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Teaching For Deep Comprehension: A Reading Workshop Approach

Authors and Bios

Linda Dorn is a professor of reading education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she is the director of the UALR Center for Literacy. She teaches graduate classes in literacy theory, research, classroom practice, and literacy leadership. When writing a book, Linda's goal is to mesh theory and practice into a readable text. "I enjoy writing with my coauthor, Carla Soffos, who is also my friend and teaching colleague. We have developed a great working relationship."

Carla Soffos is a literacy specialist with the Arkansas Department of Education. She has twenty-one years of experience in education, including teaching in the primary grades and Literacy Coaching. Carla is completing degree requirements for an Educational Specialist in Reading, with a research focus on intervention programs in comprehensive literacy schools.

Carla and Linda Dorn have collaborated on several Stenhouse publications, including the books Shaping Literate Minds and Scaffolding Young Writers and three video series: Results That Last, Developing Independent Learners, and Organizing for Literacy.

Summary of Book

Linda Dorn and Carla Soffos describe the process of comprehension as a reflection of the mind—a window into the reader's thoughts. In Teaching for Deep Comprehension, they discuss comprehension from a socio-cognitive perspective—specifically, how teachers can use the social context of reading workshop to promote deep comprehension. The book is framed around three guiding questions:

  • Can comprehension be taught?
  • How does a model become a barrier to comprehension?
  • When does a tool become the reason for reading?

Linda and Carla mesh complex theories of comprehension with everyday practical examples in such a way as to help teachers develop a better understanding of what it means to comprehend while reading. The book's Appendix contains a wealth of reproducible materials, including text maps, graphic organizers, book lists, and resource charts. Supporting the text is a DVD containing eighty-five minutes of video from a first-grade reading workshop, an adult book discussion, a fourth-grade reading workshop, and other settings.

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