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Writers ARE Readers: A Review and a Giveaway

Laminack_WritersAreReadersAs writing teachers, we know that writing and reading are undeniably linked in our teaching and within student learning. Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth make this abundantly clear in their newest book, Writers ARE Readers: Flipping Reading Instruction into Writing Opportunities, a Heinemann publication. What Reba and Lester have done is shown us how we can intricately weave together the processes in reading and relate them to our writing process.

As I read this book, I felt like Reba, Lester and I were having a conversation. Their approach is easily digestible and informative. I loved the ease in which I was able to take a lesson and use it within my classroom, feeling supported and coached by their words.

The book is broken into three main sections.

Section one tackles text structure and organization broken into chapters on the five basic structures:

  • Description
  • Sequence
  • Problem and Solution
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Cause and Effect

Section two takes on weaving meaning with chapters focused on six of the most common comprehension strategies:

  • Inferring
  • Summarizing
  • Synthesizing
  • Visualizing
  • Determining Importance
  • Making Connections

The third and final section discusses common story elements:

  • Character
  • Setting
  • Plot (with attention to conflict and tension)
  • Perspective and Point of View

Within each of these chapters, there is a sample of a reading lesson(s) followed by a “flipped” writing lesson. The writing lesson takes the concept that has been explored in the reading and demonstrates how students can apply the item in their own writing. Each chapter highlights student writing samples as well as additional mentor texts.

In my classroom, I am getting ready to begin an information writing unit. I decided to dip my toe in a little early with a few students and share the first lesson from Writers ARE Readers that dealt with description. We started by exploring a few books that I highlighted in last week’s post during the information writing blog series. Students noticed that often authors start sections of text with a heading or big idea to peak the reader’s interest. The section of text then goes in depth to describe the information. As writers, we then focused in on our topics and generated lists of big ideas we wanted to tackle. Patrick, a third grader, had some ideas related to football and made a list for his plan. He then took those big ideas and turned them into questions for the start of each paragraph. We discussed why description is so important and how it informs the reader of a deeper understanding of our topics. Here is his “work in progress.”

information writing_1

information writing 2

Patrick is in the beginning stages of a detailed description. He is off to a good start considering we haven’t begun the information unit. I’m looking forward to revisiting this lesson again to see what he takes on next.

I hope you will seek out this book that intertwines the teaching of reading and writing with ease. Better yet, comment below and maybe you will win a copy!

Giveaway Information:

  • This giveaway is for a copy of Writers ARE Readers, a Heinemann publication. Many thanks to Heinemann for donating a copy for one reader.
  • For a chance to win this copy please leave a comment on this post by Wednesday, November 17th  at 11:59 p.m. EDT. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner, whose name I will announce at the bottom of this post, by Monday, November 23rd.
  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win.  From there, my contact at Heinemann will ship your book out to you.  (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)
  • If you are the winner of the book, I will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS –WRITERS ARE READERS. Please respond to my e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. Unfortunately, a new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement.

 

Betsy Hubbard View All

Daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, and writer.

140 thoughts on “Writers ARE Readers: A Review and a Giveaway Leave a comment

  1. I too am starting my unit on Informational Reading and Writing. I have been trying hard to not buy more books until I have a chance to really read the books I have from cover to cover- or rather go back for my second reading in the Close Reading framework. Think I may have to make an exception here though- sounds too close to what I have been looking for. Thanks for being such a reliable resource as I continue to develop a Workshop practice in my classroom.

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  2. I would love to use this book with teachers in my role as a literacy coach. Teachers talk often about the importance of connecting reading and writing mini lessons. A book of lessons and student writing samples would enhance our conversations!

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  3. I have a lot of students writing about the NFL for their informational writing. I’m actually writing about the problem of drunk driving in the NFL. This is my favorite unit! I would love this book!

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  4. So excited to read the new book. Went to a workshop at WRESA and loved all the ideas.
    Writing and Reading are so important! Using a lot of D. Miller’s whisperer ideas, and now need to add the writing component more than I do at present. Excited!!

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  5. Sounds amazing! I have been working with a third grade team of teachers on just this topics…Reading as writers and writing as readers. 🙂 This would be an amazing resource for us.

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  6. Looks great! Wondering if this might work will for the same PD group of 2nd grader teachers who are discussion how to do this. We were just discussing this today after a mini lesson on character traits in the story and how well this would work to just right into a writing lesson.

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  7. I have been reading The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook last night and in thinking about setting goals, new teachers aren’t always sure what a reasonable goal might be. It sounds like Writers ARE Readers will help bring concept closer and more explicitly with the three main sections.

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  8. This book sounds like it would have great ideas to get kids to think about author’s craft and how, when we read like writers, we get to notice such things. We have been working on using our Writer’s Notebooks to notice and note bits of author’s craft while we are reading, and then using this repository as we work through the process of our writing. The organization described in this book would add great ideas to our work.

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  9. I am fortunate to work in a district that brought several Lester workshop opportunities in the last several years. I was so excited to hear about this book a year ago on a rainy Saturday morning. I was elated to have Lesterland be our opening lead meeting this school year!

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  10. I’m joining the chorus of others who think this books sounds like a great read. I love the idea of systematically linking reading and writing.

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  11. As a 30 year veteran of teaching younger grades I think this is where we have gone awry!! We need to connect writing with reading in our very beginning grades.

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  12. As a retired teacher who is tutoring children in reading and writing, I am ravenous to stay in the loop. I know that being on the pulse of Lester Laminack is to be on the pulse of best practice in teaching reading and writing. This book is the next must.

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  13. As an educator who supports teachers in the implementation of Reading Workshop, this book sounds like the perfect tool for me to use a guide for my instruction.

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  14. I am new to TWO WRITERS and can’t seem to get enough. I’m about to begin an Informational Writing Unit and have so enjoyed the information I’ve gleaned from your blogs!

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  15. Such an important mindset for first graders who often come to us believing reading and writing are separate skills. Sounds like they hit the nail on the head!

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  16. The book sounds great, and if it’s by Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth, I’m sure it is. I’ve been eyeing it for a while now. I love the idea of linking what we read with what we write. Sometimes my students see that connection, but most don’t unless I help them to. Sounds like the book would be a great help.

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  17. Wow!!! Another fabulous resource!!!! I cannot wAit to read . As an instructional coach I am alwYs looking for ways for our teachers to intertwine reading strategies for readers and writers workshop.

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  18. I have been thinking more and more that we need a resource that connects it all for teachers. This definitely looks like what we need!!! Thanks for the opportunity to win this book:)

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  19. Thanks for sharing! I have always believed that reading and writing are equally important and we need to get students to read books not just as readers but as writer’s to truly get them to go go beyond the text. Can’t wait to get my hands on the book to further refine my understanding and in the process me and my students’ learning

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  20. I am a special education teacher and have found great success in using mentor texts with my students to promote writing, as well as the reading/writing connection. Mentor texts can be a powerful tool for all students!

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  21. This books sounds great! I work in a middle school and could see some of the lesson applying to this and also many ideas being used in our pull-out literacy classes. Thanks!

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  22. You totally NAILED this review! I want to order one right now but I am hoping I will WIN my copy instead- I spend a chunk of my salary on classroom books and materials– like so many of us! Thanks for the detailed review. I completely TRUST and respect your opinions.

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  23. Building on the connection between reading and writing is a great opportunity to delve further into my student’s literacy development. Would appreciate having this book to add to my professional lending library.

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  24. Sounds like a fabulous book. With this type of integration being the basis of all language arts instruction I am looking forward to see their ideas.

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  25. Thanks so much for once again sharing not only a great resource, but also how it’s working in your classroom! I look forward to hearing the results!

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  26. Would love to read further on how to get my students to be better writers. The third grade example is great– wish I could get some of my 5th graders to write even close to that.

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  27. I am part of the National Writing Project this year, and I think this book would be an awesome addition to our list! I know that good writers are good readers and that the two go hand-in-hand.

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  28. We are implementing Units of Study for writing K-5 in our school this year so I enjoy reading/learning from your posts on this blog to help support our teachers/students in our new journey. Thank you for sharing!

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  29. Thanks for the review Betsy and adding another book to my TBR pile. I have found over the years, Lester never leads me a stray and helps ground my thinking.

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  30. Thank you for the helpful review and particularly the example of how you used it, and your own student’s work! This book is on my wish list, but I didn’t felt like I had been overspending on professional books lately. I’m thrilled to have just a chance to win a copy. Thank you!

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  31. LOVE the connections between reading and writing! What better way to cement our students’ learning. Thank you for sharing this great professional resource.

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  32. I love the fact these two authors further demonstrate the connection between reading and writing. This book appears to have practical applications and examples for teachers to use with their students in the classroom. Thank you for sharing this book with us.

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  33. I haven’t seen this book yet, but I totally get the concept. Reading and writing do and should go hand in hand. I believe the more we show kids how to integrate both, the better readers and writers they become.

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  34. Our school;s focus for the coming year is linking reading and writing to improve our student’s writing performance. I can’t wait to read this book and see how the ideas can be incorporated into our wholeschool plans and implemented in the classroom throughout the year!

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  35. This is the first resource that I have seen, in 22 years teaching 6th grade, that provides a true structured connection between reading and writing. It has always been a struggle to provide the students with an authentic writing connection to what they are reading in class and/or independently. I immediately thought of my student who love to read Mike Lupica. Can’t wait to read more of this book! Win or not, it will become part of my library.

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  36. I love the idea of using reading to get at the writing strategies- that is how we get great mentor texts to look at. Sounds like a great add to my professional library! Was it only focusing on nonfiction?

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  37. Thank you for your blogs. As a 6th grade teacher who transitioned from 2nd grade it’s so useful to see how I can use and be reminded of what worked with younger writers.

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  38. I love this idea! So many times teachers say to me… I feel good about teaching reading, but I need help teaching writing. This sounds like this is the book to help make that connection!!

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