Support Foundational Reading Skills with Upper Grade Nonfiction Units of Study Grades 3-5

Sunday, October 14 - Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Grade: 3-5
Featuring: Jennifer DeSutter, Alissa Reicherter, Janet Steinberg, Marie Mounteer, Natalie Louis, and Katie Clements, with Kelly Boland Hohne

We’re aware that the upper grade nonfiction reading units can seem ambitious to you and your students, especially if you have a classroom full of students who are reading at below benchmark levels. Perhaps you’ve marveled at the tremendous progress your students made while working with the Up the Ladder: Accessing Grades 3-6 Writing Units of Study series, and have hoped for similar support in reading. Well, you’re in luck! This institute will give you a crash course in the foundational reading skills and methods your students need to progress toward grade-level proficiency with nonfiction reading.

All of this work relies on a deep knowledge of your readers, so you’ll learn how to study readers and reading data in order to better understand their reading progress and how to plan targeted instruction that moves readers forward. You’ll learn about the behaviors, skills, and strategies your readers need in order to climb the ladder of text complexity .

You’ll get introduced to the not-yet-published “Up the Ladder in Nonfiction Reading” units, which are designed to meet students where they are and then dramatically accelerate their progress as nonfiction readers. Expect to hear how you can help kids reimagine and strengthen their nonfiction reading lives, so they choose books they can and want to read and read those books choosing to be fascinated. You’ll learn about the essential orienting and monitoring work that helps students stay engaged as they read, and you’ll hear how to move students from getting drawn in by every cool detail towards determining multiple main ideas. Work with narrative nonfiction is especially challenging—and engaging—so you’ll hear our latest thinking about how to support this work. And you’ll get tips for how to support kids with the beginning stages of their own research—when they are reading across texts to understand a topic. You’ll also learn about the role of partner talk as it relates to deepening students’ level of comprehension, so it sets the stage for cross-text synthesis work and increases students’ domain-specific vocabulary.

You’ll get tips for choosing texts—and planning read alouds—that break down students’ resistance to reading and engage even the most reluctant readers in complex w ork. Y ou’ ll hear ho w shared reading can become a po w erful tool in your upper grade classroom, and you’ll design shared reading plans that account for the specific needs of your kids. As a special treat, you’ll get to see these techniques in action in TCR WP classrooms around the city, and you’ll get a chance to plan and teach lessons that shore up students’ foundational skills and help them fall in love with reading.

We are thrilled to share our newest thinking about supporting nonfiction reading with you!


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will take place at the Teachers College campus.
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th Street
New York, NY