Comprehension from the Ground Up by Sharon Taberski. Simplified, Sensible Instruction for the K-3 Reading Workshop - Heinemann Publishing
Comprehension from the Ground Up
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Comprehension from the Ground Up

Simplified, Sensible Instruction for the K-3 Reading Workshop

Sharon cuts through the pressurized, strategy-overloaded, fluency-crazed atmosphere surrounding reading instruction to lay out the reading and writing workshop practices that are most effective in developing readers.

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Full Description

Why has comprehension instruction become so complex?

Sharon Taberski cuts through the pressurized, strategy-overloaded, fluency-crazed atmosphere surrounding reading instruction to lay out the reading and writing workshop practices that are most effective in developing readers in the primary grades. She shares the daily how-tos needed to sustain a literacy block that engages children in authentic reading and writing practices including dozens of effective practices that illustrate amazing ways to organize instructional and independent reading for kids including:

  • letter and sound searches that improve students’ word accuracy and fluency
  • companion books bags that develop their confidence and comprehension
  • strategy sheets that make children’s thinking about text concrete
  • Putting Our Strategies to Work Board that enables students to reflect on and discuss the meta-cognitive strategies they’re using
  • Idea Books and Ta-da Publishing Books that help children get inside the reading and writing process and see how each feeds the other.

Two Options for dynamic DVD-based staff development:

  • for your workshop or PLC, the Lessons from the Ground Up DVD features 105-minutes of video clips of Sharon in the classroom, modeling effective ways to develop comprehension plus a 64-page facilitator’s guide supports the DVD, lesson by lesson. 
  • It’s All About Comprehension is a long-term staff development initiative with 3 DVDs (7 hours) of whole-class, small-group, and one-on-one instruction from Sharon.


Part One: Defining Our Teaching

  • Chapter 1 What Really Lies at the Heart of Comprehension?
  • Chapter 2 The Text, Our Teaching—They’ve Got to Make Sense
  • Chapter 3 Time to Read
  • Chapter 4 Time to Write
  • Chapter 5 Time to Talk

Part Two: Refining Our Teaching

  • Chapter 6 Accurate Fluent Reading
  • Chapter 7 Background Knowledge
  • Chapter 8 Oral Language and Vocabulary
  • Chapter 9 Reading-Writing Connection
  • Chapter 10 Repertoire of Strategies

Appendices: 32 reproducible forms available as online resources
Study Guide available as an online resource


Companion Resources

Study Guide


Sharon Taberski has once again shown us how to promote comprehension, authenticity, and engagement in the face of great accountability pressures to ensure excellence in the enabling skills of decoding, word recognition, and fluency.
P. David Pearson, coauthor of What Every Teacher Should Know About Reading Comprehension Instruction (DVD)

If you teach elementary-age children, you owe it to yourself to read this book. If you think you don’t have time that proves you need to read this book. Sharon Taberski shows us how to slow down and do what is developmentally right for the children we teach. She provides classroom routines that help us find our way back from overly complex, hyper-paced approaches to teaching comprehension, reminding us we can meet our literacy goals without stressing out our kids or ourselves.
Patricia Cunningham, coauthor of Classrooms That Work

Sharon Taberski has done it again! Reading her book is like going into the backyard and discovering you own a diamond mine. This book is filled with multifaceted treasures—sound advice and reasonable, teacher-friendly practices that offer lasting benefits to primary children. This lively and practical resource is sure to become one of my favorites. Teachers everywhere will find that this isn’t a book for the shelf. It is one to keep close at hand.
Linda Hoyt, author of Revisit, Reflect, Retell

This is a book I have been waiting for since Sharon's first publication On Solid Ground. Again Sharon does not disappoint. It is filled with sensible, practical, and innovative ways to help students gain real meaning from what they read. Sharon is a master at understanding how children best learn the essentials of reading comprehension. This is a book that every K–3 teacher needs to read.
Tony Stead, coauthor of Explorations in Nonfiction Writing

In many classrooms today instruction feels frenzied, superficial, and choppy. Sharon describes teaching that is focused, meaningful, and cohesive and reminds us that teaching is not about “covering” material, it’s about learning the material. I wish every child could have Sharon Taberski for their teacher.
Nell K. Duke, Michigan State University Literacy Achievement Research Center

This remarkable book shows teachers how to be knowledgeable and reflective. It brims with high quality literacy practices that allow teachers to meet the goals of RTI or new standards on their own terms and in child-centered ways. Sharon provides the engaging, meaningful activities teachers need to differentiate their reading instruction throughout the day. Comprehension from the Ground Up will virtually change the face of comprehension and how it is addressed in schools—and teachers and children everywhere will reap the benefits.
Mary Howard, author of Moving Forward with RTI and RTI From All Sides

Sharon Taberski provides K–3 teachers everything they need to know to simplify comprehension instruction while keeping it appropriate, rigorous, enjoyable, and always focused on the children. In Comprehension from the Ground Up, Taberski applies research and extensive teaching experience to re-envision, refine, and slow down the teaching of comprehension. She provides instructional specifics on skills and strategies, fluency, vocabulary development, independent reading, minilessons, conferences, guided reading groups, and much more. This “must-have-it” book for primary teachers provides a wealth of substantive ideas, explicit teaching strategies, and valuable text resources to support and inspire reading and writing across genres.
Regie Routman, author of Regie Routman in Residence: Transforming Our Teaching, DVD-based, series

With this book, we can put aside programs and curricula that place undue pressure on our K–3 students and take them away from meaningful literacy. Taberski offers a remarkably wise set of practices and activities that facilitate children’s development as engaged readers. She is a gentle mentor for other teachers, helping them teach with rigor and smartness while savoring the “now” of children’s lives. What I really love about Sharon’s work is that she is like a feisty big sister, readily calling to question practices that don’t make sense, and replacing them with practices that do, all because she cares so deeply about children and teachers. This will be a treasured, foundational resource for years to come.
Gretchen Owocki, author of The RTI Daily Planning Book, K–6

Sharon Taberski does it again, bringing simplicity, sanity, and sensitivity to the teaching of literacy in the early grades. In Comprehension from the Ground Up, Sharon helps teachers sift through the endless bombardment of instructional suggestions and mandates that come across their desks, demonstrating the importance of having a set of crystal-clear priorities. Along the way, Sharon surprises her readers with such inviting new practices as content-area literacy centers, synopsis texts, companion sets, teacher-tailored collections, and Ta-Da publications. An incredible work of scholarship and innovation.
Shelley Harwayne, author of Novel Perspectives

Throughout the book, Sharon Taberski addresses teachers with respect and warmth as she shares sensible student-centered teaching ideas. She also urges us to not simply accept and apply them, but to deliberately step back and think about our current practices.
Pat Gallant, Michigan Reading Journal

I’ve just started reading a book that seems to be perfect for EVERYONE who uses readers’ workshop and teaches comprehension in primary grades. The book is Sharon Taberski’s Comprehension from the Ground Up. Wow! I’m usually uncomfortable with the overuse of the word awesome—but this book is awesome!
Beverley Paul, Nebraska