Being able to read and write in a variety of genres is a common requirement for today's students. Thinking Through Genre: Units of Study in Reading and Writing Workshops 4-12 supports English teachers who seek to engage their students in genre studies in the reading and writing workshop. The book profiles six different units of study: memoir, feature article, editorial, short story, fairy tale, and response to literature. Each study is set in an individual fifth- through tenth-grade classroom and is described from its theoretical foundations, through the planning for the specific needs of the students, to the teaching, and finally evaluation.
Each chapter features:
The classroom-focused nature of this book brings each study to life while simultaneously encouraging readers to borrow, adapt, and change the ideas for their own classrooms. Whether teaching one of the genres profiled here or applying principles to a different unit of study, this book offers clear, research-based, pedagogically sound models that will be appreciated by teachers incorporating genre studies into their reading and writing workshops.
Like many others, Heather became a teacher in hopes of changing the world. "Okay, I never really expected to change the whole world, but wanted to work to increase equity and social justice in my little corner of it. Still working toward that goal. It remains frustratingly elusive, but is nevertheless a worthy objective."
Heather received her master's degree from Stanford University and her Ed.D. from the University of California, San Diego. She spent twelve years teaching English, history, and math in middle and high school and five years as an instructional coach and consultant. She is currently a consultant for NCTE's Professional Development Network and assistant professor at the University of San Diego, School of Leadership and Education Sciences.
She loves teaching for those unexpected moments: "Teaching can be exhausting, overwhelming, frustrating, and hair-raising. In my first year of teaching, there were many days when I wondered what on earth I had gotten myself into. But then there are those moments, when the student who hasn't participated in class all year stands up and shines during a group presentation, when a graduate comes back to share her success as a first-generation college student, when the struggling and resistant student breaks into an irrepressible smile because he finally 'gets it.' Those are the moments that make it all worthwhile."
Heather believes that professional development should be a conversation. "There is no one way 'right' way to teach. We all have ideas to contribute and experiences on which to build. The role of professional texts is to provide models and offer possibilities that can add to our ongoing conversation as we all work to learn more and improve our practices for the benefit of our students."