Organizing the Early Literacy Classroom

How to Plan for Success and Reach Your Goals

Sharon Walpole and Michael C. McKenna

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
June 28, 2016
ISBN 9781462526536
Price: $82.00
132 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
June 29, 2016
ISBN 9781462526529
Price: $32.00
132 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
June 7, 2016
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $28.00
132 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $60.00 $35.20
132 Pages

Filled with clear explanations and doable strategies, this book helps PreK-2 teachers juggle the demands of planning effective instruction and creating a literacy-rich classroom environment. Realistic vignettes illustrate how to set goals, develop standards-based curricula and assessments, establish routines, and organize the classroom space and the daily schedule. The authors demonstrate the nuts and bolts of building an exemplary classroom library and professional teaching library, collaborating as a team with other teachers and specialists, preparing report cards, and communicating with families. Several reproducible forms can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8½“ x 11” size.

This title is part of The Essential Library of PreK-2 Literacy Series, edited by Sharon Walpole and Michael C. McKenna.

“This book is a 'must' for classroom teachers, literacy coaches, and administrators. The big picture—literacy development—is broken into manageable pieces. Effective teaching practices, along with a wealth of resources, are provided throughout. A classroom teacher can follow the steps from cover to cover and ultimately create a successful literacy classroom. I call this book the 'all-in-one literacy organizer' for teachers.”

—Dana D. Williams, MEd, instructional coach, Louisville Academy, Louisville, Georgia

“The book flows well and provides absolutely necessary information for new educators. Even as an experienced teacher, I found many ideas to help improve my own teaching style and techniques. I already follow the authors' framework for organizing my reading and writing instruction, and my students are doing fabulously!”

—Ashley Adlam-Hernandez, MEd, kindergarten teacher, Blades Elementary School, Seaford, Delaware

“Walpole and McKenna have crafted a work that is certain to be valuable to both novice and veteran teachers. This comprehensive book not only explores reading assessment and instruction, but also provides important insights on how to organize primary classrooms. Filled with examples of thoughtful classroom practices, the volume will inform and inspire teachers who are dedicated to helping all children become readers and writers. It addresses a range of challenges that many other works overlook, including the demand for data-driven instruction, ways to collaborate with colleagues, and how to differentiate instruction and establish routines in bustling classrooms.”

—Catherine Compton-Lilly, PhD, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin–Madison

“Teachers will appreciate this comprehensive, practical, and well-rounded book. It offers a wealth of resources and could very well serve as a blueprint for organizing the early literacy classroom. Educators are guided to successfully create assessment plans, set and reach learning goals, and take control of their own professional growth by beginning with the simple ‘microhabit’ of reading.”

—Natasha M. Parker, EdS, Instructional Coach, Carver Elementary School, Wadley, Georgia

Table of Contents

1. Setting Teaching and Learning Goals

2. Building a Professional Library

3. Understanding Your Curriculum

4. Creating an Assessment Plan

5. Linking Assessments to Report Cards

6. Organizing Your Space

7. Organizing Your Time

8. Organizing Your Team

9. Organizing Your Children's Books

10. Establishing Routines

11. Planning Communications with Families


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.


PreK–2 classroom teachers; teacher educators and graduate students.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in courses on elementary teaching methods and early childhood education.