Structured Literacy Interventions: Teaching Students with Reading Difficulties, Grades K-6

Structured Literacy Interventions is an anthology of chapters written by many well-known names in reading science, including Louise Moats, Devin Kearns and Louise Spear-Swerling who also edited the book. Chapters cover a wide range of possible areas of reading difficulty, including phonemic awareness & word recognition, spelling, fluency, vocabulary, oral language comprehension, reading comprehension and written expression. The title supports Strands B (Foundations of Language), C (Comprehension) and D (Composition) of the Language curriculum. Each chapter offers research-based background and practical applications for educators working with struggling students. The book includes lesson plans and application activities, and is perfect for special education and intervention teachers, but also helpful for classroom educators looking to intensify instruction for struggling students.

Student-Focused Coaching: The Instructional Coach’s Guide to Supporting Student Success Through Teacher Collaboration

Research shows that professional learning combined with extended peer coaching is an extremely effective method of ensuring new practices are applied in classrooms. This book presents the Student-Focused Coaching model, supporting teacher collaboration with the goal of increasing student success. Unlike many common coaching models (which may feel more evaluative and have formal observation and feedback components) SFC allows a classroom teacher to identify their goals, which they work towards with the support of their coach, also aligning well with the outcomes-driven MTSS model. An excellent resource for those working as instructional coaches, the book is also helpful for those in less formal coaching/support roles, administrators, and those working at the board level making decisions about professional development and coaching models. While SFC can be used within a wide range of curricular areas in all grades, it is perfectly suited to support teacher implementation of the new Language curriculum. 

Effective Universal Instruction: An Action-Oriented Approach to Improving Tier 1

Within a multi-tiered system of supports, instruction begins at the Tier 1 whole group level, and this book is a guide to making that Tier as effective as possible. MTSS can be applied to social-emotional and academic areas, including literacy, making this title an excellent support to the new Language curriculum. The book guides educators and leaders through a team-based and cyclical action plan based on questions around determining the effectiveness of current universal instruction with various assessments, what needs must be addressed, how they will be addressed, identifying barriers to effective Tier 1 implementation, how effectiveness of improvements to instruction can be monitored/measured, and whether improvements have ultimately been effective. Many reproducibles are included, such as meeting agendas and problem-solving checklists. Administrators will find great value in this book to aid their role as instructional leaders, as will consultants and coaches who support schools.

The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System – And How To Fix It

The Knowledge Gap is not a teacher resource book but instead a report from journalist Natalie Wexler which delves into concerns around decontextualized instruction in reading comprehension “skills”, and the need to ensure content knowledge is taught, as well as how comprehension skills and strategies can be successfully embedded within it. While Wexler’s observations and commentary are based on the US, many parallels can be drawn to the history of reading comprehension instruction here in Ontario. This book offers a perspective to consider when implementing Strand C of the curriculum (Comprehension – Understanding and Responding to Texts), of interest to classroom educators as well as coaches, consultants and instructional leaders.

Beneath the Surface of Words: What English Spelling Reveals and Why It Matters

In Beneath the Surface of Words, author Sue Scibetta Hegland aims to convince readers that English spelling isn’t as unreliable or quirky as they may have believed…and argues an excellent case. For example:there’s actually a reason for the L in talk! Written in an engaging voice, this is an excellent title for building educator knowledge to support instruction in spelling, particularly related to morphology and etymology, with connections to vocabulary as well. Helpful appendices, for example “Applying Suffixing Conventions” and “Working With Word Sums and Evidence Banks” are also included. Reading Beneath the Surface of Words is like taking a crash course in the complexities and rationale of the English writing system and is recommended for all literacy educators.

The Writing Rope: A Framework for Explicit Writing Instruction in All Subjects

Along with research on effective writing instruction, author Joan Sedita shares her Writing Rope model identifying five components of a comprehensive writing curriculum: critical thinking, syntax, text structure, writing craft and transcription. There are chapters exploring each in detail, with an abundance of ideas for classroom application. The Writing Rope is geared towards Grade 4-8 teachers and provides excellent support for expectations under B2 and B3 as well as Strand D of the Ontario Language curriculum. The framework can – and should – be used for writing in various content areas as well, making it ideal for all Grade 4-8 teachers, not just those who teach Language. The book comes with a code for purchasers to download dozens of supporting teacher and student resources.

Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching

A key component of the 2023 Language curriculum is explicit, systematic instruction. In this book, experts Anita Archer and Charles Hughes share the foundations of explicit instruction, how to design lessons based on subject skills/strategies as well as vocabulary/concepts, organizing for and delivering instruction, and providing appropriate independent practice – going from I do, to we do, to you do. This book is incredible learning for classroom educators as well as special education teachers/interventionists, and can be applied to any subject or grade level. Helpful lesson templates/checklists can be downloaded and reproduced.