A Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Heinemann

Shades of Meaning

Comprehension and Interpretation in Middle School

Donna Santman, Intermediate School 89, New York City
Foreword by Randy Bomer

ISBN 978-0-325-00664-2 / 0-325-00664-4 / 2005 / 176pp / Paperback
Imprint: Heinemann
Availability: In Stock
Grade Level: 5th - 9th
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    We look in awe at masterpieces by brilliant artists, but it is rare to have the opportunity to gape at the instruction provided by great teachers. Donna Santman has given us the chance to see, to study, yes to gape, at teaching at its best.
    —Lucy Calkins, Author of The Art of Teaching Writing
    Donna has, with Shades of Meaning, given us the gift of a look into her wonderful classroom and her mind as a thoughtful and highly professional teacher.
    —Randy Bomer, Author of Time for Meaning and For a Better World

Interpreting texts can lead readers on journeys that change their lives forever. However, many middle school students—unused to looking between the lines, unused to building or amending their readings of a text—need your guidance as they learn to develop and discuss their own interpretations.

In this smart and lively guide, veteran middle-school teacher Donna Santman shows you how to teach readers the skills and strategies of comprehension and interpretation within the framework of a reading workshop. Shades of Meaning takes you through Santman's own rigorous workshop, describing the teaching that allows students to stretch and empower their imaginations. Santman offers guidance in:
  • creating curriculum and lessons that teach habits of mind that support interpretation, like naming the ideas hiding in texts and thinking about perspectives from which to analyze those ideas
  • using reading workshop structures to teach students to practice articulating their thoughts, exploring others' ideas, and interpreting texts
  • assessing students' interpretive skills and moving them toward deeper and more meaningful interpretations
  • using standards-based rubrics and checklists to communicate expectations and track students' progress.

With Donna Santman's assistance, you can teach readers the interpretive skills they need to help them find a foothold in their ever-changing world; with Shades of Meaning, you can teach readers ways to understand, interpret, and speak back to the texts in their lives.

  • Imagination
  • Reading Workshop: A Place to Cultivate Imagination
  • Real Assessment of Reading: Finding the Direction of My Teaching
  • Making Reading Matter: Strengthening Our Relationships to Books
  • Getting It: Learning to Attend to More of the Text
  • Figuring It Out: Making Inferences
  • Making More of the Text: Creating Interpretations
  • Finding Gray: Developing Justifiable Interpretations
  • Turning Hope into Action

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Email planningservices@heinemann.com if you would like to contact Donna Santman directly about professional development support.

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We look in awe at masterpieces by brilliant artists, but it is rare to have the opportunity to gape at the instruction provided by great teachers. Donna Santman has given us the chance to see, to study, yes to gape, at teaching at its best.