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Teaching Literacy in the Visible Learning Classroom, Grades K-5

by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Hattie Corwin Press
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Pbk 272 pages
AU$68.00 NZ$71.30
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It could happen at 10:10 a.m. in the midst of interactive writing, at 2:30, when listening to readers, or even after class, when planning a lesson. The question arises: How do I influence students’ learning–what’s going to generate that light bulb Aha-moment of understanding?


In this sequel to their megawatt best seller Visible Learning for Literacy, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie help you answer that question by sharing structures and tools for effective literacy instruction that have high-impact on learning - and insights on which stage of learning they have that high impact.


With their expert lessons, video clips, and online resources, you can deliver sustained, comprehensive experiences in phonics, guided reading, interactive writing, content-area discussions - in virtually all you teach:


  • Mobilizing Visible Learning: Use lesson design strategies based on research that included 500 million plus students to develop self-regulating learners able to “see” the purpose of what they are learning - and their own progress.


  • Teacher Clarity: Articulate daily learning intentions, success criteria, and other goals; understand what your learners understand, and design high-potency experiences for all students.


  • Direct Instruction: Embrace modeling and scaffolding as a critical pathway for students to learn new skills and concepts.


  • Teacher-Led Dialogic Instruction: Guide reading, writing, and thinking by using questioning and other teacher-led discussion techniques to help learners to clarify thinking, disagree respectfully, and reach consensus.


  • Student-Led Dialogic Learning: Foster cognitive growth with peer-mediated learning - reciprocal teaching, QAR, fish bowl, and more.


  • Independent Learning: Ensure that students deepen learning by designing relevant tasks that enable them to think metacognitively, set goals, and develop self-regulatory skills.


  • Tools to Use to Determine Literacy Impact: Know what your impact truly is with these research-based formative assessments for K-5 learners.


With Teaching Literacy in the Visible Learning Classroom, take your students from surface to deep to transfer learning. It’s all about using the most effective practices - and knowing WHEN those practices are best leveraged to maximize student learning.



Chapter 1. Mobilizing Visible Learning for Literacy

Visible Learning for Literacy

Components of Effective Literacy Learning

Knowledge of How Children Learn


Developmental View of Learning  




Meaningful Experiences and Social Interaction  




Surface, Deep, and Transfer Learning  


Phases of Reading Development

Phases of Writing Development

Formats and Scheduling


Time Organization  




Across a Week  




Across Content Areas  


Spotlight on Three Teachers


Chapter 2. Teacher Clarity

Understanding Expectations in Standards

Learning Intentions in the Language Arts


Student Ownership of Learning Intentions  




Connecting Learning Intentions to Prior Knowledge  




Make Learning Intentions Inviting and Engaging  




Social Learning Intentions  


Success Criteria in Language Arts


Success Criteria Are Crucial for Motivation  



Chapter 3. Direct Instruction


Teacher Modeling


Pair With Think-Alouds  




The "I" and "Why" of Think-Alouds  


Students Should Think Aloud, Too

Checking for Understanding


Use Questions to Probe Student Thinking  


Guided Instruction


Formative Evaluation During Guided Instruction  


Independent Learning


Fluency Building  








Spiral Review  








Chapter 4. Teacher-Led Dialogic Instruction

Effective Talk, Not Just Any Talk

Foster Deep Learning and Transfer

Listen Carefully

Facilitate and Guide Discussion

Teacher-Led Tools for Dialogic Instruction


Anticipation Guides  




Guided Reading  


Write Dialogically With Shared Writing


Language Experience Approach  




Interactive Writing  


Close and Critical Reading


Chapter 5. Student-Led Dialogic Learning

The Value of Student-to-Student Discussion

The Social and Behavioral Benefits of Peer-Assisted Learning

Fostering Collaborative Discussions

Teach Children to Develop Their Own Questions

Student-Led Tools for Dialogic Learning






Collaborative Reasoning  




Gallery Walks  




Literature Circles  




Readers Theatre  




Reciprocal Teaching  


Peer Tutoring


Chapter 6. Independent Learning

Finding Flow

Learning Words Independently

Independently Working With Words


Open and Closed Concept Word Sorts  




Vocabulary Cards  


Spelling Words














Word Games  


Building Fluent Readers


Reading Into Recorder  




Neurological Impress Model  




Independent Reading  


Independent Writing


Power Writing  




Extended Writing Prompts  


Big Ideas About Independent Learning


Does It Promote Metacognition?  




Does It Promote Goal-Setting?  




Does It Promote Self-Regulation?  



Chapter 7. Tools to Use in Determining Literacy Impact

Do You Know Your Impact?

Do You Know Your Collective Impact?


Assessing Emergent and Early Readers


Language Comprehension  






Early Language Learning Assessments


Concepts About Print  




Yopp-Singer Test of Phoneme Segmentation  




Sight Words  






Decoding Assessments


Letter Identification  






Assessing Reading of Meaningful Text


Miscue Analysis  


Assessing Developing Readers

Assessing Reading Comprehension


Informal Reading Inventories  




Cloze Procedure  




Reading Fluency  




Metacomprehension Strategies Index  


Assessing Attitudes Toward Reading


Elementary Reading Attitude Survey  



Assessing Spelling

Assessing Writing Fluency

Assessing Writing Holistically


Literacy Design Collaborative Student Work Rubrics  


Assessing Writing Attitude and Motivation


Writing Attitude Survey  


Why Assess? Know Your Impact


Compendiums of Assessments

Appendix: Effect Sizes




Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College. He is the recipient of an IRA Celebrate Literacy Award, NCTE’s Farmer Award for Excellence in Writing, as well as a Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education.


Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is Professor of Literacy in the Department of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University. The recipient of the 2008 Early Career Achievement Award from the National Reading Conference, she is also a teacher-leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College and a credentialed special educator, reading specialist, and administrator in California.


Dr. John Hattie has been Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, since March 2011. He was previously Professor of Education at the University of Auckland. His research interests are based on applying measurement models to education problems. He is president of the International Test Commission, served as advisor to various Ministers, chaired the NZ performance based research fund, and in the last Queens Birthday awards was made “Order of Merit for New Zealand” for services to education. He is a cricket umpire and coach, enjoys being a Dad to his young men, besotted with his dogs, and moved with his wife as she attained a promotion to Melbourne. Learn more about his research at color=blue>www.corwin.com/visiblelearning.