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The Art of Teaching Reading

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Written in Calkins' graceful and passionate style, The Art of Teaching Reading serves as an eloquent and desperately needed reminder of what matters most in teaching. Incredibly valuable resource for current and future teachers and educators. Offers a wealth of practical classroom examples to demonstrate principles and methods in practice. In The Art of Teaching Reading, nati Written in Calkins' graceful and passionate style, The Art of Teaching Reading serves as an eloquent and desperately needed reminder of what matters most in teaching. Incredibly valuable resource for current and future teachers and educators. Offers a wealth of practical classroom examples to demonstrate principles and methods in practice. In The Art of Teaching Reading, nationally acclaimed educator Lucy Calkins offers a compelling glimpse into the methods, insights and day-to-day classroom practices which have helped hundreds of teachers do more in the teaching of reading than most dreamt possible. This is the story of brilliant teachers whose children learn to read with eagerness and to talk and write in stunning ways about their reading. Full of inspirational classroom stories, The Art of Teaching Reading is even more powerful when one considers that the methods Calkins describes are transforming teaching practices across the largest school district in the world. Lucy Calkins is a Professor of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University, and an acclaimed speaker, with frequent keynote addresses at conferences across the country.


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Written in Calkins' graceful and passionate style, The Art of Teaching Reading serves as an eloquent and desperately needed reminder of what matters most in teaching. Incredibly valuable resource for current and future teachers and educators. Offers a wealth of practical classroom examples to demonstrate principles and methods in practice. In The Art of Teaching Reading, nati Written in Calkins' graceful and passionate style, The Art of Teaching Reading serves as an eloquent and desperately needed reminder of what matters most in teaching. Incredibly valuable resource for current and future teachers and educators. Offers a wealth of practical classroom examples to demonstrate principles and methods in practice. In The Art of Teaching Reading, nationally acclaimed educator Lucy Calkins offers a compelling glimpse into the methods, insights and day-to-day classroom practices which have helped hundreds of teachers do more in the teaching of reading than most dreamt possible. This is the story of brilliant teachers whose children learn to read with eagerness and to talk and write in stunning ways about their reading. Full of inspirational classroom stories, The Art of Teaching Reading is even more powerful when one considers that the methods Calkins describes are transforming teaching practices across the largest school district in the world. Lucy Calkins is a Professor of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University, and an acclaimed speaker, with frequent keynote addresses at conferences across the country.

30 review for The Art of Teaching Reading

  1. 4 out of 5

    danielle

    So here's the thing: Lucy (a fellow Williams grad) is awesome, she's obviously a great, groundbreaking educator. The problem? She, like so many of her ilk, live in this hippy lala dreamland where schools are run like amazing little thought factories and principals are happy when you report that your students make growth because they say that they are authors. And when children are exposed in their homes to so many new and different adventures that their imaginations work overtime and their writi So here's the thing: Lucy (a fellow Williams grad) is awesome, she's obviously a great, groundbreaking educator. The problem? She, like so many of her ilk, live in this hippy lala dreamland where schools are run like amazing little thought factories and principals are happy when you report that your students make growth because they say that they are authors. And when children are exposed in their homes to so many new and different adventures that their imaginations work overtime and their writing reflects that. The real world just isn't like that. I don't know how to replicate her theories in my classroom of 7th graders. I wish I could, but I have yet (in five years of teaching) to. And she barely addresses teaching adolescents. She concedes that it might be difficult but never gives real strategies to circumvent that. I need to reread her book on assessment where she at least partially addresses some of the issues her previous writing skims over. It's great to read about her children and their amazing schools in Connecticut, but I need things that will translate to my students in the Bronx. I left her book with some real anger as well as sadness at the tiered system in our schools. I know she means well, but I can't help but be frustrated.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I read this while I was in high school and my parents were taking teaching credentialing classes. Until I read this book, I hated writing. After I read it, I filled notebook after notebook with writing and learned to love school essays. Yes, it is a book for teachers, but Calkins made me feel how exciting writing can be.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Savannah Weaver

    Took me three months to read it, but I finally did. The last chapter made me cry. How often can you say that of a textbook? I love you Lucy!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Lucy Calkins is a celebrity for us English teachers, so this book is a must-read. This is a big book full of comprehensive stories with a lot of "what we did right" and "what we did wrong." I love that it's based on observations with students, conversations with students and teachers and on students' work. It's very real. I do wish, however, that there were a lot more "here's exactly how to do it" lists, but Calkins purposely, again and again, did not include them because she didn't want to be to Lucy Calkins is a celebrity for us English teachers, so this book is a must-read. This is a big book full of comprehensive stories with a lot of "what we did right" and "what we did wrong." I love that it's based on observations with students, conversations with students and teachers and on students' work. It's very real. I do wish, however, that there were a lot more "here's exactly how to do it" lists, but Calkins purposely, again and again, did not include them because she didn't want to be too prescriptive. I do, partially understand, and regardless, recommend this book wholeheartedly.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adrian

    Despite this book being written almost 20 years ago and Reading Instruction has significantly changed since then. Her approach to teaching children how to read is still relevant with various tools that can be used in today's classrooms. Despite this book being written almost 20 years ago and Reading Instruction has significantly changed since then. Her approach to teaching children how to read is still relevant with various tools that can be used in today's classrooms.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    How could I not give this book 5 stars when it's based on Lucy Calkins research and expertise? All kidding aside, this is an EXCELLENT reference book for teachers of reading in elementary or middle grades. If you have never had the privilege to hear Lucy speak or to be trained by her amazing Teacher's College staff, this book is the next best thing. It does a great job of explaining the WHY behind the reading workshop model and HOW to set it up in your classroom. From there, she shows you how to How could I not give this book 5 stars when it's based on Lucy Calkins research and expertise? All kidding aside, this is an EXCELLENT reference book for teachers of reading in elementary or middle grades. If you have never had the privilege to hear Lucy speak or to be trained by her amazing Teacher's College staff, this book is the next best thing. It does a great job of explaining the WHY behind the reading workshop model and HOW to set it up in your classroom. From there, she shows you how to confer with students and take that formative data to structure re-teaching or guided reading groups. She gives you prompts, questions, and activities to do with your students as you confer and run small groups. There are chapters on structuring mini lessons, read alouds,and book clubs. And throughout it all, Calkins suggests hundreds of mentor texts and read aloud texts to use in your workshop. The last few chapters do focus heavily on early elementary workshops showing you how to structure specific lessons on fluency, phonics, and choosing just right books. However, teachers of older readers shouldn't easily dismiss them as they could apply to some of the emerging or struggling readers that could come through your classrooms. And at the end, are several appendicies full of lists and leveled groups of books and magazines to use in your own workshops. Even those who have been trained by the TCRWP will find this text as a useful reference guide. As a specialist now working with staff who have not been trained in this methodology, I will be using this in my co-teaching and coaching roles.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cherylann

    Published in 1986, Calkins' text on writing/writers workshop became a seminal text for teachers. And then almost 10 years ago, NCLB was enacted, and writers workshop became a quaint teaching strategy that had no relevance in the world of high stakes testing. IMHO Calkins and Atwell should be required reading for all preservice teachers. Calkins' text is just as fresh 25 years after its original publication as it was when it was first published. Reading The Art of Teaching Writing, I was reminded Published in 1986, Calkins' text on writing/writers workshop became a seminal text for teachers. And then almost 10 years ago, NCLB was enacted, and writers workshop became a quaint teaching strategy that had no relevance in the world of high stakes testing. IMHO Calkins and Atwell should be required reading for all preservice teachers. Calkins' text is just as fresh 25 years after its original publication as it was when it was first published. Reading The Art of Teaching Writing, I was reminded that good teaching - and not test prep - is what will bring up my students' test scores and make them lifelong readers and writers.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dorrie Sutliffe

    Wish I had read this book YEARS ago! Although this book was written well after I graduated from college, I can't help feeling cheated of the "best practices" that this book advocates for in our schools. That is why, as professionals, if we fail to continuously learn and keep abreast of the latest that research has to offer, then we fail as educators. I have been reading and trying to follow the practices of the many excellent educators from Teacher's College, but this book seems to be at the fou Wish I had read this book YEARS ago! Although this book was written well after I graduated from college, I can't help feeling cheated of the "best practices" that this book advocates for in our schools. That is why, as professionals, if we fail to continuously learn and keep abreast of the latest that research has to offer, then we fail as educators. I have been reading and trying to follow the practices of the many excellent educators from Teacher's College, but this book seems to be at the foundation of it all. Nothing replaces the passion, the practicality, the ease of exposition that Lucy Calkins inspires.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This book has very sound philosophy in teaching writing and teaching in general, but really did not provide me with enough practical stuff that I could implement in my classroom right away. I thought it was mostly discussion of what should be done and not enough of here's how you do it. That's really what I look for in education books. This book has very sound philosophy in teaching writing and teaching in general, but really did not provide me with enough practical stuff that I could implement in my classroom right away. I thought it was mostly discussion of what should be done and not enough of here's how you do it. That's really what I look for in education books.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    I read this for a college class, and I learned so much! It was fun to read, but also very educational. I rented my copy, but I'm going to buy one later to use in my classroom as a constant reference to all things writing-instruction. I read this for a college class, and I learned so much! It was fun to read, but also very educational. I rented my copy, but I'm going to buy one later to use in my classroom as a constant reference to all things writing-instruction.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    This is a good introduction to how to teach writing. A lot of theory behind the practice is presented. This is not as helpful in showing real classroom examples of writing instruction.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Calkins’ step by step instructions for how to create a writer’s workshop in your classroom and how to deal with the problems and come up, with lots of descriptions and examples of student work and dialogues. It includes chapters based on grade level as well as topic. This is a great resource to keep coming back to as you develop your writer’s workshop

  13. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    Great ideas. I do think this would be hard to do in most public school classrooms because of having to follow a specific curriculum. Some of the ideas can be used for homeschooled but I have to get creative to make many of them work.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book is a total game changer.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marcy prager

    I remember reading Lucy's very first book when I first started teaching. She taught me how to teach writing to children. Her stragegies became ingrained in me. They made a difference in my teaching, and in my students' writing across the curriculum. This new edition has the depth and breadth of the variety of writing children can do across the curriculum. Children think as they read, and can record their thinking in writing. They use prior knowledge, and begin to construct knowledge in their wri I remember reading Lucy's very first book when I first started teaching. She taught me how to teach writing to children. Her stragegies became ingrained in me. They made a difference in my teaching, and in my students' writing across the curriculum. This new edition has the depth and breadth of the variety of writing children can do across the curriculum. Children think as they read, and can record their thinking in writing. They use prior knowledge, and begin to construct knowledge in their writing as they experience life and learn from a variety of sources. Lucy has nudged me to help students learn to write a variety of genres. Her instructions, descriptions, and models of student work are clear and easy for teachers to learn and follow to provide students with rich writing experiences. Lucy values inquiry, and proves that students have the willingness and excitement to find the answers. Lucy shows how students can document their knowledge and reactions to life and "content" in writing. I can assure the reader that Lucy's methods work after 35 years of teaching. Lucy has the highest regards and expectations for all students. I share in her beliefs. I continue to learn from the greatest writing guru that has influenced me the most all these years! Thank you, Lucy!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    I gave this 5 stars because of the amount I can see myself using it. What an amazing book about reading and what it is and should be for kids. Going into student teaching in the fall I feel better equipped to converse with my soon to be second graders about books, what they have to offer, what they can help us to see and learn, how to explore them and so much more. On tap next is her book The Art of Teaching Writing which I am sure will offer equally as much insight. I would recommend this to an I gave this 5 stars because of the amount I can see myself using it. What an amazing book about reading and what it is and should be for kids. Going into student teaching in the fall I feel better equipped to converse with my soon to be second graders about books, what they have to offer, what they can help us to see and learn, how to explore them and so much more. On tap next is her book The Art of Teaching Writing which I am sure will offer equally as much insight. I would recommend this to any teacher, regardless of longevity.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Callahan

    I made it to page 440 of The Art of Teaching Writing. The only reason I didn't finish is because the library needed their edition back. Some day I hope to get through the last 100 pages. Lucy Calkins' work is clearly ground-breaking. Some day I'd like to own this text, not to mention put what she's written to work in my classroom. I highly recommend this to anyone who teaches *any* subject. I made it to page 440 of The Art of Teaching Writing. The only reason I didn't finish is because the library needed their edition back. Some day I hope to get through the last 100 pages. Lucy Calkins' work is clearly ground-breaking. Some day I'd like to own this text, not to mention put what she's written to work in my classroom. I highly recommend this to anyone who teaches *any* subject.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Grabowski

    I'm finally beginning to understand what reading-writing connections really are! Lucy Calkins has inspired me to reinvision my classroom goals and curriculum and to integrate a lot more writing into my Reading Workshop this year. The rush of idealism I'm feeling now has inspired me to go back and finish "The Art of Teaching Reading." I'm finally beginning to understand what reading-writing connections really are! Lucy Calkins has inspired me to reinvision my classroom goals and curriculum and to integrate a lot more writing into my Reading Workshop this year. The rush of idealism I'm feeling now has inspired me to go back and finish "The Art of Teaching Reading."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alyson Whatcott

    This is a wonderful book about teaching writing. It is long but very readable and inspiring. It is very theoretical--so a good one to read in the summer, when it isn't so obvious that your teaching doesn't match up to the ideal (!) This is a wonderful book about teaching writing. It is long but very readable and inspiring. It is very theoretical--so a good one to read in the summer, when it isn't so obvious that your teaching doesn't match up to the ideal (!)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jayne

    This is the best single source for assisting teachers and parents as they guide children in the wring process. The suggestions are practical and exemplary. I give a copy of this book to all of my student teachers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    This book is what I based my Language Arts/Writing program on. Lucy Calkins has a great way of writing so that the book doesn't seem like a textbook. She has innovative ideas that reach the new form of teaching and assessment through reaching each child's needs and adapting to them. This book is what I based my Language Arts/Writing program on. Lucy Calkins has a great way of writing so that the book doesn't seem like a textbook. She has innovative ideas that reach the new form of teaching and assessment through reaching each child's needs and adapting to them.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    I went through 4 highlighters. Very informative. Ironically, there were many errors in spelling and grammar. Oh well, that speaks more to the editing than it does to the author. It's an excellent books for any teacher who teaches reading at any level. I went through 4 highlighters. Very informative. Ironically, there were many errors in spelling and grammar. Oh well, that speaks more to the editing than it does to the author. It's an excellent books for any teacher who teaches reading at any level.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    What an awesome explanation of readers/writers workshops in elementary school! Suggestions for implementation, descriptions of real classrooms, and breaking down what workshop looks like in primary grades. Definitely going to buy myself a copy of this one!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Appreciate the honest thoughts of Lucy Calkins in terms of her own experience wrt teaching writing. She provides insights on the developmental stages of children's writing which is really helpful to educators. Appreciate the honest thoughts of Lucy Calkins in terms of her own experience wrt teaching writing. She provides insights on the developmental stages of children's writing which is really helpful to educators.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    The primary text for my RDG 3320 Integrating Reading and Writing class. I used it when I taught the class a year ago and it's a dense but thoroughly useful text that covers strategies across grade levels and content areas. A MUST have in the professional library of ANY educator! The primary text for my RDG 3320 Integrating Reading and Writing class. I used it when I taught the class a year ago and it's a dense but thoroughly useful text that covers strategies across grade levels and content areas. A MUST have in the professional library of ANY educator!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Barri Bumgarner

    Must read for ALL teachers who expect their students to read...no matter the content area. Language arts teachers are not the only ones who should be responsible for students being able to read across the content areas!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Massanutten Regional Library

    Dawn, North River patron, August 2016, 4 stars: Perfect book for anyone working on creative writing! This book will help you deepen your understanding of the writing process itself! Lots of examples and resources!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Czarina

    This book is outstanding. It thoroughly explains how a child learns to read and what a good teacher needs to do to help their child learn to read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    This book changed the way I teach. It is incredible.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    My favorite from college.

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