My Bookshelf

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Book Review: The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo

Ohhh, I love the month of September.  Everything feels new again and I am typically hopeful for a positive and healthy new school year.  To be honest, this past summer, I did only a bit of professional reading and not nearly as much as I would've liked to. And like many of you, I really needed a hiatus from an uber stressful school year that I couldn't put behind me fast enough.  And so now I am off to new beginnings; refreshed and loving my job once again.

Today, a book arrived in my mailbox titled the The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo. Having been a big fan of Serravallo's text, Conferring with Readers, I was thrilled to see she had published a book about teaching a diversity of strategies to wide variety of readers.  Within this text, Serravallo has included a whopping 300 strategies to teach readers and writers at all levels, from emergent through proficient levels.  The content is diverse with skills and strategies for book handling, word recognition, fluency, comprehension, partner work, stamina, and on and on.

What differentiates this text from many other well meaning teacher books is that Serravallo's lessons are straightforward, clear, and and realistic to implement.  Intentionally brief, each lesson is approximately a page in length, matched to a reading level and genre, sites the skill that is the focus, and contains helpful teaching prompts for instruction.  Teachers who utilize frameworks like The Daily Five or Reading Workshop can really depend upon this text to facilitate whole group lessons, strategy groups,  and conferring.

Lastly, what is especially cool about this text is that each lesson includes a corresponding anchor chart or student work example.   I admit, I am an anchor chart junkie and this text will come in ridiculously handy for ideas.  The anchor charts Jennifer provides are simple, facilitate academic language, and you don't need an art degree to reproduce them.  Most importantly, they are useful and can facilitate growing readers and writers.

All in all, I highly recommend this book for both pre-service and practicing educators.

Happy September!

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