Posts Tagged "Heinemann"

Helping Kids Learn to Write

A recent New York Times article titled Why Kids Can’t Write explores the reasons behind U.S. students’ poor writing skills.  The article asserts that the root of writing problems lies with teachers, most of whom have not been trained in how to teach writing, and who are not confident writers themselves. The article goes on to cite specific efforts, such as the National Writing Project and The Writing Revolution, that are focused on training educators how to teach writing skills, as well as the research on effective writing instruction, which suggests a few concrete strategies. For example, students should learn to transcribe by hand and using a computer. Instruction should teach students to write strong sentences before introducing paragraphs. Students benefit when writing instruction integrates grammar, includes models of good writing, and provides frequent feedback about the students’ own writing.

At Learning List, we believe that high-quality, standards-aligned instructional materials, including writing materials, are critical to teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom. In our work this summer, we have reviewed several supplemental products that focus on teaching writing skills and preparing Texas students for the grade 4 STAAR Writing test. These products use different approaches, but each strives to improve students’ writing skills: [Read more…]

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New Review: Heinemann’s Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Study

units of study

[Source: Heinemann]

Learning List has reviewed Heinemann’s Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Study for grades K-5. This supplemental writing program is made up of a set of print resources for teachers with additional materials available on CD-ROM.  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 writing skills that focuses on Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for writing.

At each grade level, content is organized in four 6-week units that include opinion, information, and narrative writing, as well as an additional unit (e.g., memoir). Additional, shorter units are provided in a separate book, titled “If…Then…Curriculum: Assessment-Based Instruction.”  Each unit is organized in “Bends” (i.e., bend in the road). For example, the grade 5 unit for research-based argument essays is made up of three Bends: (1) Establishing and Supporting Positions, (2) Building Powerful Arguments, and (3) Writing for Real-Life Purposes and Audiences. Bends are made up of sets of lessons, or “Sessions,” that follow a consistent format across grades K-5. CD-ROMs for each grade level contain additional resources to support each unit (e.g., photographs), printable checklists and handouts for students, and video samples of student work.

Daily writing workshops last 50-60 minutes and foster the development of higher level thinking skills (e.g., synthesis, analysis). Content is organized sequentially within and across grades and learning progressions are provided. Accompanying sets of trade books for each grade level are available from the publisher.

Units of Study uses a system of performance-based assessments to evaluate students’ writing skills.  The “Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions” text provides teachers with comprehensive guidance in implementing the system, as well as writing prompts and rubrics to support assessment.

About Heinemann*


[Source: Heinemann]

Heinemann is a publisher of professional resources and a provider of educational services for teachers, kindergarten through college. We strive to give voice to those who share our respect for the professionalism and compassion of teachers and who support teachers’ efforts to help children become literate, empathetic, knowledgeable citizens. Our 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. Our commitment to our work and customers’ enthusiastic response to our offerings has made us the leading publisher in this area.

Our organization is guided by the following principles:

  • Heinemann cares deeply about teachers.
  • Heinemann is wholeheartedly committed to teaching excellence.
  • Heinemann is the leader in professional teacher development.
  • Heinemann’s authors and classroom resources are transformative.
  • Heinemann makes good teaching accessible to all.

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

Subscribe to Learning List for access to the spec sheet, full editorial review and detailed alignment report for this material.

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Review: Heinemann’s Comprehension Toolkit


[Source: Heinemann]

Heinemann’s Comprehension Toolkit is a supplemental resource to support active reading of informational texts in grades K-6. Materials are available in print only. The Toolkit strives to develop active learners and responsive teachers. Instruction focuses on the use of strategies to help students understand and retain what they read. The program only addresses informational texts. Learning List has reviewed Heinemann’s Comprehension Toolkit with alignment to both CCSS and LAFS.

The Toolkit is written by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis and provides a detailed discussion of their approach to implementing the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) instructional model to support reading instruction in elementary classrooms. In the GRR model, teachers model skills and strategies first and then students practice skills and strategies in guided, collaborative, and independent activities.

Content is organized in six “Strategy Clusters”: (1) Monitor Comprehension, (2) Activate and Connect [to prior learning], (3) Ask Questions, (4) Infer Meaning, (5) Determine Importance, and (6) Summarize and Synthesize. Lessons for each Strategy Cluster are presented in a separate “Strategy Book” that contains extensive teacher materials, including highly detailed lesson plans with “Teaching Language” (i.e., scripts) and “Teacher Moves” (i.e., behaviors). Instructional practices, such as Purposeful Talk, Anchor Charts, Think Alouds, Text Lifting, Text Coding, etc., are used throughout lessons. Each strategy is described in detail in the accompanying Teacher’s Guide.


[Source: Heinemann]

About Heinemann*

Heinemann Publishing was established in the spring of 1978 on New Hampshire’s seacoast, as a U.S. subsidiary of Heinemann UK. It is a publisher of professional resources and a provider of educational services for teachers, kindergarten through college.

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

Subscribe to Learning List for access to full editorial reviews and alignment reports.

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