Monday, May 11, 2009

Book Review: The Reading/ Writing Connection

The Reading/ Writing Connection: Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the Secondary Classroom by Carol Booth Olsen is a pretty amazing resource. I have to admit that I did not have time to read this text in its entirety before I needed to return it to the library, but what I did read was in-depth and well explained. In each chapter, the author addresses issues like "Creating a Community of Learners," "Strategies for Interacting with a Text," and "Teaching Literature". These are huge topics, but the author breaks down each topic by including research-backed ideas and reasonings, strategies to approach teaching and learning, specific lesson ideas, teachable materials (like short stories), sample worksheets, student work, and she addresses common problems she's encountered while teaching the material. Amazing!

Like I said, I did not get a chance to read the entire text. I did, however, get to look at a few of the chapters in more depth, so I know that this is a complete resource that I'll want to use in the future. I will definitely borrow this from the library again in the future. My one criticism of this text is that it did not include much information or ideas about incorporating technology into the "reading/ writing connection," which I expected in this revised 2007 edition.

Book Review: Literacy Matters

In the text, Literacy Matters: Strategies Every Teacher Can Use by Robin Fogarty is a very, very general and quick resource for those seeking strategies. Given the other amazing texts I've recently read, I was not particularly impressed with this one. I found it to be lacking depth, research, and resources. It is not one that I would recommend to other secondary teachers interested in literacy strategies because it is a little too "fast food" for my taste. This review is in response to the second edition of this text.
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