Mosaic of Thought: Teaching Comprehension in a Reader's Workshop

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Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated, Jan 1, 1997 - Education - 255 pages
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How do students become thoughtful, independent readers who comprehend text at a deep level?

To find the answers, authors Keene and Zimmermann embarked on a journey into the thought processes of proficient readers - a journey through poems and essays, classrooms and workshops, humor and reflection. "Mosaic of Thought "chronicles that journey, which ultimately led the authors to elaborate on eight cognitive processes identified in comprehension research and used by successful readers. These serve as models for the strategies offered in this book - strategies intended to help children become more flexible, adaptive, independent, and engaged readers.

"Mosaic" proposes a new instructional paradigm focused on in-depth, explicit instruction in the strategies used by proficient readers. The authors take us beyond the traditional classroom into the literature based, workshop-oriented classrooms. Through vivid portraits of these remarkable environments (all participants in the Denver-based Reading Project of the Public Education & Business Coalition), we see how explicit instruction looks in dynamic, literature-rich readers' workshops. As the students connect to background knowledge, create sensory images, ask questions, draw inferences, determine what's important, synthesize ideas, and solve problems at the word and text level, they are able to construct a rich mosaic of meaning.

Straightforward and jargon-free, "Mosaic of Thought" has relevance to all literature-based classrooms, regardless of level. It offers practical tools for inservice teachers, as well as essential methods instruction for preservice teachers at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Indeed, anyone interested in literacy will benefit from the authors' challenge to rediscover the thought processes that inform our own comprehension.

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User Review  - mcalcagno - LibraryThing

I am finding this book to be insightful and informative. I would recommend it to a literacy teacher. Read full review


What Lies Beneath
Connecting the Known to the New
Determining Importance

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About the author (1997)

SUSAN ZIMMERMANN cofounded and served as the executive director of the Public Education & Business Coalition. During her ten years there, she initiated numerous programs to improve the quality of public schools, including the Reading Project, which has been implemented in more than thirty Colorado schools and is the source of the classroom examples presented in Mosaic of Thought: Teaching Comprehension in a Reader's Workshop. Mosaic of Thought (co-authored with Ellin Oliver Keene) has been a celebrated Heinemann title since 1997. She is also the author of Writing to Heal the Soul (Three Rivers Press, 2002), Grief Dancers (Nemo Press, 1996), and the upcoming 7 Keys to Comprehension: How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get It (Susan ZimmermannChryse Hutchins, Prima Publishing, June 2003). Susan provides workshops throughout the country on the comprehension strategies. For more information on Susan Zimmermann visit her Web site at

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