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Reality Checks: Teaching Reading Comprehension with Nonfiction, K-5

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Teaching comprehension with informational texts is a critical component of any reading program and one that many children struggle with as they progress through their schooling. Nonfiction can be overwhelming to young readers, presenting them with complex vocabulary and a new density of information that may combine text, diagrams, pictures, captions, and other devices. In Teaching comprehension with informational texts is a critical component of any reading program and one that many children struggle with as they progress through their schooling. Nonfiction can be overwhelming to young readers, presenting them with complex vocabulary and a new density of information that may combine text, diagrams, pictures, captions, and other devices. In this book, Tony Stead provides wonderful ways to enhance children's understanding and engagement when reading for information. Based on many years of working in K–7 classrooms, he outlines practical approaches to ensure all children can become confident and competent readers of nonfiction. Reality Checks offers insights into why children struggle when faced with informational reading, and practical concepts, skills, and strategies that help them navigate nonfiction successfully. Part one examines effective ways to teach children how to extract the information that is explicitly stated in a text. Covered are strategies such as using prior knowledge, retelling, locating specific information, and the role of nonfiction read-alouds. Part two explores interpreting information, including making connections between the text, the reader, and the outside world, making inferences and making revisions to inferences based on reflection. Part three looks at evaluating information, assisting children in developing critical reading skills, differentiating fact from opinion, locating author bias, and identifying techniques writers use to persuade readers' thinking. Part four offers an array of practical ways to reinforce and extend children's nonfiction reading skills, including working with visual information such as maps and diagrams. It also provides pre-and–post-assessment strategies, procedures for monitoring progress, curriculum planning ideas, and instruction on guided reading. A helpful appendix provides graphic organizers, assessment rubrics, curriculum mapping sheets, and more.


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Teaching comprehension with informational texts is a critical component of any reading program and one that many children struggle with as they progress through their schooling. Nonfiction can be overwhelming to young readers, presenting them with complex vocabulary and a new density of information that may combine text, diagrams, pictures, captions, and other devices. In Teaching comprehension with informational texts is a critical component of any reading program and one that many children struggle with as they progress through their schooling. Nonfiction can be overwhelming to young readers, presenting them with complex vocabulary and a new density of information that may combine text, diagrams, pictures, captions, and other devices. In this book, Tony Stead provides wonderful ways to enhance children's understanding and engagement when reading for information. Based on many years of working in K–7 classrooms, he outlines practical approaches to ensure all children can become confident and competent readers of nonfiction. Reality Checks offers insights into why children struggle when faced with informational reading, and practical concepts, skills, and strategies that help them navigate nonfiction successfully. Part one examines effective ways to teach children how to extract the information that is explicitly stated in a text. Covered are strategies such as using prior knowledge, retelling, locating specific information, and the role of nonfiction read-alouds. Part two explores interpreting information, including making connections between the text, the reader, and the outside world, making inferences and making revisions to inferences based on reflection. Part three looks at evaluating information, assisting children in developing critical reading skills, differentiating fact from opinion, locating author bias, and identifying techniques writers use to persuade readers' thinking. Part four offers an array of practical ways to reinforce and extend children's nonfiction reading skills, including working with visual information such as maps and diagrams. It also provides pre-and–post-assessment strategies, procedures for monitoring progress, curriculum planning ideas, and instruction on guided reading. A helpful appendix provides graphic organizers, assessment rubrics, curriculum mapping sheets, and more.

30 review for Reality Checks: Teaching Reading Comprehension with Nonfiction, K-5

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mrs. Van

    I am reading this with a study group at my school. I enjoyed his reworking of the KWL. Students when listing what they know, often list misinformation. His system handles those off-the-wall facts that kids come up with. There is also a great chapter on vocabulary instruction that really gets kids to identify what strategies they are using and which strategy is the best to use in certain situations. Our study group goal was to explore the teaching of nonfiction. This text has certainly helped us I am reading this with a study group at my school. I enjoyed his reworking of the KWL. Students when listing what they know, often list misinformation. His system handles those off-the-wall facts that kids come up with. There is also a great chapter on vocabulary instruction that really gets kids to identify what strategies they are using and which strategy is the best to use in certain situations. Our study group goal was to explore the teaching of nonfiction. This text has certainly helped us in that process.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    One of the best books I have ever used for teaching children how to really engage in reading the genre of nonfiction. My kids loved all of the strategies I implemented and I found them to be genuinely useful.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    This book has great strategies and ideas for teaching expository text to elementary children. I enjoyed the conversational writing style.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    This book has some very helpful strategies that have already been vetted in the classroom. It provides helpful ideas to introduce nonfiction reading to younger students.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jen Munnerlyn

    At the literacy coaches meeting in Jordan in Nov. 2008 it was recommended that we purchase and read ANYTHING by Tony Stead.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ale_meows

    Reading and analyzing non-fiction text, grades k-5 KWL strategy vs RAN strategies

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beth Ernst

    Great ideas for K-3 literacy! Recommended by Michelle McCarthy

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nolsen

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bill Gaskins

  10. 5 out of 5

    Krystal

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sherri Fricker

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan Kennedy

  14. 5 out of 5

    Esmer

  15. 5 out of 5

    Liudan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julie Wann

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dana

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joana Ecalne

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Swider Wenz

    One of my favorite go-to professional books for Nonfiction instruction.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  26. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sierra Zie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christina

  29. 4 out of 5

    Casie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Beth

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