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This book is a must read for anyone teaching reading. It draws on previous knowledge to provide some simple shifts to respond to the ever growing understanding of how the brain learns to read. Loved it.
I ordered this book after reading Know Better, Do Better. Being a whole language trained teacher, the shift that was presented in that book was mind blowing and discouraging. I went looking for a book that could make sense of science-based in my balanced literacy world. I found it in this book, Shifting the Balance. This book is a very easy read! The many misunderstandings of reading are presented and then are carefully explained. This book is written so that is makes sense to teachers without a lot of scientific jargon. If your district is making the shift away from leveled readers and focusing more on the science like mine is, this book is what you need!
This is such a clear, kind, thoughtful book. It gives me hope and helps me, a teacher, make sense of all the information available about reading instruction for young kids. It also is helping me figure out what my next steps can be as I work to be a better teacher.
I’ve had this book on my list since it came out and had waited to read reviews before purchasing. I didn’t want to buy yet another book that left me feeling meh. I listened to Jan and Kari on a few podcasts and took the plunge. I received it yesterday afternoon and I can’t put it down! I’m already on Shift 4 and the book is totally marked up and flagged for future reference. Thankfully, I’m on February break and I’m back at it today. Let me tell you what’s so great about this robust resource. The authors have written this book to be of service to teachers in order to support early learners and therefore, is reader friendly. They identify potential obstacles and get to the meat of what, why and how. I greatly appreciate the resources within each chapter that help teachers through each Shift as well as offer a wealth of additional free resources online. I’ve been a classroom teacher, special education teacher and now Title 1. The authors confirmed much for me and expanded upon what I knew (and on what I thought I knew.) I am just so excited about bringing this valuable information to school on Monday and digging in with my team. There’s nothing to buy and the suggestions on how to bring the science of reading into practice does not require that you buy materials or find additional instruction time. However, these nuggets will certainly allow teachers to instruct more efficiently and increase student proficiency. I’ve been disheartened by the number of students who continue to struggle to learn to read and am cognizant of the dire predictions for students who leave grade three without the skills they need. Thank you Jan and Kari for effectively weaving the science of reading research into practical applications which can be painlessly implemented into our instruction!
A big thank you to Burkins and Yates for delving into this hot topic and pulling out the important ways that the science of reading and balanced literacy ideas overlap and build on each other. I will be using this book as a required text in the classes I teach. Thank you!