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Guided Practice for Reading Growth, Grades 4-8 - Book Cover Look Inside

Guided Practice for Reading Growth, Grades 4-8

Texts and Lessons to Improve Fluency, Comprehension, and Vocabulary

By: Laura J. Robb, David L. Harrison

Twenty-four powerful reading lessons feature original poems and short texts that interest students and build the skills and confidence they need to become lifelong, joyful readers.

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781544398495
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Literacy
  • Year: 2020
  • Page Count: 168
  • Publication date: September 24, 2020

Price: $32.95

Price: $32.95
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Use these lessons to build developing readers’ skill and desire to read, read, read!

This book will be your guide as you support middle grade students who are reading two or more years below grade level. The lessons enlarge students’ vocabulary and background knowledge and engage them in meaningful discussions and writing about their reading. As students’ reading skill and desire to read increases, you’ll watch them complete more independent reading and ramp up their reading volume—the practice they need to improve!

Guided Practice for Reading Growth provides all you need to get started. Laura Robb and poet David L. Harrison have collaborated to design twenty-four powerful reading lessons using original poems and short texts that interest your students and encourage them to think deeply. The opening chapters offer background knowledge for the lessons and teaching tips, then the bulk of this book consists of lessons—with full texts and suggested videos provided. Guided practice lessons are the instructional piece that can move developing readers forward by building their self-confidence and the reading expertise needed to read to learn and for pleasure.

This unique book shows you how to:

·         Build students’ background knowledge by watching and discussing videos.

·         Use the poems to improve reading and to improve fluency through practice and performance.

·         Invite students to write about their reading and increase comprehension and recall.

·         Ask partners to discuss before, during, and after reading as meaningful talk enlarges students’ analytical thinking and understanding.

·         Design your own lessons for students with extra texts by David L. Harrison in the appendix.

Use this book to develop students’ self-confidence and the reading skill they require to become lifelong, joyful readers!



Laura J. Robb photo

Laura J. Robb

An author, teacher, coach, and speaker, LAURA ROBB has spent the last four decades in middle school education. What teachers appreciate most about Laura is her deep commitment to children and adolescents, and her ability to show what best-practice instruction looks like day by day; a survey conducted by Instructor magazine named Laura as one of the nation’s top twenty educators. Currently, in addition to her speaking and consulting, she works part time in grades K-8. She was named NCTE’s recipient of the 2016 Richard W. Halle Award for Outstanding Middle Level Educator.

David L. Harrison photo

David L. Harrison

David L. Harrison is the author or co-author of over 100 publications for children and educators. His work has inspired plays and been set to music. He has been featured at hundreds of conferences, workshops, literature festivals, schools, and colleges. David holds two science degrees and two honorary doctorates of letters. He is Drury University’s poet laureate. David Harrison Elementary School is named for him. In 2020, he received the first Laura Ingalls Wilder Children’s Literature Medal for his body of work (presented by the LIW Children’s Literature Festival).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Videos

Skill Lesson Chart

Foreword by Timothy Rasinski



Chapter 1. What Developing Readers Need

     Characteristics of Developing Readers in Middle Grades

     Developing Readers Need Skilled Teachers

     Developing Readers Need Four Key Literacy Experiences

     Developing Readers Need Guided Practice

     Developing Readers Need to Experience the Benefits of Rereading

     Developing Readers Need to Talk About Texts

     Time to Reflect

Chapter 2. Organizing for Guided Practice

     Independent Reading Increases Volume

     Daily Interactive Read-Alouds Benefit All Readers

     Vocabulary Instruction Increases Fluency and Comprehension: Teach Words in Groups

     Teachers’ Notebooks Model Writing About Reading

     Readers’ Notebooks Boost Comprehension

     Avoid Cognitive Overload

     Time to Reflect


     Two Types of Guided Practice Lessons: Partner Discussion and Shared Reading

     The Structure of Partner Discussion Lessons Using Poetry and Short Texts

     The Structure of Shared Reading Lessons

     Guided Practice and the Gradual Release of Responsibility

     How Can Guided Practice Lessons Lead to Reading Growth?

     How Are the Lessons in This Book Organized?

     How Many Lessons Should Students Complete?

     How Do I Know When to Intervene?

     Why Should Students Self-Evaluate?

     How Do I Choose Texts?

     How Do I Introduce Texts So Students Want to Read Them?

     What Materials Do I Need for Lessons to Run Smoothly and Successfully?

     Reminders for the Guided Practice Lessons

Chapter 3. Partner Discussion Lessons

     Lesson 1: Partner Discussions Using the Poem for Two Voices, “What Was She Thinking?”

     Lesson 2: Partner Discussions of the Short Text, “Jorge Muñoz: An American Hero”

     Lesson 3: Partner Discussions Using the Poem, “Escape Artist”

     Lesson 4: Partner Discussions Using the Text, “What Was Early Humans’ Greatest Invention?”

     Lesson 5: Partner Discussions Using the Poem, “Before I Could Write This Poem—”

     Lesson 6: Partner Discussions of the Short Narrative, “Manhunt”

     Lesson 7: Partner Discussions of the Poem, “The Explorers”

     Lesson 8: Partner Discussions of the Short Text, “The Day I Started Becoming an American”

     Lesson 9: Partner Discussions of the Poem, “Ode to the Skunk”

     Lesson 10: Partner Discussions for the Text, “I Am Not a Number”

     Lesson 11: Partner Discussions of the Short Text, “Now . . . and Then”

     Lesson 12: Partner Discussions Using the Poem, “If Stones Had Tongues”

Chapter 4. Shared Reading Lessons

     Lesson 13: Shared Reading of the Poem, “The Man for the Job”

     Lesson 14: Shared Reading of the Short Text, “Jane Goodall: A Portrait of Determination”

     Lesson 15: Shared Reading of the Poem, “Rain, She”

     Lesson 16: Shared Reading of the Short Text, “The Service Dog: Man’s Best Friend”

     Lesson 17: Shared Reading of the Poem, “Lost and Found”

     Lesson 18: Shared Reading of the Short Text, “Johnny Appleseed—Jonathan Chapman: One Man—Two Stories”

     Lesson 19: Shared Reading of the Poem, “George Washington Carver”

     Lesson 20: Shared Reading of the Short Text, “The Masters of Pollination”

     Lesson 21: Shared Reading of the Poem, “Amazon Rain Forest”

     Lesson 22: Shared Reading of the Short Text, “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Dancer”

     Lesson 23: Shared Reading of the Poem, “Who Were They—Those First People to Walk Upon This Land?”

     Lesson 24: Shared Reading of the Short Text, “Solving an Ancient Cave Mystery”


     Improve Fluency: Practice and Performance Using Guided Practice Texts

     Benefits to Students of Practice and Performance

     Transfer Learning From Guided Practice to Instructional and Independent Reading

     Teaching and Learning Reminder

     Time to Reflect


Appendix A: Suggested ELA Schedule for 45 Minutes

Appendix B: Suggested ELA Schedule for 60 Minutes

Appendix C: Literary Elements Handout for Students

Appendix D: Self-Evaluation Questions/Prompts for Students

Appendix E: Compare/Contrast Handout for Students

Appendix F: Guidelines for Planning a Shared Reading Lesson

Appendix G: Guidelines for Preplanning a Partner Discussions Lesson

Appendix H: Magazine Resources for Short Texts for Guided Practice Lessons

Appendix I: Additional Short Texts and Poems by David L. Harrison

     Short Greek Myth for Guided Practice: And Zeus Said (Maybe) . . .

     Short Informational Text for Guided Practice: Going . . . Going . . . Gone?

     Poem: Wanting to Be Needed

     Poem: The Last Northern White Rhinoceros

Appendix J: Books and Poetry for Instructional and Independent Reading

Appendix K: Picture Books for Interactive Read-Alouds