An “oldie but goody” (published in 2002), Debbie Miller’s writing style is like turning the pages of your favorite book. Expertly written by a veteran teacher, she helps you visualize the chatter of young students discussing good literature while snuggled on a beanbag in a classroom library. Her beginning chapters lay the foundation for good teaching through explicit instruction and the gradual release of responsibility model. Each subsequent chapter focuses on one of the six comprehension strategies: making connections, visualizing, predicting, determining importance, inferencing, and synthesizing. These chapters include detailed descriptions of anchor lessons in action and end with a suggested book list for each strategy.
Personal connection: Like a well loved teddy bear, my copy of this book shows all the signs of being a favorite on my bookshelf. The worn cover, dog-eared pages, and notes written in the margins show just how many times I’ve reread this book. This is a must-read for every primary teacher. The expertly crafted comprehension lessons have worked for me year after year. It’s fun to hear the smart conversations and amazing thinking that young students can do.
Check out the ‘Perfect Picture Book Lessons’ post to see ways I’ve used Debbie Miller’s lessons in my classroom.