Hi everyone,

I hope to complete a 1,000-word essay today about poetry that will appear in Laura and Evan Robb’s blog — The Robb Review — later this month. Coincidentally, yesterday while I was working on it, Laura received an advance copy of a new review of our book, GUIDED PRACTICE FOR READING GROWTH, that will come out shortly in MiddleWeb. It was a pleasure to work with Laura on this book that is even more timely now as so many struggling readers worldwide work to regain skills lost by the effects of the pandemic. I’m happy to post a bit of the review here today.

Title: Guided Practice for Reading Growth Texts and Lessons to Improve Fluency, Comprehension, and Vocabulary
Authors: Laura Robb and David L. Harrison
Publisher: Corwin Literacy (CL), 2021

Review by Jennifer Wirtz

In GUIDED PRACTICE FOR READING GROWTH, the authors Laura Robb and David L. Harrison bring guided practice to life with lessons and examples that can be used by educators in the real-world classroom.

At the heart of this text and its lessons, is the fact that after years of not reading proficiently, students can take on characteristics that actually prevent growth. Things like: lacking self-confidence, feeling embarrassed, having difficulty decoding, and having learned the art of fake reading (so others think they can read).

The Appendix proves to be a great resource as well, including suggested ELA schedules, self-evaluation questions/prompts, lists of books for read-alouds, and guidelines for preplanning/planning discussion lessons.

Overall, GUIDED PRACTICE FOR READING GROWTH looks like it will be a great resource for years to come.

At least I know what I’ll be doing

Hi everyone,

Although my book with Mary Jo Fresch for NCTE (Empowering Students’ Knowledge of Vocabulary) started a year before the one with Laura Robb for Corwin (Guided Practice for Reading Growth, Grades 4–8), both are now coming down to the wire side by side. Last minute requests for changes can be tricky because we wrote the manuscripts so long ago it takes time to get back into the groove, remember exactly why we put the books together the way we did, and then settle in to decide whether or not we agree with suggested revisions and tweaks.

The Robb deadline is this week, July 25, and the Fresch is due August 3. As so often happens, whatever I thought I was going to be doing goes to the back burner until these two priorities are out of the way. But at least I know now what I’m going to be working on for the next several days.

Updates on two books

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I finished reviewing and making final tweaks to a new collection of poems with Holiday House wonderfully illustrated by Kate Cosgrove and headed for a 2021 publication. I’m not at liberty to show pictures, provide samples of the poems, or provide the title of the book, but I’ll follow up with more information one of these days when I can. Kate illustrated AND THE BULLFROGS SING so you may remember her beautiful work on that one.

I also received promotional material for GUIDED PRACTICE FOR READING GROWTH, co-authored with Laura Robb and due out with Corwin September 8, 2020. Once I figure out how to post a pdf to my blog, I’ll share some of that material. You’ve already seen the cover but here it is again.