Reading Without Limits: Teaching Strategies to Build Independent Reading for Life
January 2013, Jossey-Bass
Imagine a classroom where all students are engaged in highly
rigorous and fun learning every single day. That classroom can be
yours starting tomorrow.
You don’t have to be a reading specialist to pick up this book. Anyone who wants to dramatically improve reading achievement will find helpful suggestions. You might be a third grade teacher whose students have mastered decoding, and you are ready to build their comprehension. Or you might be a high school science teacher whose students aren’t yet reading on level with deep critical thinking. This book is for you. It doesn’t matter whether you are a public, charter, private, or alternative education teacher: the Reading Without Limits program works in each one.
Along with hundreds of ready-to-use teaching strategies, Reading Without Limits comes with a supplemental website where teachers can download even more resources for free!
Reading Without Limits is the first book offered in the KIPP Educator Series. KIPP, or the Knowledge is Power Program, began in 1994. As of Fall 2012, there are 125 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia serving nearly 40,000 students climbing the mountain to and through college.
Foreword by Dave Levin ix
Preface: Getting the Most out of This Book xiii
About the Author xxiii
Introduction: What Is Reading Without Limits? 1
PART 1 LAUNCHING LIFELONG READERS
1 Finding Students' Reading Levels 25
PART 2 STEPS TO CREATING LIFELONG READERS
2 Teaching Students to Understand What They Read 49
3 Choice Reading to Encourage a Ton of Reading 79
4 Shared Reading to Teach, Reinforce, and Challenge 116
5 Guided Reading to Move Students Along Their Continuum 145
PART 3 PUTTING THE POWER OF CHOICE, SHARED, AND GUIDED READING TO WORK IN YOUR CLASSROOM OR SCHOOL
6 Make It Visible 171
7 Muscle Memory Routines 185
8 What to Do When Choice, Shared, or Guided Reading Isn't Working 209
PART 4 STEPS TO ENHANCE LIFELONG READERS
9 Reading Conferences, Our Aha Moments 225
10 Teaching Vocabulary 248
11 Class Discussion 270
12 Standardized Tests 289
13 Testing 1, 2, 3 . . . Testing 306
PART 5 PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
14 Planning a Lesson 329
15 Building the Reading Without Limits Program 344
Appendix A List of Children's and Young Adult Texts Referenced and Recommended 357
Maddie Witter is a founding teacher of KIPP Infinity Charter School, one of the top-performing middle schools in New York City. At KIPP Infinity, Maddie taught literacy, and was the school's founding director of instruction where she supervised teacher development and curriculum for the reading, writing, content, and nonfiction studies programs.
Reading Without Limits
Teaching Strategies to Build Independent Reading for Life
By Maddie Witter – with foreword by Dave Levin
Does it surprise you to hear that 25% of Americans read zero books last year? We all know that reading is a fundamental skill that broadens the mind, yet our nation suffers across the board from serious literacy problems. Why is this? How do we leverage hope and transform ourselves into a nation like Finland, where an average resident checks out 17 library books each year?
In READING WITHOUT LIMITS (February 2013, Jossey-Bass), author Maddie Witter shares the tools educators need to create real change in their students’ lives. Reading is a window to the world, and the READING WITHOUT LIMITS (RWL) mission is that all kids be passionate, confident, lifelong learners who go to and through college.
With RWL, educators will help their students to become lifelong readers. What does it mean to be a lifelong reader? How does a first grader’s love for reading stay alive through their school years and into adulthood? Lifelong readers go to bookstores, read in a cafe for hours, get excited when a favorite author publishes a new book. RWL is packed with examples from teachers and students who are sparking this type of reading in the classroom and beyond.
The RWL reading program was first tested in a new school in Harlem, New York. KIPP Infinity opened its doors in 2005. The author and her colleagues started this school with a strong mission, and successfully built a love of learning. In 2008, the school ranked as the #1 school in Manhattan according to the NYC school report cards. “We were starting from scratch,” says Witter about the school’s early days. “We asked ourselves this question: Where would we send our own children? Our own children and all students deserve the best possible education.
Also included within the book are: strategies that align with the Common Core State Standards, options for special needs students, and tips on how to integrate standardized testing.