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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Pleasurable professional reading

June 18, 2007

One the perks of working at Reading Rockets is that I get to review books and curriculum materials that we are considering adding to the Learning Store. I've reviewed several recently that made for very pleasurable professional reading. I thought I'd share two of them with you in case you're looking for something to read this summer.

The first book is Differentiated Reading Instructionby Walpole & McKenna (Guilford, 2007). Both authors have long histories in education, but more importantly, both authors work with real teachers and kids on a fairly regularly basis. (!)

The chapters in the book follow a predictable outline, running through strategies for each of the 5 components of reading. Inservice teachers will likely find Chapters 8–11 the most interesting. It's in these chapters that Walpole & McKenna walk readers through grade level (K–3) differentiation plans. Since knowing how to put it all together is usually the piece that is so challenging, chapters 8–11 might be the most informative.

The second book is Evidence-Based Reading Practices for Response to Intervention, edited by Haager, Klingner & Vaughn (Brookes, 2007). This book walks the reader first through the three-tier model, providing background and an overview of the model.

Subsequent sections describe primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions. The book closes with four chapters dedicated to the implementation of the three-tier model.

Chapter contributors include some heavyweights in reading and special education: Doug & Lynn Fuchs, Frank Vellutino, Barbara Foorman, Charles Greenwood, and Rollanda O'Connor. While not light reading, it's full of good information.

And, lest you think I only read about reading, here's what else is on my nightstand: The Devil in the White City (book club book, very interesting, I've learned a TON about Chicago and the World's Fair) and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (a book club discard, can't wait to read it).

I'd love to hear what you're reading this summer, for pleasure, or for professional growth!


If you're ever looking for a very funny book that introduces the 1893 Chicago World's Fair to younger readers (oh, ages 9-12), try Richard Peck's FAIR WEATHER. It's filled with quirky, memorable characters!

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"There is no frigate like a book, to take us lands away" — Emily Dickinson