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On Solid Ground

On Solid Ground

Strategies for Teaching Reading K-3

By Sharon Taberski
Foreword by Shelley Harwayne

Loaded with advice, booklists, reproducibles, and—of course—the words of real children, Sharon’s approach is sensible and timeless. Enter Sharon’s classroom and enter a world where children take pride, take risks, and most of all, take reading seriously.

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Full Description

    Sharon is the consummate teacher across the hall, willing to share her best practice, her materials, her management, and most of all, the wisdom she has acquired from years of devotion and study.
    —Shelley Harwayne
Enter Sharon Taberski’s classroom and enter a world where children take pride, take risks, and most of all, take reading seriously. It’s not utopia by any means; Sharon deals with the same issues other teachers face: limited resources, tremendous diversity, and the constant threat of overcrowding. What makes her exceptional is her clear vision. She is systematic in her thinking, wise in her decision making. Most of all, she understands her role as a teacher and goals for each student. This is why Sharon is on solid ground.

In her book, Sharon shares what she’s gained in her twenty years of working with children and teachers. It’s organized not around a set of prescribed skills, but around a series of interconnected interactions with the learner:

  • Assessment: Sharon begins by describing her procedures for assessing children’s reading and then using what she finds to inform her work. She covers scheduling and managing reading conferences, taking oral-reading records, and using retellings and discussions as tools.
  • Demonstration: Once she has identified strengths and needs, Sharon demonstrates strategies to help her students become better readers. In this section, she explains how she uses shared reading and read aloud as platforms for figuring out words and comprehending texts, and explores small-group work—guided reading and word-study groups—and teaching children one on one.
  • Practice: Here, Sharon describes how she uses independent reading as a time for practice, spelling out the very active roles she and her students play. She also devotes a complete chapter to matching children with books for independent reading.
  • Response: It’s important for students to know they’re doing well and where they must concentrate their efforts. Sharon explains how her students use writing and dialogue as tools to better understanding themselves as readers.
On Solid Ground is informed by current thinking, yet loaded with advice, booklists, ready-to-use reproducibles, and—of course—the words and work of real children. Sharon’s approach is clear, sensible, timeless. You’ll turn to her book throughout your career.

(click any section below to continue reading)


I. Understanding Our Role and Goals
1. From Where Are You Thinking?
2. Defining Your Goals
3. Creating a Purposeful Environment and Daily Schedule

II. Assessing Children to Determine Their Strengths and Needs
4. Reading Conferences: Creating a Context for Assessment
5. Taking Records of Children's Oral Reading
6. Retellings and Reading Discussions

III. Demonstrating Strategies: Whole Class, Small Group, One-on-One
7. Read Aloud and Shared Reading: Demonstrating Strategies in Whole-Class Settings
8. Guided Reading: Demonstrating Strategies in Small-Group Settings
9. Word Study Groups: Analyzing Words for Their Phonetic, Structural, and Morphemic Features
10. Teaching Reading Strategies One-on-One

IV. Offering Children Opportunities for Practice and Response
11. Matching Children with Books for Independent Reading
12. Independent Reading: A Time for Practice
13. A Time for Response