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Great Habits, Great Readers: A Practical Guide for K-4 Reading in the Light of Common Core: Teaching the Skills and Strategies Students Need for Success Paperback – 12 Jul 2013


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From the Back Cover

Great Habits, Great Readers

Our students aren′t born knowing how to decode words, make inferences, and cite evidence. In truth, great reading grows from great habits―a deeply learned set of skills and strategies that students can access the instant they begin reading. Great Habits, Great Readers is about the choices we as K–4 literacy instructors can make to teach every one of our students the habits of skillful reading. It outlines those strategies, systems, and lesson types that bring the habits of reading to life, creating countless high–quality opportunities for students to practice one of the most complex skills humans can learn.

This book, and the Reading–by–Habit model it proposes, provides concrete guidance. Great Habits, Great Readers is not just about finding the right texts (though we′ll cover that); it′s not just about making discussions more text–dependent (though we′ll address that, too). At its heart, the Reading–by–Habit model is about transforming that moment when a child gets something wrong into an opportunity to teach the habits that will help him or her get it right. Inside this book you′ll find:

  • The Reading–by–Habit model, which builds a bridge between the rigor of the Common Core and the real–life needs of your class
  • Five types of lessons: Read–aloud, comprehension skills, phonics, guided reading, and independent reading
  • The tools you need to address the Common Core across your literacy block in a sustained, meaningful way
  • Rich resources―from 40+ video clips to Professional Development workshop scripts to show you what truly game–changing reading instruction looks like

Praise for Great Habits, Great Readers:

"Great Habits, Great Readers brings the Common Core to life through real children, real teachers, amazing results, and an absolute clarity about what is needed in our elementary school classrooms. This book is a complete roadmap to excellence."
Mark Murphy, Secretary of Education, Delaware Department of Education

"Bambrick–Santoyo and his colleagues have proven it′s possible to create extraordinary schools for the children who need them most. In this book, they do something even more important―they show us how. Every educator in America should read, discuss, and act on the ideas in this book."
Timothy Knowles, John Dewey Urban Education Institute Director and clinical professor, University of Chicago

About the Author

Paul Bambrick–Santoyo is the managing director of North Star Academies, nine schools that are part of the Uncommon Schools network. He has trained school leaders worldwide in his work at Uncommon Schools and for New Leaders. He is also the author of Driven by Data and Leverage Leadership.

Aja Settles and Juliana Worrell are the founding principals of North Star Academy′s West Side Park and Fairmount Elementary Schools, also part of the Uncommon Schools network.

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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Text -- MUST HAVE FOR EDUCATORS! 19 July 2013
By Natalie Aronson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great Habits, Great Readers is every educator's dream. In this incredible text, North Star's leaders explain the habits, strategies and steps that have led them to their proven track record of success year after year. Aligned to the Common Core, Great Habits, Great Readers takes complex material and presents it in clear, bite-sized pieces that can be implemented by any school.

Great Habits, Great Readers explains all aspects of successful reading instruction. It begins by teaching how to create an efficient classroom with seamless systems to promote a rigorous learning environment ("Habits of the Classroom"). It then outlines the steps to create college-level (and student-guided) conversations at any grade level, known as "Habits of Discussion." There is a section devoted to each aspect of reading instruction including a deep dive into Guided Reading -- planning, executing, prompting, and more.

This instructional manual's content is practical and easily implemented in any classroom immediately. Perhaps what makes Great Habits, Great Readers more valuable than any other book about reading are the resources included to support the text. To name a few -- guided reading prompting guides (explicitly linked to the CCSS), sample lesson plans, workshop materials, AND a DVD that provides countless materials and video clips of excellent reading instruction in action.

As a colleague, fan and friend of Uncommon Schools, they have truly outdone themselves with Great Habits, Great Readers. Whether you are a teacher, a coach, a school leader, a superintendent, or just eager to learn how to teach reading, you must buy this book --it is unquestionable that you (and your students) will be changed forever!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Habits, Great Readers. . .GREAT BOOK! 9 July 2013
By Melody D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book explains, in clear, logical language, how to teach reading so that all children learn. The book is not theoretical. Instead, the authors have gathered best practices to put together a reading system that has been proven to work over and over again with students who live in poverty conditions. The authors don't propose what MIGHT work; they describe what IS already working in their schools. Great Habits, Great Readers explains how to establish classroom management that saves time and facilitates learning ("Habits of the Classroom"). It moves on to "Habits of Discussion", explaining how to place the Common Core speaking and listening standards in their proper perspective as the bedrock of reading instruction. The authors then explain each of the parts of reading instruction in clear, easy-to-follow terms. Each chapter is supported by video clips (on the DVD included with the book) of master teachers working with real students. The DVD alone is worth the price of the book. It's inspiring and very instructive: a picture is, after all, worth a thousand words! Another valuable feature is the prompting guides, which show teachers exactly what students should master at each reading level, and what to say when students struggle with a particular skill. The prompting guides include explicit connections to the Common Core reading standards.

We have ordered a copy for every teacher in our Title 1 elementary school (although many teachers insisted on buying their own copy) and intend to use it next year as the basis for a whole school book study. I also purchased a copy for our district's elementary language arts curriculum director. As a literacy coach and reading intervention teacher, I'm telling our faculty that this book is for anyone who works with needy populations of students. It's also for anyone who has ever thought, "I've done everything I know how to do, and they're still not reading on grade level." Great Habits, Great Readers is a career-changing book for teachers, and a life-changing book for students who receive instruction based on its principles.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Resource for School Leaders 3 July 2013
By Lagra Newman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
North Star Academy's literacy program is among the most rigorous, highest quality programs in our nation. Certainly, the ability to elevate student academic performance from the lowest quartile to the 99th percentile on national assessments year after year emphasizes this fact; however, the power of their program is best exemplified by the enduring habits developed by their young scholars. It is a powerful experience to witness these habits in action - students maximizing instructional time by transitioning to literacy groups in less than 30 seconds, engaging in peer discussions drawing on evidence from their leveled text, and posing a prompt to support a peer's understanding.

As a rising school leader, I had the opportunity to visit North Star Academy on a few different occasions, and after each visit, I couldn't help but to wish that I had an internal guide for how to execute this model in the school I would lead. And lo and behold, Great Habits, Great Readers has been my wish come true. This text has broken the complexity of a rigorous literacy program into clear and digestible components that can be successfully replicated by schools across the nation. Aligned to Common Core, this instructional manual outlines specific instructional strategies and action steps that, when implemented, drive strong reading habits and success among budding elementary readers. Additionally, the resources included in the text, specifically narrative and informational guided reading prompting guides, sample lesson plans, and workshop preparation sheets provide a solid foundation from which to build high quality literacy tools. Further, a CD accompanies this text, providing targeted, authentic video segments of effective literacy instructional practices and strategies implemented by teachers and students in real time.

Indeed, Great Habits, Great Readers equips leaders and teachers to make effective instructional decisions within the literacy program that instill skillful reading habits in students. This book provides schools across the nation with the opportunity to get the complex art of literacy instruction, one of the most critical elements of a child's learning process, right! My school opens this July with an inaugural class of Kindergarteners, and our literacy framework is heavily based on Great Habits, Great Readers. Our founding instructional team is thrilled to have such a treasured, proven resource to support the success of our scholars!

Lagra Newman
Founder and Head of School
Purpose Preparatory Academy
Nashville, TN
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Book 16 July 2013
By Connie L. Sanchez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an amazing comprehensive package that can truly help you better your practice. The case work and the professional development is incredible. You're not just buying a book you're buying a comprehensive packet that will change how you see literacy and help you develop and motivate readers in a way like never before.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far - it's great! 18 July 2013
By Nonna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm only 1/3 of the way done, but I'm really excited about what I can use in my first grade classroom! The videos are so helpful and the organization of the book really helps the information sink in... I can't wait to finish:0)
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