New Product Review: Heinemann Units of Study for Teaching Reading

Learning List has reviewed Heinemann’s Units of Study for Teaching Reading, which is a supplemental reading product for students in grades K-5. The program is primarily a curriculum framework for teachers and is made up of a set of print and online teaching resources. Reading instruction is provided using a workshop model that focuses on creating avid readers who are able to access and understand increasingly complex texts. Teaching Reading dovetails with Heinemann’s Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing for grades K-5. Learning List has reviewed the Units of Study writing program.

Based on the work of Lucy Calkins and the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University, Units of Study incorporates a workshop approach to teaching reading skills. At each grade level, content is organized in four units that last between four and five weeks. Grades K-2 include a foundational unit as well as three units that address reading fictional and informational texts. Instruction at grades 3-5 is organized in two reading fiction units and two reading informational texts units.

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Units are organized in “Bends” (i.e., bend in the road). For example, the grade 2 unit addressing non-fiction is made up of three Bends: (1) Thinking Hard and Growing Knowledge, (2) Learning the Lingo of a Topic, and (3) Reading Across a Topic. Bends are made up of sets of lessons, or “Sessions,” that incorporate the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) instructional model.  A majority of lesson time is spent practicing reading strategies in small group activities. During this time, teachers monitor students as they work; provide coaching, feedback, and encouragement; and hold conferences with individual students or small groups of students.

About Heinemann*

Heinemann is a publisher of professional resources and a provider of educational services for teachers, kindergarten through college. It strives to give voice to those who share its respect for the professionalism and compassion of teachers and who support teachers’ efforts to help children become literate, empathetic, knowledgeable citizens. Heinemann’s authors are exemplary educators eager to support the practice of other teachers through books, videos, workshops, online courses, and most recently through explicit teaching materials. Heinemann’s commitment to its work and customers’ enthusiastic response to its offerings has made it a leading publisher in this area.

*Information in this section is provided by or adapted from Heinemann.

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