Shifting the Balance: 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Upper Elementary Classroom

By Katie Egan Cunningham, Jan Burkins & Kari Yates Last updated 2024/05/27


In this well-organized book, the authors walk readers through six shifts that teachers of Grades 3-5 should consider when bringing reading science into the classroom: Reconsidering How Knowledge Impacts Comprehension, Rethinking the Role of Strategy Instruction in Learning to Comprehend, Recommitting to Vocabulary Instruction, Reclaiming Word-Reading Instruction in the Intermediate Grades (by which they mean 3-5), Revisiting Fluency Instruction, and Reimagining Independent Practice in the Literacy Classroom. All six shifts align well with the expectations of the 2023 Ontario Language Curriculum.

Every chapter, written in reader-friendly language while citing the research, includes the clearing up of misconceptions, summaries of the science and recommendations for the classroom. This book would be ideal for a Grade 3 + Junior divisional book study.

Curriculum Connection

B2. Language Foundations for Reading and Writing C1. Knowledge about Texts C2. Comprehension Strategies
This book supports expectations under strands B and C of the Ontario Language Curriculum, particularly the expectations related to vocabulary, knowledge-building, reading strategy instruction, word-reading, fluency and independent practice.
Grade(s): 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Topic(s): Applying MorphologyComprehensionFluencyOral LanguageVocabulary

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