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Teaching Reading in Small Groups: Differentiated Instruction for Building Strategic, Independent Readers Paperback – January 26, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0325026800 ISBN-10: 0325026807

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Teaching Reading in Small Groups: Differentiated Instruction for Building Strategic, Independent Readers + Conferring with Readers: Supporting Each Student's Growth and Independence + The Literacy Teacher's Playbook, Grades 3-6: Four Steps for Turning Assessment Data into Goal-Directed Instruction
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 11 years
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0325026807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0325026800
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A literacy consultant, researcher, and author, Jennifer Serravallo is the best-selling author or coauthor of the Heinemann titles Teaching Reading in Small Groups and Conferring with Readers. Her latest book, The Literacy Teacher's Playbook, Grades K - 2 and Grades 3 - 6 helps teachers assess confidently and teach powerfully by sharing Jen's experience with assessment. Jen worked for eight years as a staff developer and national consultant at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. In this capacity, she helped urban, suburban, and rural schools implement exceptional literacy instruction through reading and writing workshops. While working toward her MA at Teachers College, she taught grades 3 - 5 in two Title I schools with large class sizes, high numbers of ELLs, and an enormous range of learners. These experiences galvanized her to write her Heinemann professional books as well as other professional resources for teachers, including: Independent Reading Assessment for fiction and nonfiction (Scholastic, 2013). Learn more about Jen and her work at www.jenniferserravallo.com, or connect with her at @jserravallo. In this video at The Teacher Channel, you can see how Jen's deep experiences with teaching, learning, and staff development help her to provide expert teacher-to-teacher feedback---even outside her usual content area. In her second video in a series at The Teacher Channel, Jen provides feedback on a third-grade reading lesson that introduces students to the strategy of finding the main idea in a text. Check out Jen's guest blog about transitioning readers to chapter books at chartchums.

More About the Author

Follow me on Twitter (@jserravallo) and contact me through my website at www.jenniferserravallo.com.

After graduating from Vassar College, I moved straight to New York City with a passion for urban education reform and an intention to work in the NYC public school system. I taught grades 3-5 over the next several years while also working toward my MA at Teachers College, Columbia University. The two NYC schools in which I worked were Title I schools with swelling class sizes, high numbers of ELLs, and an enormous range of learners.

Until 2012, I was a Senior Staff Developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, where I worked for eight years helping urban, suburban, and rural schools implement exceptional literacy instruction through reading and writing workshops.

I have taught graduate and undergraduate classes at Teachers College and Vassar College on topics of children's literature and urban education reform.

I am the author of several books on the teaching of reading. Just released in fall of 2013 is the Literacy Teacher's Playbook: Four Steps for Turning Assessment Data into Goal-Directed Instruction, Grades 3-6. I wrote this book to help teachers to analyze, synthesize and make sense of all the data they collect. This book will help all teachers, and especially those working to figure out RTI goals and intervention plans. A second version, for grades K-2, will be out in early 2014.

I also recently authored the AEP award winning Independent Reading Assessment: Fiction (Scholastic, 2012) and Independent Reading Assessment: Nonfiction (Scholastic, 2013) These are the first and only assessments of whole-book comprehension for readers in grades 3-5 (F&P levels K-W). I am also also the author of Teaching Reading in Small Groups (Heinemann, 2010) and co-author with Gravity Goldberg of Conferring with Readers. (Heinemann, 2006).

My new online course for Heinemann's Digital Campus is also now available through Heinemann's website. Titled the same as my second book, Teaching Reading in Small Groups, it includes dozens of videos of me working with students individually and in small groups.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This is a must-have for any teacher that wants to be intentional and thoughtful about their work with their readers.
Amy
The author is never content with merely saying "This is what I do," but always works to help the teacher make the best choices for herself and her students.
Teri-K
Serravallo just shines when it comes to showing you HOW to do expert guided reading lessons with small groups and individual readers.
reading teacher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By reading teacher on August 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
There are lots of books available on The Big Picture of guided reading, the language arts block, and reading workshops. Very few of them are helpful when it comes giving detailed advice about what to say and do with kids during your actual guided reading lessons. Jennifer Serravallo's new book is the kind of book I have been looking for since I started teaching because I always felt like my guided reading instruction could be better. I have a strong feeling that this book will be sitting in the little pile that I always keep by my side throughout the year.

"Teaching Reading in Small Groups" is about how to form guided reading groups, how to pinpoint your instruction to match your readers' needs, and basically, how to help your kids be better readers. The author spends a good deal of time showing you how to coach kids during guided reading lessons. She is of the mind that your lessons should be brief and to the point, and you should get your kids practicing what you taught them immediately. She is a big believer in teaching kids how to be strategic readers (so am I). Snapshots of her dialogue are presented as exemplars throughout the book. I found these examples to be just right in terms of their depth and relevance. In addition to learning Serravallo's approach to leading comprehension strategy lessons, you also get a great chapter on teaching engagement with reading, tips for improving book clubs at all grade levels, and some useful methods for teaching fluency in small groups. I know that all of this stuff sounds familiar, but no other book that I'm aware of presents this information in such an exemplary way. Serravallo just shines when it comes to showing you HOW to do expert guided reading lessons with small groups and individual readers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lara Parent on October 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Practical, insightful and reality-based. Great tips for moving kids forward and tapping into their individual needs and strengths.
A must buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Hayhurst on April 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is not one of those professional books that will sit on a shelf collecting dust. This has become my new "go to" book because it offers something to everyone. I knew from the beginning that this would be a book I would use often when I saw the "Recommendations for Reading this Book" pages - for example... "My students seem to understand what I'm teaching them in a minilesson, but I don't see the transfer of that knowledge to their own books" go to Chapter 4. She lists scenarios/questions and directs the reader to the chapter that best addresses these issues. This is the book that every teacher should read and discuss with others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jenn Fire on June 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
Serravallo shares a wealth of information that would benefit any teacher's instructional practice. This is a book I will return back to time & time again. If you want to see some notes visit my blog - [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Teri-K on January 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the book Teaching Reading in Small Groups, Jennifer Serravallo "provides you with a rich repertoire of ways to lead small groups, and with suggestions for how to teach each well." (pg ix) Confessing that in her third year of teaching she began to ask herself, "Is what I'm doing a benefit to the student, to myself (teacher), or to us both?" (p3) She decided she was really not teaching reading as much as checking up on how her students were doing. What she was teaching, she decided, was books, not readers. So she began to examine and change. Her goals for reading instruction are:
-match the individual
-move to independence
-teach explicit strategies
-value time, volume, and variety in reading
-have predictable structures and routines

In the following chapter Serravallo shows various ways to assess engagement, strategies, comprehension and conversation, and how to use the results to group students for instruction. This is the first book I've seen that covers realistic ways to assess engagement and conversation, and they were helpful. This is followed by chapters on teaching each of these points. These chapters are filled with specific examples of student work, charts, and other helpful graphics. The author is never content with merely saying "This is what I do," but always works to help the teacher make the best choices for herself and her students.

Teaching Reading in Small Groups ends with the author's take on small groups and Reading Workshop structure. She recommends Lucy Calkins book, and her ideas follow Calkins' closely. If you've read Calkins but want something shorter and more specific, or if you want an easier introduction to the Reading Workshop, I recommend this book.
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