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Visible Learning for Literacy, Grades K-12 - Book Cover Look Inside

Visible Learning for Literacy, Grades K-12

Implementing the Practices That Work Best to Accelerate Student Learning

By: Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, John Allan Hattie

Ensure students demonstrate more than a year’s worth of learning during a school year by implementing the right literacy practice at the right moment. 

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506332352
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Literacy
  • Year: 2016
  • Page Count: 216
  • Publication date: March 29, 2016

Price: $41.95

Price: $41.95
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“Every student deserves a great teacher, not by chance, but by design” — Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, & John Hattie

What if someone slipped you a piece of paper listing the literacy practices that ensure students demonstrate more than a year’s worth of learning for a year spent in school? Would you keep the paper or throw it away?

We think you’d keep it. And that’s precisely why acclaimed educators Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie wrote Visible Learning for Literacy. They know teachers will want to apply Hattie’s head-turning synthesis of more than 15 years of research involving millions of students, which he used to identify the instructional routines that have the biggest impact on student learning.  

These practices are “visible” for teachers and students to see, because their purpose has been made clear, they are implemented at the right moment in a student’s learning, and their effect is tangible.  Yes, the “aha” moments made visible by design. 

With their trademark clarity and command of the research, and dozens of classroom scenarios to make it all replicable, these authors apply Hattie’s research, and show you:

  • How to use the right approach at the right time, so that you can more intentionally design classroom experiences that hit the surface, deep, and transfer phases of learning, and more expertly see when a student is ready to dive from surface to deep.
  • Which routines are most effective at specific phases of learning, including word sorts, concept mapping, close reading, annotating, discussion, formative assessment, feedback, collaborative learning, reciprocal teaching, and many more. 
  • Why the 8 mind frames for teachers apply so well to curriculum planning and can inspire you to be a change agent in students’ lives—and part of a faculty that embraces the idea that visible teaching is a continual evaluation of one’s impact on student’s learning. 

“Teachers, it’s time we embrace the evidence, update our classrooms, and impact student learning in wildly positive ways,” say Doug,  Nancy, and John. So let’s see Visible Learning for Literacy for what it is: the book that renews our teaching and reminds us of our influence, just in time. 



Douglas Fisher photo

Douglas Fisher

Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is professor and chair of educational leadership at San Diego State University and a leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College. Previously, Doug was an early intervention teacher and elementary school educator. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association William S. Grey citation of merit and an Exemplary Leader award from the Conference on English Leadership of NCTE. He has published numerous articles on teaching and learning as well as books such as The Teacher Clarity Playbook, PLC+, Visible Learning for Literacy, Comprehension: The Skill, Will, and Thrill of Reading, How Tutoring Works, and most recently, How Learning Works. Doug loves being an educator and hopes to share that passion with others.   

Nancy Frey photo

Nancy Frey

Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is a Professor in Educational Leadership at San Diego State and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College. She is a member of the International Literacy Association’s Literacy Research Panel. Her published titles include Visible Learning in Literacy, This Is Balanced Literacy, Removing Labels, and Rebound. Nancy is a credentialed special educator, reading specialist, and administrator in California and learns from teachers and students every day.
John Allan Hattie photo

John Allan Hattie

John Hattie, Ph.D., is an award-winning education researcher and best-selling author with nearly 30 years of  experience examining what works best in student learning and achievement. His research, better known as Visible Learning, is a culmination of nearly 30 years synthesizing more than 1,700 meta-analyses comprising more than 100,000 studies involving over 300 million students around the world. He has presented and keynoted in over 350 international conferences and has received numerous recognitions for his contributions to education. His notable publications include Visible Learning, Visible Learning for Teachers, Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn, Visible Learning for Mathematics, Grades K-12, and, most recently, 10 Mindframes for Visible Learning
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Videos



Chapter 1. Laying the Groundwork for Visible Learning for Literacy

The Evidence Base


     Effect Sizes

Noticing What Works

Learning From What Works, Not Limited to Literacy

     Teacher Credibility

     Teacher–Student Relationships

     Teacher Expectations

General Literacy Learning Practices

     1. Challenge

     2. Self-Efficacy

     3. Learning Intentions With Success Criteria


Chapter 2. Surface Literacy Learning

Why Surface Literacy Learning Is Essential

Acquisition and Consolidation

Acquisition of Literacy Learning Made Visible

Leveraging Prior Knowledge

Phonics Instruction and Direct Instruction in Context

Vocabulary Instruction


     Word Cards

     Modeling Word Solving

     Word and Concept Sorts

     Wide Reading

Reading Comprehension Instruction in Context


     Annotating Text


Consolidation of Literacy Learning Made Visible

Rehearsal and Memorization Through Spaced Practice

     Repeated Reading

     Receiving Feedback

Collaborative Learning With Peers


Chapter 3. Deep Literacy Learning

Moving From Surface to Deep

Deep Acquisition and Deep Consolidation

Deep Acquisition of Literacy Learning Made Visible

     Concept Mapping

     Discussion and Questioning

     Close Reading

Deep Consolidation of Literacy Learning Made Visible

     Metacognitive Strategies

     Reciprocal Teaching

     Feedback to the Learner


Chapter 4. Teaching Literacy for Transfer

Moving From Deep Learning to Transfer

Types of Transfer: Near and Far

The Paths for Transfer: Low-Road Hugging and High-Road Bridging

Setting the Conditions for Transfer of Learning

Teaching Students to Organize Conceptual Knowledge

     Students Identify Analogies

     Peer Tutoring

     Reading Across Documents

     Problem-Solving Teaching

Teaching Students to Transform Conceptual Knowledge

     Socratic Seminar

     Extended Writing

     Time to Investigate and Produce


Chapter 5. Determining Impact, Responding When the Impact Is Insufficient, and Knowing What Does Not Work

Determining Impact



Responding When There Is Insufficient Impact

Response to Intervention


     Quality Core Instruction

     Progress Monitoring

     Supplemental and Intensive Interventions

Learning From What Doesn’t Work

     Grade-Level Retention

     Ability Grouping

     Matching Learning Styles With Instruction

     Test Prep



Appendix: Effect Sizes



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