Guiding Readers - Layers of Meaning

A handbook for teaching reading comprehension to 7-11-year-olds

Paperback / softback, 224 pages, 279 mm x 216 mm
16 Aug 2016

Price: £24.99

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Winner of the UK Literacy Association 2017 Academic Book Award.

How can teachers foster good reading in pupils aged 7 – 11? This book explains the way to do it.
• What is this book about? Reading comprehension is so much more than just reading words, and this book explains how to develop all aspects of it for pupils aged 7–11. Written by top experts in the field, it includes eleven in-depth case studies – taken from real-life classrooms – of lessons on fiction and non-fiction, poetry and picture books, advertising and film.
• Why is it needed? Guided reading, widely used in English lessons, has never been satisfactorily examined for children in this age range. Once they have learnt how to read, pupils need support to develop strategies to extend their comprehension: What does the text say? What does it mean? What do I feel about it?
• What is special about guiding readers? We can guide readers whenever we open discussions by exploring their understanding rather than telling them. This book shows teachers how it can be done with real classroom examples.
• Who is it for? All teachers of children aged 7–11, English subject leaders, literacy coordinators, student teachers, teacher-educators, librarians, tutors, reading specialists …

  • Wayne Tennent

    Wayne Tennent is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of East London.

  • David Reedy

    David Reedy is General Secretary of the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) and Co-Director of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust (CPRT).

  • Angela Hobsbaum

    Angela Hobsbaum, now retired, was a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Education, University of London, and a national director for Reading Recovery.

  • Nikki Gamble

    Nikki Gamble is Director of Just Imagine, and a former Head of English in the Faculty
    of Education at Anglia Ruskin University.

Chapter 1: Making sense of texts: reading in the moment and reflecting on reading
Chapter 2: Text potential: selecting quality texts for guided reading
Chapter 3: Strategies for teaching comprehension
Chapter 4: Scaffolding learning through dialogue
Chapter 5: Introduction to the case studies
Chapter 6: Examples of guiding reading for 7–9 year olds (Years 3 and 4)
• Case study 1: non-fiction: advertisements
• Case study 2: picture book: The Lost Thing
• Case study 3: poetry: ‘Maggie Dooley’
Chapter 7: Examples of guiding reading for 9–11 year olds (Years 5 and 6)
• Case study 4: poetry: ‘The Malfeasance’
• Case study 5: non-fiction: Chocolate
• Case study 6: film: Black Hole
• Case study 7: fiction: ‘The Wildman’
Chapter 8: Examples of more challenging reading lessons for 10–12 year olds
• Case study 8: fiction: ‘The Flowers’
• Case study 9: classic fiction: ‘The Nightingale and the Rose’
• Case study 10: picture book: Memorial
• Case study 11: poetry: ‘For Forest’
Chapter 9: Building a reading school: opportunities for professional development
Chapter 10: Planning for provision across a year group

‘If you want to run effective, inspired and engaging guided reading sessions in your school with junior-aged learners then look no further– just buy this book. It distils the principles, offers practical examples, and recommends rich texts (fiction and non-fiction) in a thoroughly accessible and inviting manner. This is a super book - a great buy. A must buy.’

Professor Teresa Cremin, Open University

‘Extremely informative in how to get the most from my guided reading sessions in class. I now feel much more confident in understanding how children go through the complex process of comprehending a text and what I can do to help them. The authors clearly have a lot of experience and expertise in this area, resulting in clear, practical advice that will benefit any teacher of reading. It has improved my classroom practice and I recommend it to trainee and qualified teachers alike.’

Luke Craig, Year 6 teacher, Britannia Village Primary School, London Borough of Newham

‘This very welcome publication is an invaluable resource and a must-read for training and practising teachers, English subject leaders and teacher educators. The authors provide an authoritative and comprehensive synthesis of research into reading comprehension with practical exemplars of practice in classrooms and further guidance for staff development.’

Mary Anne Wolpert, Primary PGCE Deputy Course Manager, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

‘The book makes essential reading for all teachers attempting to unpick the complex but vital process of teaching text comprehension skills. It features “plain English” references to theory and research, a teacher-friendly frame for mapping the potential of guided reading texts, and a selection of case studies that teachers can read, digest, try and then apply. The book offers busy practitioners an efficient, on-the-ground tool for auditing practice, text selection, and scaffolding sessions – all essential skills – along with suggestions for staff professional development. A very comprehensive but accessible book. I read the majority in one sitting and will certainly be having a go with some of the ideas before the end of term!’

Gill Evans, Head Teacher, Holcombe Brook Primary School

‘This handbook is a very rich resource for teachers and schools, demonstrating why and how thoughtfully planned guided reading can be so valuable in the classroom. The case studies illuminate some of the many ways in which a teacher’s choice of high-quality texts can give rise to fascinating dialogic discussions, enhancing the children’s pleasure and deepening their understanding.’

Dr Gabrielle Cliff Hodges, Senior Lecturer in Education, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

‘An essential tool for new and experienced teachers of guided reading, it simplifies the concept and process behind the subject while providing a wealth of practical resources and examples for everyday classroom use.’

Lauren Huntley, Class teacher and Reading Coordinator, Parsloes Primary School, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

‘This book weaves together pedagogy, research and real classroom case studies in an incredibly accessible way. It will inspire and equip teachers and librarians to adopt a rich, effective and enjoyable approach for guiding their pupils to develop as readers.’

Fiona Evans, Head of School Programmes, National Literacy Trust