Featured books by Isabel Beck

Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction (Second Edition)

By: Isabel Beck, Linda Kucan, Margaret McKeown
Age Level: Adult
Reading Level: Professional

Hundreds of thousands of teachers have used this highly practical guide to help K-12 students enlarge their vocabulary and get involved in noticing, understanding, and using new words. Grounded in research, the book explains how to select words for instruction, introduce their meanings, and create engaging learning activities that promote both word knowledge and reading comprehension. The authors are trusted experts who draw on extensive experience in diverse classrooms and schools. Sample lessons and vignettes, children's literature suggestions, end-of-chapter summaries, and "Your Turn" learning activities enhance the book's utility as a classroom resource, professional development tool, or course text.

Creating Robust Vocabulary: Frequently Asked Questions and Extended Examples

By: Isabel Beck, Linda Kucan, Margaret McKeown
Age Level: Adult
Reading Level: Professional

Responding to readers' success stories, practical questions, and requests for extended examples, this volume builds on the groundbreaking work of Bringing Words to Life. The authors present additional tools, tips, and detailed explanations of such questions as which words to teach, when and how to teach them, and how to adapt instruction for English language learners. They provide specific instructional sequences, including assessments, for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12, as well as interactive lesson planning resources. Invaluable appendices feature engaging classroom activities and a comprehensive list of children's books and stories with suggested vocabulary for study.

Illuminating Comprehension and Close Reading

By: Isabel Beck, Cheryl Sandora
Age Level: Adult
Reading Level: Professional

Grasping the meaning of a text enables K-8 students to appreciate its language and structure through close reading, which in turn leads to deeper comprehension. This book explains the relationship between comprehension and close reading and offers step-by-step guidelines for teaching both of these key elements of literacy. Reproducible lessons are shared for eight engaging texts (excerpts from fiction, nonfiction, and poetry), complete with discussion tips, queries that scaffold comprehension, close reading activities, and connections to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The authors model lesson development and guide teachers in constructing their own lessons. Texts for 10 additional lessons are provided in the Appendix.

Improving Comprehension with Questioning the Author

By: Isabel Beck, Margaret McKeown
Age Level: Adult
Reading Level: Professional

In this fully revised and expanded edition of a classic, Beck and McKeown share their new findings on Questioning the Author, the approach that galvanized the research field to look at comprehension instruction in a new way. "What’s the big idea?" "What is the author telling us now?" "That’s what the author says, but what does the author mean?" By using queries such as these during reading, at strategic points in a text, students learn how to build meaning and consider and converse with an author’s ideas. These queries help focus discussions on important understandings. They also embolden struggling readers to work through the ideas in a text rather than skim over them. The book includes how-to’s on planning and orchestrating the Questioning the Author approach as well as a practical trouble-shooting guide based on classroom transcripts of 25 common challenges to discussion. For use with Grades 3–8.

Making Sense of Phonics: The Hows and Whys (Second Edition)

By: Isabel Beck, Mark E. Beck
Age Level: Adult
Reading Level: Professional

This bestselling book provides indispensable tools and strategies for explicit, systematic phonics instruction in K-3. Teachers learn effective ways to build students' decoding skills by teaching letter-sound relationships, blending, word building, multisyllabic decoding, fluency, and more. The volume is packed with engaging classroom activities, many specific examples, and research-based explanations. It offers a complete phonics assessment and clear guidelines for sequencing instruction to give every student a strong foundation for reading. More than 30 reproducible forms and word lists are included in the appendices and a wealth of supplemental teaching resources can be accessed online.

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