Differentiated Reading Instruction in Grades 4 and 5

Strategies and Resources

Sharon Walpole, Michael C. McKenna, and Zoi A. Philippakos

A Paperback Originale-bookprint + e-book
A Paperback Original
April 27, 2011
ISBN 9781609182168
Price: $35.00 $29.75
290 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
June 23, 2011
Price: $35.00 $29.75
290 Pages
print + e-book
A Paperback Original + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $70.00 $38.50
290 Pages
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With a unique focus on grades 4 and 5, this book explains how to design and implement a research-based reading program that helps all students build major literacy skills (word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension). The expert authors present ready-to-use activities, strategies, and lesson plans, along with detailed guidance for assessing students and providing instruction in differentiated small groups. Teachers get a clear understanding of how differentiation works in a tiered response-to-intervention model and how it aligns with the Common Core Standards. In a convenient large-size format, the book includes extensive reproducible checklists and forms.

“This book is fantastic! I have been looking for an effective guide to differentiating reading instruction, but there was nothing on the market that met my needs—until now. By addressing the real-world concerns of fourth- and fifth-grade teachers, the authors fill an important void. Their model for differentiation is considerate of upper elementary curriculum demands; it incorporates differentiation for every student (even talented readers); and it includes a frank discussion of the gap between struggling students' achievement and state standards.”

—Judy Mullins, MEd, fifth-grade teacher, Lone Oak Elementary School, Spartanburg, South Carolina

“Practical and easily understood, this book provides specific, ready-to-implement suggestions for teachers who are ready to increase student achievement. It describes instructional practices and scheduling strategies that target all students' needs and build their abilities and engagement with texts. The authors take an honest look at difficulties that may arise and help teachers become more comfortable with taking much-needed risks in assessment and instruction.”

—Melodie D. Fulcher, MEd, K-12 literacy specialist, Effingham County (Georgia) schools

“This book looks closely—quite literally, minute by minute—at intermediate-level reading instruction, offering the best synthesis to date of research and its implications for practice. The authors present strategies, activities, organizational tools, and resources in an explicit, practical, and compelling manner. Novice and more experienced intermediate educators alike will find this an indispensable guide to effective and thoughtful differentiated reading instruction.”

—Shane Templeton, PhD, Department of Educational Specialties, University of Nevada, Reno

“There is a great deal of confusion about what counts as effective differentiated instruction in our era of high-stakes reform. This book offers grounded guidelines that extend the authors' successful K-3 model into the upper elementary grades. Writing in a style that is accessible to teachers, instructional coaches, administrators, and graduate students, the authors address the need for all students to meet or exceed grade-level standards. Most impressive is how the book walks the reader through the design of the model, provides rich examples, and supplies all the tools needed to get started.”

—Linda D. Labbo, PhD, Department of Language and Literacy Education (Emeritus), University of Georgia

Table of Contents

1. Differentiation and Tiered Instruction

2. Research on Upper Elementary Readers

3. Designing an Upper Elementary Reading Program

4. Choosing and Using Assessments

5. Building Word Recognition

6. Building Fluency

7. Building Vocabulary

8. Building Comprehension

9. Creating a Climate for Extensive, Meaningful Reading and Writing

10. Putting It All Together

• Appendices. Reproducible Classroom Materials

A. Tier 1 Planning Templates

B. Informal Decoding Inventory

C. Word Recognition Lessons

D. Reciprocal Teaching Reminders

E. QAR Reminders

F. Book Club Reminders

G. Text Structure Graphic Organizers

H. Word Recognition and Fluency Sample Plans

I. Fluency and Comprehension Sample Plans

J. Vocabulary and Comprehension Sample Plans

• Glossary of Reading Terms

About the Authors

Sharon Walpole, PhD, is Professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. She has extensive school-based experience designing and implementing tiered instructional programs. Dr. Walpole has also been involved in federally funded and other schoolwide reform projects. Her current work involves the design and effects of schoolwide reforms. She has coauthored or coedited several books, including How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction, Second Edition: Resources for Grades K–3; The Literacy Coach’s Handbook, Second Edition; and Organizing the Early Literacy Classroom. Dr. Walpole is also Series Editor, with Michael C. McKenna, of The Essential Library of PreK–2 Literacy. She is a recipient of the Early Career Award for Significant Contributions to Literacy Research and Education from the Literacy Research Association and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Delaware.

Michael C. McKenna, PhD, was Thomas G. Jewell Professor of Reading in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia until his death in 2016. He authored, coauthored, or edited more than 20 books, including Assessment for Reading Instruction, Third Edition; How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction, Second Edition: Resources for Grades K–3; and Organizing the Early Literacy Classroom; as well as over 100 articles, chapters, and technical reports on a range of literacy topics. Dr. McKenna also served as Series Editor, with Sharon Walpole, of The Essential Library of PreK–2 Literacy. His research was sponsored by the National Reading Research Center and the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement. He was a corecipient of the Edward B. Fry Book Award from the Literacy Research Association and the Award for Outstanding Academic Books from the American Library Association, and a member of the Reading Hall of Fame.

Zoi A. Philippakos, MEd, is a doctoral student in Literacy Education at the University of Delaware. She has her master’s degree in Reading and has worked as an elementary school teacher and literacy coach. Her interests include reading and writing instruction for students in the elementary grades. Ms. Philippakos provides professional development to teachers about effective reading and writing strategies. She is a cochair and cofounder of the Writing Study Group at the Literacy Research Association (LRA) and a cochair of the Graduate Students as Researchers Study Group also hosted at the LRA. She piloted many of the instructional strategies included in this book.


Classroom teachers, reading specialists, literacy coaches, curriculum directors, and teacher educators.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in literacy methods and reading diagnosis courses.