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Teaching Reading: 3-5 Workshop

This video workshop for grade 3-5 teachers presents strategies on how to help students transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn."

A video workshop for grades 3-5 teachers; 16 half-hour workshop video programs, 8 half-hour supplemental classroom video programs, 1 five-minute video overview, workshop guide, and website.

This video workshop with auxiliary classroom videos will show intermediate elementary teachers how to help their students transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Eight half-hour workshop video programs feature leading experts who discuss current research on learning to read and teaching a diverse range of students. The research is illustrated by clips from real classroom lessons, allowing teachers to better understand and apply the research in their own classes. The entire classroom lessons are included in eight additional video programs for optional further exploration of each topic. A five-minute introductory program provides a preview of all the components of the workshop with highlights from each program. It can be used to familiarize viewers with the goals of the workshop or for guidance on selecting a topic from the workshop videos.

About This Workshop

Students learn the basic components of reading in the early elementary grades, but learning to read doesn’t end there. In the intermediate grades, students learn to become fluent readers, they build their vocabulary and word knowledge, and learn to comprehend and retain more meaning from what they read.

The Teaching Reading, 3-5 workshop is designed to give teachers the strategies they need to help all students become better readers and writers in the intermediate grades. Eight workshop sessions provide current research, questions for reflection, tips for new teachers, activities to enhance your teaching, and video segments from classrooms across the country.

Each workshop video features a leading literacy expert whose research and experience focus on a key element of teaching reading, from classroom organization and comprehension to teaching diverse learners, teaching English language learners, and assessment. Each video features classroom examples illustrating teaching strategies that were taken from actual classrooms across the country. The featured classrooms can also be viewed as whole 30-minute videos.

Website and Print Guide

The Teaching Reading 3-5 workshop and featured classroom videos are designed for individual or group professional development. Using the workshop guide, you can run a complete professional development workshop with colleagues or follow the videos by yourself. The guide features pre- and post-viewing activities and discussion questions to help you use the videos. It also includes readings, interactive components, and individual or group activities that expand each topic beyond the video.

To help you get the most out of the workshop, the online guide is organized into the following sections:

Workshop Session Main Page
The main page for each session outlines the different sections of the workshop, presents the session’s learning goals, and gives a short biography of the literacy expert.

Before You Watch
The Session Preparation page includes key terms, a warm-up activity, and readings to be completed before viewing the video. Complete the charts and review key terms to stimulate your thinking about the workshop session’s topic.

Analyze the Video
This section includes a summary of the video and divides the video into segments, organized by the guiding questions and main topics for the program. You can watch the video all at once (each video is 30 minutes long) or in segments. Use the questions that follow each video segment to focus your viewing and response.

Extend Your Knowledge
This section consists of three parts: Examine the Topic, followed by an interactive activity, and Tips for New Teachers. Examine the Topic presents selected readings that expand on the principles discussed or examine an alternative point of view. The interactive activity lets you explore reading principles and teaching strategies more thoroughly. Finally, the Tips for New Teachers section outlines things to consider about each session topic if you are new to teaching, or simply new to the topic at hand.

Put It Into Practice
This section helps you to apply what you have learned to your own teaching practices. The activities are designed to assist you in developing resources for your classroom and provide lesson-plan templates, record forms, and worksheets to use with your literacy instruction.

Reflect on Your Learning
This final section encourages you to review what you have learned and think about changes you would like to make in your practice. Answer the questions posed to summarize your understanding of the topic. If you are taking the workshop for credit, you will be building a Literacy Practices Portfolio. This assignment completes each session.

The Printouts page includes a complete list of the readings, charts, and any other materials needed for the workshop session. If you lack regular access to a printer, you may want to print all documents for a session at once from this page.

The Assignments page provides a list of the required assignments for the workshop session. You can use this page to make sure you’ve completed all the assignments required for professional development or graduate credit.

The Resources page provides a list of helpful books, articles, and Web sites to supplement the information found in each session.

Using the Guide

If you are working alone:

  • Identify your goals as you prepare for the session.
  • Use the questions to generate self-reflection.
  • Write responses to questions in a notebook to review at a later date.

If you are working in a group:

  • Prepare for the session before meeting with the group.
  • Use the questions to stimulate discussion.
  • Compare experiences to better understand literacy instruction in different grades.
  • Collaborate in planning activities and developing resources.

About the Video Programs

The Teaching Reading 3-5 video programs introduce eight important topics of literacy instruction. The videos are designed to stand alone or be viewed as a whole. If you are taking this workshop for credit, you must view all eight programs.

Each 30-minute video is divided into sections to help guide your viewing. You can watch the video in its entirety, or watch it in segments as you take the workshop session.

To help you get the most out of the video programs, use the questions for reflection provided in each session as you watch.

Featured Classrooms

Investigating Word Meaning 
Using a passage from Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, Angie Zapata teaches her third graders how to use context clues to discover the meaning of unfamiliar words. Ms. Zapata’s mini-lesson also models individual and small group work.

Fostering Book Discussions 
Maria Blanco’s third-grade class uses immigration as topic for a book group and writing exercise. Working in groups, students discuss what they read, ask questions, and make connections to their own lives.

Choosing Words Strategically 
Caroline Cockman’s third-grade class is learning how to revise biographies using transitions and more descriptive nouns. A whole-group exercise models the revision process, and small group instruction focuses on students who need extra help in writing.

Revising for Clarity 
Through a whole class mini-lesson and small group work, Tatiana With and her fourth-grade class explore the difference between editing and revising, with a focus on revision. In this lesson, Ms. With uses InFocus technology to model revision of an Indian folk tale.

Reading Across the Curriculum 
Gage Reeve’s mixed-grade class is learning new vocabulary and main ideas in a lesson on global warming. Students write their questions and use an idea tree to record main ideas and supporting details.

Looking at Cause and Effect 
Holly Concannon and her fifth-grade class discuss cause and effect in a passage from Gary Paulsen’s book, Wood Song. The lesson models grouping students for independent reading, as well as guided reading.

Close Reading for Understanding 
Fifth-grade teacher Dana Robertson models strategic reading, and teaches his students the strategies readers use to comprehend the text. He then continues with small group instruction while other students work independently.

Summarizing Nonfiction 
Eleanor Demont’s fifth-grade class completes a mini-lesson using summarization as a comprehension strategy for reading non-fiction texts. Students examine the importance of differentiating what is interesting from what is important in a Social Studies unit on Ancient Egypt.

Individual Workshop Descriptions

1) Creating Contexts for Learning
This session examines how classroom organization, routines, and grouping practices can enhance literacy skills in the middle grades. Literacy expert Jeanne Paratore discusses teaching strategies and routines that foster reading and writing skills, illustrated by classroom examples.

2) Fluency and Word Study
This session focuses on how students in the intermediate grades can build their vocabulary and reading fluency. Literacy expert Richard Allington discusses specific teaching strategies that help build fluency and vocabulary, illustrated by classroom examples.

3) Building Comprehension
Comprehending text is one of the main goals of reading. In this session, literacy expert Nell Duke discusses what good readers do and strategies teachers can use to help students build comprehension skills. Classroom footage provides examples of comprehension strategies.

4) Writing
This workshop examines the relationship between reading and writing in the intermediate grades. Literacy expert Nadeen Ruiz discusses the connections, conventions, and inventions that provide a framework for teaching writing, illustrated by classroom examples.

5) New Literacies of the Internet
This workshop focuses on the evolving use of technology in education and the new literacies required by using the Internet. Literacy expert Donald Leu discusses strategies that help students effectively read, write, and communicate on the Internet, illustrated by classroom examples.

6) Teaching English Language Learners
Changing classroom demographics call for a range or teaching strategies. In this session, literacy expert Robert Jiménez discusses strategies teachers can use to create a successful learning environment for all students, while supporting English language learners. Classroom examples illustrate the research.

7) Teaching Diverse Learners
In this session, literacy expert Dorothy Strickland discusses how teachers can meet the diverse reading and writing needs among their students. Classroom examples show teaching strategies to address cultural, linguistic, and skill-level differences among students.

8) Assessment and Accountability
This session explores assessment, standards, and outcomes. Literacy expert Kathy Au discusses the strategies teachers can use to assess students’ understanding in reading and writing. Classroom examples illustrate how students can participate in their own assessment.


Organizer Charts

Each workshop session and classroom video focuses on one central methodology, as well as several related teaching and learning topics. Use these charts to see which topics are covered in each video.

Workshop Key:

1: Creating Contexts for Learning
2: Fluency and Word Study
3: Building Comprehension
4: Writing

5: New Literacies of the Internet
6: Teaching English Language Learners
7: Teaching Diverse Learners
8: Assessment and Accountability

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Classroom Organization Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked.
Grouping Checked. Checked. Checked.
Instructional Routines Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked.
Struggling Readers Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked.
Differentiated Instruction Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked.
English Language Learners Checked. Checked.
Assessment Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked.
Vocabulary/Word Study Checked. Checked. Checked.

Featured Classrooms Key:

1: Investigating Word Meaning
2: Fostering Book Discussions
3: Choosing Words Strategically
4: Revising for Clarity

5: Reading Across the Curriculum
6: Looking at Cause and Effect
7: Close Reading for Understanding
8: Summarizing Nonfiction

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Classroom Organization Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked.
Grouping Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked.
Instructional Routines Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked.
Struggling Readers Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked.
Differentiated Instruction Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked.
English Language Learners Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked.
Assessment Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked.
Vocabulary/Word Study Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked. Checked.


Anecdotal records

Anecdotal records are brief, written observations taken during regular instructional time that describe a literacy behavior or social interaction. They are most effective when gathered over time to reveal patterns of learning that will guide the teacher’s instruction. Teachers should record only what they see without making judgments or interpretations. Anecdotal records should focus on how students are progressing toward meeting grade-level benchmarks.


Assessment refers to specific informal and formal classroom-based, teacher-developed practices that measure students’ understanding of the curriculum. Classroom assessments are authentic, multidimensional, collaborative, and ongoing. Assessments focus on both the process and the products of learning during regular instructional times. This might include a running record to focus on word analysis strategies, a retelling or discussion to focus on comprehension, or a written response to reading.

Authentic literacy

Students engage in authentic literacy activities when they read and write for real purposes rather than to satisfy classroom assignments. They use literacy to learn or to develop understanding of specific concepts and are motivated to read and write based on their interests and questions. Authentic literacy activities often are designed to focus on a specific audience to communicate ideas for a shared understanding as opposed to completing worksheets or answering questions for school assignments.

Background knowledge

Background knowledge is the collection of concepts and ideas one has for a given topic or situation based on personal experiences and/or reading. Background knowledge is directly related to effective reading comprehension; thus, it is important for teachers to develop and access this knowledge before, during, and after reading. The background knowledge of English language learners may differ from that of mainstream learners.


Benchmarks are specific standards of achievement for each grade level. For example, a reading benchmark for grade four may be that students read a nonfiction text and identify the main ideas and supporting details. Teachers would look for evidence that students were able to complete this task and would reteach it until they met the benchmark.

Brokering language

A language broker is an individual who brings together two other individuals to facilitate a conversation. Professor Jiménez uses this phrase when referring to English language learners who translate in various settings in the school and community.

Bilingual books

Bilingual books are books in which the same text is written in two languages. Text often appears in English on one side of the page and in another language on the facing page. English language learners benefit from reading bilingual books as a means of increasing proficiency in English. They also have the opportunity to read in the language of their choice.

Classroom contexts

The way a classroom is organized creates a context for learning. This organization includes materials, desks, learning centers, wall displays, classroom routines, and grouping of students for instruction and practice. Classroom contexts influence the choices students make and how they will learn. In a well-organized classroom, students know where to find materials and information, where to go for assistance, and how to find answers to their questions.

Comprehension strategies

Results of research studies have defined the strategies of proficient readers as the following: making connections between the text and background knowledge; asking questions; drawing inferences; determining important information; visualizing; synthesizing; and monitoring reading with “fix-up” strategies. Teachers can support students’ comprehension by explicitly teaching these strategies within the reading program.

Contextual clues

Contextual clues are the words, phrases, and sentences that surround an unknown word and provide clues to its meaning. Most words are learned from contexts, either from reading or oral contexts such as conversations, lectures, or movies.

Differentiated instruction

Differentiated instruction refers to instruction that is geared to each individual’s needs and learning style. Students differ in learning profiles; therefore, they need to have options for taking in information, processing it, and expressing their understanding of it.

Diverse learners

The term diverse learners refers to the differences in ability, interests, background knowledge, learning style, culture, and language that are represented in a classroom. Teachers need to consider all these factors when they plan for instruction.


Editing is the stage in the writing process where students review their piece to change or correct standard writing conventions. These conventions include punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and spelling. The purpose of editing is to make the writing more accessible and comprehensible to the reader.

English language learners

An English language learner (ELL) is a student whose first language is not English, and who is just developing proficiency in English.


Fluency is the ability to read text accurately, smoothly, at an appropriate rate, and with expression. Fluent reading is an important characteristic of effective reading, both for word identification and comprehension.

Funds of knowledge

A fund is a supply of something or a resource that is available for future use. Professor Jiménez suggests that students’ becoming literate in as many languages as possible (knowledge) is a resource that will be increasingly valuable in the future.

Gradual release of responsibility model

The gradual release of responsibility model depicts a progression in which students assume increased responsibility for their learning over time. Initially, the teacher assumes most of the responsibility for successful completion of a reading or writing task. Students gradually assume more responsibility so that the work is shared. Eventually, students assume total responsibility for completion of the task.

Grouping plans

Grouping plans reflect a teacher’s decisions about how to group students for maximum learning. Student groups are fluid and flexible throughout the year, depending on students’ needs, achievement, and progress. The five basic grouping plans are whole class, small heterogeneous groups, small homogeneous groups, pairs, and individual work.

High-success reading

High-success reading refers to reading opportunities that allow students to read accurately, fluently, and with comprehension. Texts used for high-success reading match the students’ reading level and conceptual development. In many cases, students engaged in high-success reading have some background knowledge and experience with the text topic.

High-stakes assessment

In high-stakes assessments, students are asked to read and write for specific purposes on a standardized achievement test. The results are used to determine proficiency in specific academic areas and to establish whether students progress in grades or graduate from high school. Many high-stakes language arts assessments are more closely related to classroom writing instruction than reading instruction.

High-stakes testing

High-stakes tests refer to tests whose results are publicized and used to rank schools and students. Often, students need to pass certain high-stakes tests in order to graduate from high school. Under the federal mandate of No Child Left Behind, school systems need to demonstrate that more and more of their students are passing these tests.

Informational text

Informational or expository text presents facts, ideas, and concepts in a specific organizational pattern designed to promote learning. There are five organizational patterns of informational text: 1) description (main idea and details); 2) sequence; 3) compare and contrast; 4) cause and effect; and 5) problem-solution. Instruction in identifying and using these text structures promotes students’ comprehension.

Interactive journal

Interactive journals provide a context for writing between the student and the teacher. Students select a topic of their choice and write a journal entry. The teacher reads this entry and responds in writing with questions and comments. This process promotes students’ independent writing and writing for an audience.


The Internet is a system of networks that connects computers around the world, allowing users to disseminate and access large amounts of information.

IRE (Initiation-Response-Evaluation)

IRE (Cazden, 1988) refers to a frequently used structure for classroom discussions: 1) teacher initiates discussion with a question and calls on a student to answer; 2) student responds to the teacher’s question; and 3) teacher evaluates the student’s answer as right or wrong and moves to the next question. A more effective discussion allows students to respond to each other based on one thoughtful question from the teacher.

Kid culture

Originally devised by Ann Haas Dyson (Writing Superheroes: Contemporary Childhood, Popular Culture, and Classroom Literacy, 1997), this term refers to the print and media popular culture in a child’s world. Children often use their experiences with the elements of this popular culture to write stories. Students’ high interest in the topics of kid culture allows them to write comfortably about their lives and experiences.

Multilevel instruction

In multilevel instruction students can learn different things, the teacher interacts differently with each student, and all students experience success. For example, a multilevel lesson would include letting students choose their own topics, mini-lessons focusing on a variety of topics and levels, and writing conferences focusing on the individual needs of the student so that all students can succeed.

Narrative text

Narrative text tells a story that involves the basic story structure elements of setting, character, problem/goal, events to solve the problem or reach the goal, and resolution. This is the basic story structure for all well-written narrative text.


Navigation is when one moves within and between Web pages to locate information.

Needs-based groups

Needs-based groups are different from ability groups. While students in needs-based groups share similar needs and performance levels, the composition of the groups changes throughout the year as students progress in their literacy development. Teachers form needs-based groups for guided reading instruction and writing lessons.

New literacies

New literacies refer to the skills and strategies needed to access and process information on the Internet. These skills and strategies include posing questions in order to focus inquiry, locating information, evaluating the accuracy and usefulness of that information, synthesizing the information, and communicating the information to others.

Non-interruptive reading instruction

When teachers allow students to finish reading a sentence after misreading text, they are using a noninterruptive reading instruction approach. By not immediately correcting students’ miscues, teachers provide them time to determine if their reading makes sense and what to do if it does not. Research studies have shown that teachers immediately correct the miscues of struggling readers more than effective readers.

Onset-rime patterns

Most words and syllables within words can be divided into onsets and rimes. The onset is the initial consonant or consonants (c- in cat, sh- in ship); the rime is the vowel and the letters that follow it (-at in cat, -ip in ship). Students in the intermediate grades can identify words more automatically by breaking whole words or syllables into onsets and rimes.


A writing portfolio is an ongoing, systematic collection of authentic student performance that documents the achievements, strengths and needs, progress, and efforts of each child. It includes evidence of both the process and products of writing and continuously informs instruction. Contents of a writing portfolio could include responses to reading, personal narratives, graphic organizers used to plan writing, journal entries, and student self-assessments. Portfolios are especially useful in parent-teacher conferences to demonstrate a child’s progress over time.

Portfolio assessment

Portfolio assessment is an informal evaluation of a student’s literacy development. Portfolios contain evidence of both the processes and products of learning. Teachers and students both individually and collectively choose pieces to be included in the portfolio. The focus of most portfolio assessments is evidence of grade-level benchmarks.


Revision is a stage in the writing process where writers return to their drafts and “re-look” at the piece to make changes that will improve its message. During the revision process, students focus on organization, word choice, transitional sentences, and supporting details. When revising, students may add or move sentences, include metaphors or similes, delete information, and revise introductions and conclusions.


A rubric is a criterion-based scoring guide that uses a descriptive scale to assess student performance on grade-level benchmarks. Rubrics can be purchased, teacher-made, or developed collaboratively between teachers and students. Benchmarks are used as a tool to assess student performance on specific assignments or projects. Rubrics provide students with a clear understanding of what is expected and allow teachers to systematically review student work with explicit criteria.


During instruction, teachers assist and guide students so that they can read, learn, and respond to text in ways they cannot without support. Teachers continue to provide this support or scaffolding until students can effectively read or write independently. Scaffolding is especially important when students are reading a challenging text or writing a difficult piece. Examples of scaffolded instruction include helping students figure out unknown words by using prefixes and suffixes or contextual clues, providing a graphic organizer and discussing the major parts of a text before reading or writing, and providing background knowledge or vocabulary instruction before reading a difficult text.

Search engine

Search engines are computer programs that retrieve information from a computer network, especially from the Internet. Examples of search engines include Google and Yahoo for older students and adults, and Ask Jeeves for Kids, KidsClick, and Yahooligans for younger students.


Self-monitoring refers to students’ ability to assess what they are reading as they go along. Readers who self-monitor know when their reading makes sense and when it does not. If comprehension is blocked, they know what strategies to use to repair it. Self-monitoring is a significant component of comprehension.

Text types

The term text types is similar to genres of writing. However, it refers to a broader view of what students are asked to write in classrooms. In addition to the genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, etc., text types can also characterize classroom assignments such as quick writes, journal entries, and written responses to reading.

Wall displays

Wall displays are charts, graphs, directions, maps, and other visuals that represent what students are learning each day, week, and month. These displays highlight words, concepts, strategies, and student performance. Both teachers and students create wall displays to reflect the curriculum, instructional practices, and student learning.

Web site

A Web site is a page or set of pages on the Internet that includes information on a topic. These pages are maintained by a person, group, or organization.

Writing center

The writing center is an area of the classroom designed to give students access to the necessary materials, procedures, and strategies for effective writing. The writing center includes all the materials needed for writing, including reference books, writing implements, paper, charts depicting the writing process, conference schedules, strategy use, and word lists. This center is a resource for students before, during, and after writing.

Technical Notes

To use the Teaching Reading 3-5 workshop Web guide, we recommend the following:

Web browser:

The following browsers (or newer versions of them) are ideal for using this site: Firefox 1.0, Internet Explorer 5.1, Netscape Navigator 7, or Safari 1.0. (Javascript should be enabled, if your browser allows you to disable it.) Text fonts and colors may not be displayed correctly in older browsers.


To print a hard-copy version of this guide and the other materials provided, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in. You can download this plug-in for free. If you are using Mac OS X, the bundled “Preview” application can also be used for viewing and printing PDF files. Safari 2.0, for Mac OS X, and higher has built in PDF viewing capabilities.

Who's Who

Featured Experts

Professor Richard Allington is professor of education at the University of Tennessee. Previously he taught at the University of Florida, and chaired the Department of Reading at the University at Albany, SUNY. Professor Allington is president-elect of the International Reading Association and was recognized by the association for his work in the field of reading and learning disabilities. He also serves on the editorial boards of Reading Research QuarterlyRemedial and Special EducationJournal of Literacy Research, and other scholarly publications. Professor Allington is the author of more than 100 research articles and several books. His most recent book, Big Brother and the National Reading Curriculum: How Ideology Trumped Evidence, critically examines the influence of federal education policy on reading instruction and the teachers who provide it.

Professor Kathryn H. Au is professor of education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is currently directing a teacher education program aimed at increasing the number of Native Hawaiian teachers in schools in their own communities. Her research interest is the school literacy development of students of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Professor Au has published more than 70 articles on the topic in addition to a textbook, Literacy Instruction in Multicultural Settings. She has served on the editorial advisory boards of Reading Research QuarterlyThe Reading Teacher, and Journal of Literacy Research, among others. Professor Au served on the board of directors for the International Reading Association, and she has been elected to the Reading Hall of Fame.

Professor Nell K. Duke is an associate professor at Michigan State University, and has been a principal investigator with the Center for Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA). In addition to her teaching duties, Professor Duke speaks and consults widely on literacy education, and is an active member of several literacy-related organizations. Her work focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in poverty. Professor Duke is the recipient of several research awards, including the National Council of Teachers of English Promising Researcher Award and the International Reading Association Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Professor Robert T. Jiménez is a professor of language, literacy, and culture at Vanderbilt University, where he teaches courses in second-language literacy and issues related to the education of Latino students. He was a bilingual education teacher, and he has served as recruiter, teacher, and program director in migrant education for the state of Illinois. Professor Jiménez has received awards for his work, including a Garcia Robles Fulbright Fellowship to Mexico and the Albert J. Harris Award for research on struggling readers. He has published in numerous journals, including Reading Research QuarterlyAmerican Educational Research Journal, and Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.

Professor Donald J. Leu holds the John and Maria Neag Endowed Chair in Literacy and Technology at the University of Connecticut, and formerly taught at Syracuse University. He specializes in reading and Internet technologies. Professor Leu’s work addresses issues of both theory and practice, as the Internet has fundamentally redefined what it means to be literate. His research has been published in Reading Research QuarterlyHandbook of Reading ResearchThe Reading TeacherTeaching with the Internet, and Effective Literacy Instruction.

Professor Jeanne R. Paratore is associate professor of education at Boston University. She was formerly a classroom teacher, reading consultant, and director of Title 1. From 1989-1997, Professor Paratore was an integral member of the Boston University/Chelsea, Massachusetts School Partnership, a comprehensive urban school reform effort. As part of this work, Professor Paratore founded and now serves as advisor to the Intergenerational Literacy Project, a family literacy program that serves immigrant parents and their children. Her work on school change and family literacy is described in numerous monographs, book chapters, and journal articles. She has also authored and edited several books. Professor Paratore is a frequent speaker on literacy instruction and has presented at local, national, and international reading and educational research conferences, as well as in school districts throughout the United States. She recently completed a three-year term as a member of the International Reading Association’s Board of Directors.

Professor Nadeen T. Ruiz is the appointed director of the Elementary Education Program at Stanford University School of Education. She has taught on the subject of bilingual multicultural education at CSU Sacramento, where she also served as the director of the teacher preparation program. Her research focuses on the literacy development of bilingual, special education students and deaf students. She started her career in education as an elementary school teacher.

Professor Dorothy S. Strickland is a former classroom teacher, reading consultant, and learning disabilities specialist. She holds the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Chair in Education at Rutgers University, and she formerly taught at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Professor Strickland is also past president of the International Reading Association and its Reading Hall of Fame. She has received the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Award and was recognized in 1994 as the NCTE Outstanding Woman in the Teaching of English. She has numerous publications in the field of reading and language arts. Her latest scholarly contributions are Teaching Phonics TodayBeginning Reading and Writing, and Supporting Struggling Readers and Writers.

Curriculum Developers

Mary E. Matthews

Dr. Matthews is Curriculum Coordinator for Language Arts in the Brookline, Massachusetts Public Schools. The former reading specialist and special education teacher has taught graduate courses in Elementary Language Arts, Reading Instruction, and Literacy Assessment at Boston University and Bridgewater State College. She has also led workshops on reading instruction in many of Massachusetts’ public schools. As a frequent speaker on effective practices in literacy instruction, Dr. Matthews has presented her area of expertise at both the International Reading Association and Massachusetts Reading Association. She recently led a three-year committee in Brookline to develop a curriculum handbook for literacy instruction for grades four to six. Dr. Matthews is past president of the Massachusetts Reading Association where she currently serves as chair of the Standards and Assessment committee.

Joy R. Turpie

Dr. Turpie is Director of Curriculum and Instruction in the Sharon, Massachusetts Public Schools. The former English Language Arts Coordinator, reading specialist, elementary teacher, and special education teacher has taught graduate courses at Boston University and Bridgewater State College. She has provided professional development in literacy instruction and assessment for many school districts Massachusetts and Connecticut. Dr. Turpie has presented her research and literacy expertise at the Massachusetts Reading Association, The American Educational Research Association, and the National Research Conference, and has published several articles and book chapters. She has recently led Sharon teachers in developing Learning Standards for English Language Arts and is presently overseeing revision of all of the Sharon Public Schools Learning Standards.

Classroom Teachers

Teachers featured in the classroom excerpts represent a range of 3-5 teachers from across the country.

Caroline Cockman
Rashkis Elementary School, Chapel Hill, North Carolina


Holly Concannon
Murphy School, Boston, Massachusetts


Eleanor Demont
Heath School, Brookline, Massachusetts


Gage Reeves
Vernon Elementary School, Portland, Oregon


Dana Robertson
Estabrook School, Lexington, Massachusetts


Maria Ruiz-Blanco
Belmont-Cragin School, Chicago, Illinois


Tatiana With
Heath School, Brookline, Massachusetts


Angie Zapata
Matthews Elementary School, Austin, Texas

Video Credits

Core Advisors

Robert T. Jiménez
Vanderbilt University

Mary E. Matthews
Brookline Public Schools

Jeanne R. Paratore
Boston University

Project Advisors

Diane Lapp
San Diego State University

Nancy Roser
The University of Texas, Austin

Robert Rueda
University of Southern California

Joy J. Turpie
Sharon Public Schools

Sheila W. Valencia University of Washington

Doris Walker-Dalhouse
Minnesota State University Moorhead

Featured Classroom Teachers

Caroline Cockman
Rashkis Elementary SchoolChapel Hill, North Carolina

Holly Concannon
Murphy School, Boston, Massachusetts

Eleanor Demont
Heath School, Brookline, Massachusetts

Gage Reeves
Vernon Elementary School, Portland, Oregon

Dana Robertson
Estabrook School, Lexington, Massachusetts

Maria Ruiz-Blanco
Belmont-Cragin School, Chicago, Illinois

Tatiana With
Heath School, Brookline, Massachusetts

Angie Zapata
Matthews Elementary School, Austin, Texas

Additional Teachers

Rosemary Campbell
Rashkis Elementary School, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Amy Geer
Center School, Stow, Massachusetts

Teketa M. Edwards
Rashkis Elementary School, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Sue Hehir
Heath School, Brookline, MA

Stacy Rosoff
Vernon Elementary School, Portland, OR


John Browne
Kelly Lawman

Associate Producer

Sarah Mills

Production Assistant

Christopher Hastings


Mark Geffen
Glenn Hunsberger
Mary-Kate Shea

Production Manager

Mary Ellen Gardiner


David Butterfield
Bill Charette
Lance Douglas
T. Robin Hirsh
Larry LeCain
Ken Willinger


Chris Bresnahan
Jeffrey Briggette
Charlie Collias
Robert Freeman
James Lindsey
Gilles Morin

On-Line Editor

Glenn Hunsberger

Sound Mix

Dan Lesiw

Music Composer

David Grimes


Bruce Walker

Additional Design

Gaye Korbet

Director, Educational Productions

Denise Blumenthal

Executive Producer

Amy Tonkonogy

Produced by WGBH Educational Productions
© 2005 The Annenberg Foundation. All Rights Reserved

Web Credits

Senior Producer

Ted Sicker

Content Producer

Melanie MacFarlane

Curriculum Developers

Mary E. Matthews
Curriculum Coordinator for Language Arts, K-8
Brookline Public Schools, Massachusetts

Joy J. Turpie
Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Sharon Public Schools, Massachusetts


Lisa Rosenthal

Web Developer

Joe Brandt

Core Advisors

Jeanne R. Paratore
Boston University, Massachusetts

Robert Jiménez

Vanderbilt University, Tennessee

Mary E. Matthews

Brookline Public Schools, Massachusetts

Business Manager

Maria Constantinides

Unit Manager

Chris Boone

Production Assistants

Christopher Hastings
Jennifer Rodriguez

Facilitator Tips

You can use the workshop to provide professional development activities for teachers in a variety of settings:

  • In reading methodology courses
  • For teachers broadening their range of instructional practices
  • For individual teacher study of a specific topic or grade level
  • In a district or school workshop
  • In professional development mentoring programs

The following facilitator tips can enhance the professional development experience:

  • Review the Web or print guide, and preview the video prior to running a study group or workshop.
  • Print and duplicate charts, posters, and templates ahead of time.
  • Have participants complete the Session Preparation prior to meeting.
  • Identify participants’ skill levels and build from there.
  • Use sections that meet your needs and those of your participants.
  • Begin with the suggested questions and continue with other questions that interest you and your colleagues.
  • Allow enough time to wait for participants’ responses.
  • Encourage debate and discussion to help trigger and focus controversial issues.
  • Promote reflection as a means to improving teaching.
  • Organize participants into different groups for different activities to give everyone a chance to work with everyone else.
  • Conclude by reviewing strategies and action items participants can use in their teaching practice.


Teaching Reading 3-5 is a production of WGBH Interactive and WGBH Educational Productions for Annenberg Foundation.

Copyright 2005 Annenberg Foundation. All rights reserved.

Series Directory

Teaching Reading: 3-5 Workshop


Produced by WGBH Educational Foundation. 2006.
  • Closed Captioning
  • ISBN: 1-57680-815-7