The reading units of study help teachers provide their students with instruction, opportunities for practice, and concrete doable goals to help them meet and exceed any set of high standards.
It is an understatement to say these units have been piloted many times. The teaching in these books has been planned, taught, revised, and retaught, through a cycle of improvement involving literally thousands of classrooms in schools dotting the globe.
Each reading unit represents about five to six weeks of teaching, structured into three or four “bends in the road.” Rather than tackling the entire journey all at once, it’s easier to embark on this series of shorter, focused bends, pausing between each to regroup and prepare for the next.
Learners need teachers who demonstrate what it means to live richly literate lives, wearing a love of reading on their sleeves. Teachers need professional development and a culture of collaborative practice to develop their abilities to teach.
A mountain of research supports the notion that teachers who teach reading successfully provide their students with substantial time for actual reading.
Students need access to lots of books that they can read with high levels of accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. They need opportunities to consolidate skills so they can use skills and strategies with automaticity within fluid, engaged reading.
A consensus has formed around the resolve to accelerate students progress so they can read increasingly complex texts. Teachers can find ways to scaffold instruction to provide students with access to these texts when they cannot read them independently.
The National Reading Panel strongly supports explicit instruction in comprehension strategies, suggesting that the teaching of even one comprehension strategy can lead to improved comprehension, and that teaching a repertoire of strategies can make an even larger difference (National Reading Panel 2000).
Talking and writing both provide concrete, visible ways for learners to do the thinking work that later becomes internalized and invisible.
The strength of a student's general knowledge has a close relationship to the studen'ts ability to comprehend complex nonfiction texts. Students who read a great deal of nonfiction gain knowledge about the world as well as about vocabulary.
Learners are not all the same, and learners do not all need the same things to progress. Teaching, then, must always be responsive, and our ideas about what works and what doesn't work must always be under construction.
Read-aloud is essential to teaching reading. Teachers read aloud to open the day, using stories and poems to convene the community and to celebrate what it means to be awake and alive together. They read aloud to embark on shared adventures, to explore new worlds, and to place provocative topics at the center of the community.
The National Reading Panel's recommendations in 2000 supported the need for children to have balanced literacy instruction. Pressley and his colleagues conducted research in balanced literacy, seeking out examples of exemplary teaching in the primary grades and studying the approach to instruction. In every case, whenever they found a classroom with high literacy engagement, they found balanced teaching in place (Pressley et al. 2002).
(Adapted from A Guide to the Reading Workshop, primary and intermediate editions)
To read more about how you can work with colleagues to articulate the vision guiding reading instruction at your school, download the sample chapter for your grade level, excerpted from A Guide to the Reading Workshop (Primary, Intermediate, and Middle School Grades).
Note that the Guides for each grade level are components in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading, K–5 series. For a sample from the middle school guide, visit Middle School Reading.
Grades K–2 include one foundational unit and three other units to address reading fiction and informational texts. Grades 3–5 each include two units in reading fiction and two in reading informational texts.
Describes the essential principles, methods, and structures of effective reading workshop instruction. (Available for separate purchase—ideal for administrators and coaches who are supporting implementation of Units of Study.)
Abbreviated versions of additional units help teachers meet specific instructional needs.
Puts a system for assessing reading into teachers’ hands and into the hands of students.
Large-format sticky notes help teachers create and evolve anchor charts across the units and preprinted sticky notes for grades K–2 highlight possible teaching points during read-alouds.
Used as demonstration texts for teachers to model the skills and strategies students will try. Some of these books are also used for read-aloud and shared reading.
A treasure chest of resources, including bibliographies, short texts, reproducible checklists, pre- and post-assessments, homework, mentor texts, videos, and Web links.
Spanish translations of resources such as teaching points, anchor charts, and student self-assessment resources are provided, along with lists of Spanish-language mentor texts.
In these video courses, Lucy Calkins and her colleagues provide an overview of the units along with tips and guidelines to help teachers get off to a good start.
Purchase Recommendation: choose the bundle with the Trade Book Packs if your library does not already include the mentor texts referenced in the Units.
The TCRWP is a learning organization that is continuously building on their earlier work. These two additional book-length units fit tongue-and-groove with the original grades 1 and 3 units.
A copy of the appropriate Guide is included in your Units box. These Guides are offered as an optional purchase for administrators and coaches.