most in teaching.


* Incredibly valuable resource for current and future teachers and educators.
* Offers a wealth of practical classroom examples to demonstrate principles and methods in practice.
* "I can think of no one in New York City who is more trusted by school people than Lucy," - Judith Rizzo, Deputy Chancellor for Instruction, New York City Board of Education.
In The Art of Teaching Reading, nationally acclaimed educator Lucy Calkins offers a compelling glimpse into the methods, insights and day-to-day classroom practices which have helped hundreds of teachers do more in the teaching of reading than most dreamt possible. This is the story of brilliant teachers whose children learn to read with eagerness and to talk and write in stunning ways about their reading. Full of inspirational classroom stories, The Art of Teaching Reading is even more powerful when one considers that the methods Calkins describes are transforming teaching practices across the largest school district in the world.

Lucy Calkins is a Professor of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University, and an acclaimed speaker, with frequent keynote addresses at conferences across the country. She is also the author (or co-author) of numerous books, including the best-selling sister volume, The Art of Teaching Writing (Heinemann), Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parents' Guide (Perseus Books), and A Teacher's Guide to Standardized Reading Tests: Knowledge is Power (Heinemann).

About the Author

Lucy Calkins is a Professor of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University, and an acclaimed speaker, with frequent keynote addresses at conferences across the country. She is also the author (or co-author) of numerous books, including the best-selling sister volume, The Art of Teaching Writing (Heinemann), Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parents' Guide (Perseus Books), and A Teacher's Guide to Standardized Reading Tests: Knowledge is Power (Heinemann).


Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 1 edition (August 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321080599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321080592
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lucy Calkins is Founding Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and the Robinson Professor in Literature at Teachers College where she co-directs the Literacy Specialist program. She is the author of over 30 seminal books on the teaching of reading and writing, including her trademark curriculum resources, Units of Study supporting K-2 and 3-5 writing and 3-5 reading. Other foundational texts include The Art of Teaching Reading, The Art of Teaching Writing, One-to-One: The Art of Conferring with Young Writers, A Principal's Guide to Leadership in the Teaching of Writing (co-authored with Laurie Pessah), Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent's Guide, and most recently, Pathways to the Common Core (co-authored with Mary Ehrenworth and Christopher Lehman)--currently one of Amazon's top-selling titles. Lucy is also the author of the upcoming Units of Study for Teaching Writing, Grade by Grade: A Yearlong Workshop Curriculum, Grades K-8 (Heinemann: 2013).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reading the Art of Teaching, it becomes clear that Calkins is not only a wonderful reading teacher but a thoughtful and skilled writer about reading. However, looking over the reviews here a reader will notice a divergence of opinion with many lavishly praising this book while others express extreme disappointment. In the end neither of them are really wrong.

Calkin's goal of the is simple to get students to "compose lives in which reading and writing matter", but obviously difficult to achieve. She is of the opinion, and offers research to support this opinion, that a Reading Workshop is the best way of achieving this goal. She explains the ingredients for success in virtually all aspects of a Reading Workshop through her 500 plus pages. Her emphasis is on what to do rather than what not to do and she offers examples, normally quite entertaining, to demonstrate the theory she is talking about.

So in this sense the book is a large success. Calkin clearly understands the Reader's Workshop and is going to be able to help any teacher craft a framework for such a workshop.

However, this speaks to the great short coming of the book. While Calkin presents the philosophy the hard work of implementing it falls largely on the shoulder of the reader. When she works with teachers in person this is no doubt for the best, as she is able to give feedback on how various teachers implement the program. However, no such dialogue can be had with a book and so the reader can easily finish the book understanding just how important the Reader's Workshop is, without the skills needed to actually implement one.

This book is an important piece of writing for the Reading Workshop teacher, however it serves as a poor introduction to the method.
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114 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visionary! September 2, 2000
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Calkins says, "The problem is that if our teaching is to be an art, we need an organizing vision that brings together all of these separate components into something graceful and vital and significant. It is not the number of good ideas that turns our work into art, but the selection, balance, coherence and design of those ideas (p. 4)." This articulates what I've sensed for some time and am finally beginning to understand after eight years of striving to help first graders become readers for life. Lucy Calkins built the foundation for elementary wiritng workshop and now has formed a vision for a reading workshop structure that, I believe, will endure. This book is for all elementary teachers who are about helping children create literatie lives. It is both inspiring and practical, heady and humble.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding - holistic - approach to teaching reading February 23, 2004
Format:Paperback
I read the first page of this book sitting on the floor of a book store. The next thing I knew it was 30 minutes later, and I didn't want to put the book down. I knew it needed to go home with me.
Calkins takes Reading instruction, breaks it down into manageable parts that she used in her own classroom and shares with you realistic, artful and purposeful ideas for teaching reading. She speaks very openly and honestly with you as a teacher who believes in teaching reading not as a science, but rather as an art. It is an amazing book that will transform the way you think about reading instruction even in simple ways. You will love reading it and want to apply her teaching strategies immediately.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars life-changing March 28, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I cannot say enough about this book. Teaching reading IS an art, a rocket science, and this thorough, all-encompassing professional resource elevated my teaching of reading to an art level. I constantly refer back to it. I frequently mentor student teachers, and tell them that if they can only afford to purchase one professional book, this should be the one. Lucy Calkins' work will stand the test of time. She should be a household name, and it is baffling to me that she isn't.
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43 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Artful Presentation of the Reading Workshop May 18, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have been a teacher for just a few years and I am currently working on my master's degree. I wanted to know more about the process approach to reading and writing so I approached my professor. She loaned me a brand new copy of this book. I found Calkins the most useful information in forming an understanding of Reading Workshop. Calkins even has a section that gives tips on how to acquire more books for your school. This book is invaluable!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough Overview January 22, 2011
By Teri-K
Format:Paperback
The Art of Teaching Reading by Lucy Calkins is the most thorough and complete book on the reading workshop that I have found. It's written by someone who is passionate about teaching and reading. It's also packed with ideas that real teachers actually use in their classes, conversations they have with their students, and complex thinking on what real readers do. One of the things I appreciate about Calkins is that she does not come across as someone who think she knows all there is about teaching reading. She doesn't insist you do it her way or else. She demonstrates, explains, and lets you in on her thinking. In this way I felt she helped me to become a more reflective teacher myself.

This book is useful for anyone teaching children from their first introduction to reading to at least grade 6. She breaks the reading workshop into primary and intermediate grades, and there are many chapters on each level. The Art of Teaching Reading contains one of the best explanations of the difference between strategy lessons and guided reading groups that I have read. It also gives an in depth look into reading clubs, teaching kids to discuss books, and non-fiction reading, among many other things. It also spends time laying out the reasons for teaching this way.

This is a book to return to several times, the kind you mark up and jot notes on. If you're looking for specifics of what to teach in your small groups, or exactly how to structure your time, this book will disappoint you. (Check my other reviews for books I recommend for that.) If you like to understand theory, want an in depth overview of reading workshop, and are willing to devote some time and energy to reading, this book will leave you satisfied.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars the book is an excellent resource
Although this is an excellent resource book to use in the classroom I would advise paying the extra to get a new book from Amazon. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Summer rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you ever wanted to know about teaching students to read.
I am impressed with this book. It is full of invaluable information for pre-service and in-service teachers. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Nancy Munch
5.0 out of 5 stars First Grade Teacher
I am a new first grade teacher and just finished reading [most of] this book during my summer break. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Laura L Crahan
3.0 out of 5 stars More wear than anticipated and warped
Books came sooner than expected. The Art of Teaching Reading was dirty on the outside and had wear on the edges and some water damage on the inside. Craft Lessons was warped. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dolly B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Shape!
They book came exactly how they described and it was exactly what it was supposed to be. I was pleased with the purchase.
Published 11 months ago by kaelee
5.0 out of 5 stars must have
This book is helpful for anyone working with children's literacy. Ideas are very clearly expressed and explained.
Published on September 24, 2007 by Lisa Friscoe
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for educators
This book is very helpful to any elementary teacher that is looking for ways to improve your reading curriculum. Read more
Published on January 4, 2007 by N. Cail
1.0 out of 5 stars What a Sad Author
It's unfortunate that some authors use children's education as a venue for underhanded business practice. Read more
Published on January 19, 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Angered and Annoyed
I am a professor of reading and use this book in the reading course required of my undergrad teacher ed students. Read more
Published on January 14, 2003
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