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The Write to Read

The Write to Read
Response Journals That Increase Comprehension

Edited by:

Foreword by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

November 2012 | 200 pages | Corwin
In this practical handbook, Lesley J. Roessing presents a unique step-by-step model of response journaling which demonstrates how teachers can plan and implement response journaling using concepts that can be applied to all content areas.The Write to Read: Reading Journals That Increase Comprehension teaches students in Grades 5û12 how to respond to reading material in a variety of ways, encourages students to read self-selected books, and helps them develop skills for deeper and more meaningful responses. The book contains a combination of theory, practice, practical advice, anecdotes, and teacher models, along with samples of student work. Readers will also find an array of tools for adapting the program to learnersÆ needs and interests and for evaluating student progress.
List of Figures
List of Photographs
About the Author
1. The Three Rs: Rationale for Reader Response
Part I Before-Reading Response
2. The Pre-Reading Response
How to Choose a Book

The Anticipation Response


PART II During-Reading Response
3. Journaling: Setup for Success
Reading Experiences in My Classroom

The Reading Journal

Teaching During-Reading Response

Avoiding Retelling: Response Starters

Independent Reading Response

Abandonment Response


4. Double-Entry Journaling and Sticky Notes
Double-Entry Journaling

Strategy Response

Putting It All Together

Going Deeper: Using Sticky Notes


5. Poetic Response
Found Poetry

Narrative Poetry

Poems in Two Voices

I Am...Poetry

The Advantages of Poetry

6. Interactive Response
Note Passing

Family Letters

Letters to Friends

Co-Reading Letters

Talking About Texts

Collaborative Response

7. Literature Circles and Book Clubs: Discussion Response
Literature Circles as Training

Book Clubs

Book Club Response


8. Individual Reading: Relinquishing Control and Giving Choice
Reading Like a Writer: Writer's Craft Responses

Choice Reading - Choice Response

Multigenre Response

Drawing as Response

Reaching the Goal: Unique, Varied, Personal, Individual Response

A Sample Journal for One Novel


The Case of Julio, ELL Student

Part III After-Reading Response
9. Post-Reading Response
Text Reformulations

The Post-Reading Evaluative Responses

Book Reviews and Book Talks

Book Reviews

Book Talks

Literary Critiques


Part IV Content Area Response Adaptations
10. Responding Across the Curriculum
Nonfiction Texts

Text Features

Marginal Notes

Electronic Media - Web Site Response

Content Area Reading

Pre-Reading Response

During-Reading Response


Double-Entry Journals

Poetic Response

Note Passing

After-Reading Response

The Rationale

Part V Response Evaluation
11. Teacher and Student Evaluation
Formative Assessments

Assessment of Independent Reading

The Assessment Process

Evaluative Assessments: Grading

Assessment of Shared Reading


"What's in It for Me?" Student Metacognition and Musings

First Marking Period Self-Analysis

After a Semester of Response

End-of-Year Reflection

12. Coming to a Conclusion
Resource A: Literary References
Resource B: Forms and Examples
1. Independent Reading Requirements (Chapter 3)

2. Daily Reading Log (Chapter 3)

3. Literature Response Starters (Chapter 3)

4. Reading Interests/Books Pass Charts (Chapter 3)

5. Double-Entry Journal - Questioning (Chapter 4)

6. Question-Answer Chart (Chapter 4)

7. Strategies Used by Successful Readers (Chapter 4)

8. Double-Entry Journal - Making Connections (Chapter 4)

9. Double-Entry Journal - Literary Elements (Chapter 4)

10. Double-Entry Journal - Identifying Strategies Used (Chapter 4)

11. Sticky-Note Response Journal (Chapter 4)

12. Sticky-Note Question-Anwer-Response Journal (Chapter 4)

13. Book Club Meeting Agenda (Chapter 7)

14. Book Club Double-Entry Response Journal (Chapter 7)

15. Reading Strategies - Author's Craft Journal (Chapter 8)

16. Author's Craft Response Journal (Chapter 8)

17. News Article Formats (Chapter 9)

18. Content Area Double-Entry Response Journal (Chapter 10)


"A transactional approach to understanding literature will come alive for intermediate and middle school teachers and students who avail themselves of Roessing's advice and examples in this book. What a practical resource for teachers! Facilitating a balanced reading and writing program is at the heart of The Write to Read."

Annemarie Jay, Assistant Professor, Widener University
Author, A Guide to Literacy Coaching

"This is such an easy answer: a curriculum that builds to strong reader response. This is a gem."

Dolores Hennessy, Reading Specialist
New Milford Public Schools, CT

"A comprehensive, well-reasoned text devoted to reader response at middle elementary and secondary levels. Such authenticity is appealing to the field."

Barbara A. Marinak, Assistant Professor
Penn State Harrisburg

"The major strengths of the book are the explicit instructions for set-up, multiple examples of student responses, examples of varieties of texts used for modeling, and materials for teacher use in appendices."

Dixie D. Massey, Senior Lecturer
University of Washington

"The author provides very engaging and helpful examples throughout the book. One can really 'see' how these ideas work."

Lettie K. Albright, Associate Professor of Literacy
Texas Woman's University

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Lesley J. Roessing

Lesley Roessing has spent twenty years teaching eighth-grade language arts and humanities in suburban Philadelphia. Prior to discovering her interest in teaching middle school students, she taught high school English. Over the past six years, she published articles in NCTE’s English Journal and Voices from the Middle; The Quarterly, a NWP publication; and NMSA’s Middle School Journal and Middle Ground. In addition, Roessing has presented her articles and ideas widely in a variety of formats, from lecturing at annual conferences of teachers’ associations to teaching workshops for local organizations and schools. In 2002, Roessing became a... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412974264