The Missouri Reader Vol. 42, Issue 1 - Page 34



Tell us about your new book, Understanding Texts and Readers: Responsive Comprehension Instruction with Leveled Texts.

I really am exploring comprehension. Different threads go throughout the book, but my goal is to explain and help teachers make sense out of comprehension. I also try to help teachers understand how to determine on what skill to focus instruction their instruction.

As part of her response to this question, Jennifer made several points about where she got the ideas for this book:

• Independent Reading Assessments help teachers understand children's comprehension. Some ideas explored in the book came from those assessments.

My Reading Strategies book was the source for ideas of different categories for comprehension strategies: non-fiction, main idea, key details, vocabulary and the 7 comprehension strategies.

• My thinking around comprehension is rooted in Rosenblatt’s work.

Tell us about the different parts of the book.

Part 1 talks about comprehension and is designed to help teachers wrap their minds around the whole concept of comprehension.

Parts 2-3 take a practical look at how texts get more complex. These parts are is meant to be resources to return to again and again.

The ending part of the book discusses different ways to focus comprehension. It includes assessments. These assessments are meant for chapter books.


As you stated in your recent FB webinar, levels are being used and misused. What is your advice for using levels appropriately and avoiding the misuse of them?

Use of levels as reading identity is not a good idea.

The 2-page spread on pages 22 to 23 shows a timeline from 40's through today to show how levels have been used. Teachers are asked to report benchmark levels throughout the year. Remember, kids don’t have one level! The book


Author Interviews