This week Lucy wrote the final word on the final book in the new series, Units of Study in Teaching Reading. The last few books are now, in publishing language, “off the loom.” The only thing that remains to be done is that page proofs are still arriving by day. We have a few days to reread each book, adding student work and making any final improvements that will make it perfect. When the last book was sent off, the Project family and Lucy especially, sent up their own imaginary fireworks.
Lucy sums up the series this way: “It is, simply put, our best work ever.”
There are four full Units of Study per grade, usually two fiction and two nonfiction, a Guide to the Reading Workshop for K-2 and for 3-5, a book of If/Then Curriculum for K-2 and for 3-5 and Reading Pathways, a book that accompanies the learning progressions and unit-by-unit pre and post performance assessments for 3-5.
Calkins notes, “The great challenge has been to write these units so they bring kids to the challenging new goals of today—goals that become more clear all the time—while holding tight to a deep understanding of reading development and to a commitment to authentic literacy, to helping kids author lives of meaning, and to supporting schools as they become communities of practice. We’re proud of this series and the extent to which we pull off those goals. We are also greatly indebted to the schools who have worked alongside us as we’ve piloted each unit.”
The books go to press May 15th and will be out towards the end of June—in time for institutes and summer planning. They are pre-selling now at Heinemann at http://www.heinemann.com/products/E07729.aspx.