Understanding Texts & Readers by Jennifer Serravallo. Responsive Comprehension
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Understanding Texts & Readers
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Understanding Texts & Readers

Responsive Comprehension Instruction with Leveled Texts

In Understanding Texts & Readers, Jennifer Serravallo helps you take the next step from her Reading Strategies Book. She connects her comprehension goals to text levels and readers' responses. As you deepen your understanding of how comprehension works across a range of texts, you'll find text complexity simpler, comprehension less fuzzy, and great book matches easier to make, as you increase your precision at choosing the strategies you share.

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Not yet published (Estimated publication date, 9/13/2018). Price and availability subject to change without notice.

List Price: $36.88

Web/School Price: $29.50


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Full Description

“Goals help guide my thinking about reader’s skills within each level of text complexity, and a leveling system helps my understanding of readers’ development from level to level.”

—Jennifer Serravallo

 Understanding Texts & Readers makes comprehension make sense. In it, Jennifer Serravallo narrows the distance between assessment and instruction. She maps the four fiction and four nonfiction comprehension goals she presented in The Reading Strategies Book to fourteen text levels and shares sample responses that show what to expect from readers at each.

Jen simplifies text complexity and clarifies comprehension instruction. She begins by untangling the many threads of comprehension: Levels, engagement, stamina, the relevance of texts, and much more. Then level by level she:

  • calls out with precision how plot and setting, character, vocabulary and figurative language, and themes and ideas change as fiction across levels
  • specifies how the complexity of main idea, key details, vocabulary, and text features increases in nonfiction texts
  • points out what to expect from a reader as text characteristics change
  • provides samples of student responses to texts at each level
  • shares progressions across levels to support instructional planning.

Even if you haven’t read the book your reader is responding to, you’ll have the background necessary to make great teaching decisions for all your readers. “Understanding subtle shifts and increases in demands from level to level,” writes Jennifer Serravallo, “can guide what a teacher asks a student, what the teacher expects of the student, and what the teacher, therefore, teaches the student.”

Want to become a master of matching kids to books? Looking to take the difficult out of differentiation? Or do you want to dramatically increase the power and responsiveness of Jen’s Reading Strategies Book? Understanding Texts & Readers shows you how to move forward when students need to make progress.


Part I: Readers, Texts and Levels—and What It Means for Comprehension
Comprehension Goals and Considerations
Reader and Text Variables that Impact Comprehension
Merging Levels and Comprehension: What to Expect in the Parts Ahead

Part II: Fiction: Texts, Readers, and Comprehension
Studying Fiction and Supporting Readers: A Framework for Comprehension
Understanding Fiction Texts: A Level-by-Level Guide to Characteristics
Understanding Fiction Readers: A Goal-by-Goal Guide to Readers’ Comprehension of Increasingly Complex Texts
    Plot and Setting
    Vocabulary and Figurative Language
    Themes and Ideas

Part III: Nonfiction: Texts, Readers, and Comprehension
Studying Nonfiction and Supporting Readers: A Framework for Comprehension
Understanding Nonfiction Texts: A Level-by-Level Guide to Characteristics
Understanding Nonfiction Readers: A Goal-by-Goal Guide to Readers’ Comprehension of Increasingly Complex Texts
    Main Idea
    Key Details
    Text Features

Part IV: Assessment and Instruction: Bringing Your Understanding of Texts and Readers to the Classroom
Knowing Students: Interests, Language, Culture, Background Knowledge, and More
Assessing and Evaluating Comprehension
Matching Readers With “Just Right” Books
Conducting Goal-Setting Conferences
Using a Variety of Reading Strategies for Teaching Comprehension
Using a Variety Structures: Methods for Teaching Comprehension

Conclusion: The Alchemy of Reading


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