• Strategy Circles • Guided Reading • Book Clubs • Reciprocal Teaching

A bibliography of my favorites


Mosaic of Thought, Second Edition: The Power of Comprehension Strategy Instruction, Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmermann, Heinemann, 2007, ISBN: 0325010358: After David Pearson et al published research on using proficient reader strategies in the classroom, Keene and Zimmermann tried teaching the strategies, added sensory imaging, and wrote the first edition of Mosaic in 1997. After reading this book, teachers understand metacognition and the need to teach students how to think about their thinking. Most teachers who read this book tell me it helped them read better. True for me, too.

Improving Comprehension with Think-Aloud Strategies, Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Scholastic, 2001, ISBN: 9780439218597:Keene and Zimmermann call thinking aloud the “bread and butter” of metacognitive teaching. It takes practice and thankfully Wilhelm details the steps for many types of think alouds. I didn't even know there were different think alouds when I started. Very helpful. DOWNLOAD AS A FREE PDF

Good-bye Round Robin: 25 Effective Oral Reading Strategies by Michael F. Opitz and Timothy V. Rasinski, Heinemann, 1998. This book explains why round robin reading is actually harmful to reading development. In it’s place, the authors suggest 25 other ways to give students opportunities to read aloud that are much more effective.

Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children's Learning (Paperback) by Peter H. Johnston, $11.00, ISBN-10: 1571103899, This book pushes us to examine the language we use that will help us engage students or turn them off. Powerful. Can skim the tips which makes it a fast read. Or, if you read deeply, can only read a few pages at a time. Deep thought.

Lesson books

(generally P - Primary; UE - Upper Elementary; 3-8 -Intermediate; HS - High School)

Reading With Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades, Debbie Miller, Stenhouse Publishers, 2002, ISBN: 1571103074: A collection of lesson plans for teaching K-2 students how to use the strategies. Also, use with students new to learning the strategies. I especially like the visuals of children’s work so teachers can see what’s possible. P, UE

Knee to Knee, Eye to Eye: Circling in On Comprehension by Ardith Davis Cole, Heinemann, 2003, ISBN: 0-325-00494-3: Students don’t talk anymore. Teachers need to model how conversations about books work. Cole lays out detailed steps to help students talk to one another about ideas. 176 pages. P, UE

7 Keys To Comprehension: How To Help You Kids Read It and Get It! Three Rivers Press, ISBN: 0761515494, 2003. Susan Zimmermann and Chryse Hutchins wrote this book for parents. It is a wonderful resource for all of us. If you are new to teaching the proficient reader strategies, then this book outlines possibilites for teaching each strategy. Easy to read. Easy to implement. Great to recommend to parents. My copy is covered in sticky notes. 224 pages. P and parents

Comprehension Connections: Bridges to Strategic Reading, Tanny McGregor, Heinemann, 2007, ISBN: 0325008876: If you want some concrete lesson ideas for teaching the proficient reader strategies to younger students or new-to-reading-strategies students, THIS IS YOUR BOOK! Use bowls, lint brushes, shells, and old shoes to create "launching lessons," anchor lessons which stick. Build bridges from there to thinking about reading using every strategy. The author writes a chapter on each. I just read it. I can't wait to try McGregor's ideas plus create some of my own. P, UE

Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement, Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis, Stenhouse Publishers, 2007, ISBN: 157110481X: A compilation of over 40 lesson plans, which explain how to teach students to use each of the 7 proficient reader strategies. Generally, the book is used with intermediate and middle school students. The appendix is filled with ready-to-use ideas that guide children through the use of strategies when reading PLUS an extensive list of books that work for each reading strategy. 328 pages UE, P

Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? Content Comprehension Grades 6-8, Cris Tovani, Stenhouse Publishers, 2004, ISBN: 1571103767. Besides helping middle school students, Tovani’s lessons also challenges elementary students and helps high school students. HS, 3-8

I Read It but I Don’t Get It: Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers by Cris Tovani and Ellin Oliver Keene, Stenhouse, 2000, ISBN: 157110089X: This book came out in the initial stages and so the focus is on questioning, summarizing, and inferring. Tovani teaches high school students and so this book is a compilation of her best lesson plans. 140 pages. HS, 3-8

Comprehending Math: Adapting Reading Strategies to Teach Mathematics, K-6, Arthur Hyde, Heinemann, 2006. ISBN: 0-325-00949-X. 186 pages. I'm just reading this book now and I'm so excited. I knew the processes for thinking about any content area are the same. Now, Hyde makes it easy to take the proficient reader strategies to thinking about math. He argues that we should be using the same terminology from grade level to grade level and content to content. He shows us how. K-8

Improving Comprehension with Questioning the Author: A Fresh and Expanded View of a Powerful Approach (Theory and Practice) (Paperback) by Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown, September 2006, ISBN-10: 0439817307, Beck and McKeown name our discussion moves so that we can talk about them. Instinctively, we know that we need to do something, but what? What do you do if a discussion groups moves too slowly? What if they don’t show that they’re thinking deeply about texts? What if children monopolize the conversation? We just bought one book for every two teachers in our building. K-12

Nonfiction Matters: Reading, Writing and Research in Grades 3-8 by Stephanie Harvey. 1998. ISBN: 1-57110-072-5. Sixty per cent of our NC reading test is nonfiction material. Harvey’s book teaches kids how to read nonfiction, conduct research and write nonfiction with flare. She suggests topics for double-entry journals and constructing texts. 217 pages. 3-8

Revisit, Reflect, Retell: Strategies for Improving Reading Comprehension, Linda Hoyt, Heinemann, 1998, ISBN: 0-325-00071-9: Here's a handbook of ideas for helping children to retell stories. Easy-to-use activities challenge us as teachers to think of reader response in light of the proficient reader strategies. 90 reproducible activities that help kids get to the heart of the story: summarizing and retelling the most important parts. 194 pages.

Snapshots: Literacy Minilessons Up Close, Linda Hoyt, Heinemann, 2000, ISBN: 0-325-00272-X: Hoyt creates a handbook of minilessons which teach the proficient reader strategies from visualization to determining most important ideas. 262 pages.

Make It Real: Strategies for Success with Informational Texts, Linda Hoyt, Heinemann, 2002, ISBN: 0-325-00537-0: Hoyt writes a truckload of nonfiction lessons and writing-response ideas for thinking. Again, I like the visuals and the simple format that makes it very teacher-friendly. I use it every month as I plan my strategy lessons. 272 pages.

Help on the Internet

  • Choice Literacy – Debbie Miller, Aimee Buckner along with 2-dozen others have pages on this site. Videos, lesson ideas, etc. What do you need? They have it.
  • The Reading Lady – tons of lessons and ideas just ready to download
  • Stephanie Harvey – personal website and blog with some downloads
  • The Two Sisters – free giveaways, ideas
  • Ralph Fletcher – is personal blog with tips
  • LikeToWrite – my free writing lessons and units
  • Less is More: Teaching Literature With Short Texts by Kimberly Hill Campbell.

Understanding strategy instruction

What Really Matters for Struggling Readers: Designing Research-Based Programs, Richard L. Allington, Longman Publisher, 2000, ISBN: 0321063961, Need facts and figures to make you a believer? Richard Allington is the one who delivers. After reading this book, you will be compelled to make changes. 176 pages.

“Supporting a strategic stance in the classroom,” by Sarah L. Dowhower, Reading Teacher, April 1999: Dowhower provides teachers with a comprehension strategy framework lesson plan in order to be intentional about including proficient reader strategies in our lessons.

Supporting Struggling Readers and Writers: Strategies for Classroom Intervention 3-6 by Dorothy Strickland, Kathy Ganske, & Joanne K. Monroe, Stenhouse Publishers, 2002, ISBN 0-87207-176-6: I love this book. If you have struggling reader questions, these authors have answers. Their ideas make sense and give affirmation and structure to your instincts.

Subjects Matter: Every Teacher’s Guide to Content Area Reading by Harvey Daniels and Steven Zemelman, Heinemann, ISBN: 0-325-00595-8, 2004: 288 pages. New! Daniels and Zemelman write in an entertaining, folksy style about reading strategies. They make you “get it.” Plus, they include lesson plans to help you teach strategies to struggling students. The focus is on high school students but I use it for elementary!

Interactive notebooks (Daybooks)

Thinking Out Loud on Paper: Student Daybooks as a Tool for Learning, Heinemann, 2008. ISBN: 0-325-01229-6: Five of my colleagues and I detail personal journeys introducing and sustaining daybooks in our classrooms. We are indebted to Donald Murray who coined the term "daybook," a notebook teachers and students write in all day. Maintaining a daybook is a responsibility that rests on the shoulders of students: a place to write, think, reflect, set goals and assess their work in any subject matter and at any grade level K-college. Students can use daybooks effectively if shown how as we explain in our book.

Notebook Connections: Strategies for the Reader’s Notebook, Stenhouse, 2009. ISBD: 1571107827: Aimee showcases the lessons in her fourth-grade classroom that moved students from reluctant readers to independent readers. She explains the instruction she taught the students. She speaks adamantly about allowing students to have choices within that instruction. Very engaging and helpful book.

Notebook Know How: Strategies for the Writer's Notebook, by Aimee Buckner, fourth-grade teacher. Buckner's book is similar to our book, Thinking Out Loud on Paper, in that the author suggests strategies for launching writer's notebooks. Her focus is on intermediate children and writer's workshop whereas our book is for K-12, writer's workshop, and all content areas including a technology chapter. I found Notebook Know How to be a very useful resource to share with new-to-the-concept teachers. The book was first published by Stenhouse in 2005. ISBN: 157-1104-135. It's short and filled with writing-lesson ideas that I find useful. 136 pages.

Breathing In, Breathing Out: Keeping a Writer’s Notebook, by Ralph Fletcher, Heinemann, 1996. This book is the best books for helping teachers learn more about keeping daybooks. This book is for adults but the concept can be taught to students. He has a student book out also, A Writer’s Notebook: Unlocking the Writer Within You, for ages 9-12.

Tests as a genre study

A Teacher’s Guide to Standardized Reading: Knowledge is Power by Lucy Calkins, Kate Montgomery and Donna Santman, Heinemann, 1998. ISBN: 0-325-00000-X: These authors give details about what teachers should know about standardized testing. It provides a model for staff development for schools that want to earn more about tests and helping kids be successful. I loved the strategies for helping kids take tests and information for joining high stakes assessment organizations from an inquiry point of view. 185 pages.


Erie Diocese teachers

Participants in the workshops for the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Erie may get additional materials here. Simply enter the password you received from Karen to go to the supplemental materials webpage.


Eagle Pass teachers

Participants in the July 13-14, 2015, workshop at Eagle Pass, Tx., may get additional materials here. Simply enter the password you received from Karen to go to the supplemental materials webpage.


Bertie K-3 teachers

Participants in the June 16-17, 2015, reading workshop for Bertie County, NC, may download additional materials here. Simply enter the password you received from Karen to go to the supplemental materials webpage.


NCETA Symposium

Participants in the May 2, 2015, NCETA Spring Literacy Symposium may download additional materials here. Simply enter the password you received from Karen to go to the download page.


Copyright 2015 by Karen Haag