Robust Comprehension Instruction with Questioning the Author
15 Years Smarter
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This practical K-12 teacher resource explains the "whats," "whys," and "how-tos" of using Questioning the Author (QtA), a powerful approach for enhancing reading comprehension and engagement. Thorough yet concise, the book shows how to plan lessons using both narrative and expository texts, formulate open-ended Queries, and guide class discussions around them. The authors discuss how QtA has evolved over many years of classroom application and include innovative ideas for integrating vocabulary instruction and writing prompts into QtA lessons. Also provided are steps for gradually transitioning from teacher-led instruction to independent reading. The book features extended examples of teachers implementing QtA, as well as four complete texts that can be downloaded and printed for classroom use.
Table of Contents
- Background and Basics
1. The Building Blocks of Questioning the Author
2. The Current Scene in Reading Comprehension
- Questioning the Author Essentials
3. Planning for Questioning the Author Lessons
4. Specific Plans for a Narrative and an Expository Text
5. Digging into Initiating and Follow-Up Queries
6. Specific Plans for a Narrative and an Expository Read-Aloud Text
- Special Topics
7. What Comes after Reading and Interspersed Discussion?
8. Vocabulary in the Context of Comprehension
9. Approaching Writing with a Questioning the Author Perspective
- Inside the Classroom
10. Moves to Keep Discussion Productive
11. One Teacher’s Journey with Questioning the Author
12. Students Take the Wheel
Appendix. Lesson Texts from Chapters 4 and 6
Isabel L. Beck, PhD, is Professor Emerita of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. She has conducted extensive research and published widely on decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension. She is a recipient of the Oscar S. Causey Award from the Literacy Research Association, the William S. Gray Citation of Merit from the International Literacy Association, and the Contributing Researcher Award from the American Federation of Teachers. Dr. Beck was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame and is an elected member of the National Academy of Education. She is coauthor of books including Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition; Creating Robust Vocabulary; Illuminating Comprehension and Close Reading; Making Sense of Phonics, Second Edition; and Robust Comprehension Instruction with Questioning the Author.
Margaret G. McKeown, PhD, is Clinical Professor Emerita of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. Before her retirement, she was also a Senior Scientist at the University's Learning Research and Development Center. Her work addresses practical, current problems that classroom teachers and their students face. She has conducted research in the areas of learning, instruction, and teacher professional development in reading comprehension and vocabulary. Dr. McKeown is a recipient of the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the International Literacy Association, is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, and was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame. She is coauthor of books including Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition; Creating Robust Vocabulary; Robust Comprehension Instruction with Questioning the Author; and Vocabulary Assessment to Support Instruction.
Cheryl A. Sandora, PhD, is an English Language Arts Fellow at the Institute for Learning, an outreach of the University of Pittsburgh, where she designs curricular materials and works with districts throughout the country, facilitating professional development sessions and supporting classroom-based instruction. Dr. Sandora was a research associate at the University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center for over 20 years, working closely with Isabel L. Beck and Margaret G. McKeown to conduct classroom-based research on instructional practices targeting vocabulary and comprehension. She is coauthor of Illuminating Comprehension and Close Reading and Robust Comprehension Instruction with Questioning the Author.
"The pioneering developers of QtA have examined the research, observed classroom discussions, and talked with teachers using QtA to further develop their effective approach. They have expanded QtA to include vocabulary and writing components along with text discussion. In particular, I am impressed with the numerous examples of QtA in action. Bravo!"--Timothy Rasinski, PhD, Professor of Literacy Education, and Rebecca Tolle and Burton W. Gorman Chair in Educational Leadership, Kent State University
“A gem. Beck, McKeown, and Sandora synthesize decades of research and insight to show how teachers can effectively and authentically teach comprehension alongside vocabulary in any genre, subject, or grade level."--Jon Gustafson, MA, sixth-grade teacher, Columbia Heights Public Schools, Minnesota
"Wow! This book will appeal to teachers of all levels and all subjects. It is the kind of treasure you get from the focused attention of inspired researchers who are also great-hearted teachers. This transformative book is a trove of insight and research-backed strategies for improving students' engagement, reading, writing, thinking, and problem solving. I am particularly excited about how QtA focuses on the intelligence behind the text, and how that intelligence structures texts for meaning and effect. This translates nicely to helping readers make meaning, increase their capacity to identify and evaluate 'fake news,' incorporate audience considerations into their own writing, and much else."--Jeffrey Wilhelm, PhD, Distinguished Professor of English Education, Boise State University
"In this timely, highly instructive book, Beck, McKeown, and Sandora remind us that comprehension depends on the reader’s active engagement in making meaning from text, and provide classroom teachers with instructional tools and scaffolded supports. The book is informed by years of impactful research, thousands of classroom QtA lesson observations, and teacher feedback. It digs deep into QtA essentials, such as planning for lessons, formulating initial and follow-up Queries, and teaching vocabulary and writing in the context of QtA. The book provides authentic, relevant moves for productive discussions and showcases a teacher’s journey with using QtA to facilitate student transfer and independence. The teacher-friendly format and relevant classroom examples make this book a valuable professional development resource or text for graduate-level reading/literacy education and English language arts courses."--Vassiliki (Vicky) Zygouris-Coe, PhD, School of Teacher Education, University of Central Florida-