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To Understand: New Horizons in Reading Comprehension Paperback – January 29, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0325003238 ISBN-10: 0325003238

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To Understand: New Horizons in Reading Comprehension + Nonfiction Matters: Reading, Writing, and Research in Grades 3-8
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 13 years
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann (January 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0325003238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0325003238
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ellin is author of Talk About Understanding: Rethinking Classroom Talk to Enhance Understanding, To Understand: New Horizons in Reading Comprehension, co-author of Comprehension Going Forward and of Mosaic of Thought: The Power of Comprehension Strategy Instruction, 2nd edition as well as numerous chapters for professional books and journals on the teaching of reading as well as education policy journals. Ellin Oliver Keene has been a classroom teacher, staff developer, non-profit director and adjunct professor of reading and writing. For sixteen years she directed staff development initiatives at the Denver-based Public Education & Business Coalition. She served as Deputy Director and Director of Literacy and Staff Development for the Cornerstone Project at the University of Pennsylvania for 4 years. Ellin currently serves as Director of Research and Development for the PEBC, as senior advisor to Heinemann Professional Development and works with schools and districts throughout the country and abroad. Ellin Oliver Keene is a Heinemann Professional Development provider. She presents Heinemann One-Day Workshops, Live Webinars, and all forms of On-Site PD. She is most sought after for her long-term professional development residencies in partnership with Heinemann Professional Development. For an overview of the Keene Residency »

More About the Author

Ellin Oliver Keene is the author of To Understand (2008), coauthor of Comprehension Going Forward (2011), and coauthor of Mosaic of Thought, Second Edition (2007), all published by Heinemann. She is also the author of Assessing Comprehension Thinking Strategies (Shell, 2006). She has been a classroom teacher, staff developer, and adjunct professor of reading and writing. For sixteen years she directed staff development initiatives at the Denver-based Public Education & Business Coalition. She served as Deputy Director of the Cornerstone Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania for 4 years, where she oversaw literacy and professional learning for teachers in high-poverty schools throughout the nation. Ellin Oliver Keene is a Heinemann Professional Development provider. She now provides long-term professional development residencies in partnership with Heinemann Professional Development. She lives with her husband, David, and daughter, Elizabeth, in Denver and works with schools and districts around the country.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By James Hiller VINE VOICE on February 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
... is beautifully and inspirationally detailed in Ellin Keene's new book, "To Understand".

Building effectively on the base of her original work, Mosaic of Thought, Second Edition: The Power of Comprehension Strategy Instruction, Keene spells out the next steps in teaching those comprehension strategies by getting them to always think more deeply, more purposefully, more richly. More so than just a mindless rattling off of the comprehension strategies, To Understand challenges you to see how those strategies lead to a deeper understanding of how what you've read impacts you.

So often, we burn through a series of books with kids, inspiring them to read quantity, without much forethought of how this literature must be effecting them. We believe that reading a million pages, or a thousand book, and getting a principal to kiss a goat, is reading success. Keene challenges us to go beyond that, to seek ways that we must inspire our children not only to read books, but to talk about how that reading impacts our minds and hearts. Children have a remarkable capacity to think deeply and purposefully, if given the chance, if taught how to do it, and if supported in the classroom.

Keene offers repeatedly through her book a simple mantra: teach a few concepts, over a period of time, with great intensity, and across a variety of texts and genres. Instead of trying to tackle any state's 134 page document of what's "essential" in literacy learning, she had four pages (four!) of what research says "is essential", and sticking to those, in the face of increasing demands of teachers from NCLB, is the true way to go.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Laura Candler on July 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Inspirational" is not a word I would normally apply to a book about reading comprehension, but this book is like no other. In her new book, To Understand, Ellin Keene explores what's essential in literacy instruction, but her words could easily be applied to the entire teaching and learning process. She charges teachers with developing "Renaissance kids" who pursue a wide range of interests, dig deeply into books, and who are willing to pursue new ideas through their own discovery and research. . . kids who truly experience the joy of reading to learn rather than just learning to read. Keene asks us to leave behind the scripted, cookie-cutter approaches to teaching reading and focus on what's important, giving students numerous opportunities to apply a wide variety of reading strategies. This book is not one to read quickly in order to prepare for tomorrow's lesson; instead, it's a book to savor slowly, a chapter at a time.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Dorr on May 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is a detailed account of Ellin Keane's work in the area of reading comprehension. It included a lot of interesting charts to represent the information but did not include a lot of student work samples, graphic organizers, nor photos. Her "New Horizons" point of view and the idea of a "literacy studio" is quite different, especially if your county has curriculum mandates which dictate certain skills and strategies be taught. What does it mean to comprehend? This book leads us to many conclusions in understanding how to undertand.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ellin Keene's book "To Understand" is a powerful and thought provoking book. It discusses issues of reading comprehension instruction and is so vital. I was fortunate to meet with Ellin and she was just as powerful in person.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marianella Garza on September 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
A good read for educators. Especially to help those students who tell you, they just don't understand.
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