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Practice with Purpose

  • Title:Practice with Purpose: Literacy Work Stations for Grades 3-6
  • Author:Debbie Diller
  • Publication Date:January 2005
  • Grade Level:3-6
  • ISBN:9781571103956
  • Publisher:Stenhouse

In her 30 years as an educator, Debbie Diller has closely examined classroom practice, asking "Why? What's the purpose?" Watching primary students work successfully at literacy work stations, she wondered with teachers, "Why don't we have upper-grade students doing this? Could we kick it up a notch?"

In her new book, Debbie shows teachers of grades three-to-six how to structure their classrooms so that all students can be successful doing meaningful independent work using literacy work stations.

Practice with Purpose offers guidance on establishing routines for independent reading and response writing, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to set up and manage a variety of hands-on literacy work stations appropriate for intermediate students. Each chapter includes:

  • how to introduce the station;
  • innovative ways to use materials;
  • what to model to guarantee independence;
  • how to troubleshoot;
  • assessment and accountability ideas;
  • how the station supports student achievement on state tests;
  • reflection questions for professional development.

The extensive appendix includes time-saving tools such as management board icons, graphic organizers, task cards, and recommended websites and children's literature.

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Author Bio

Debbie Diller has been a national consultant since 2000, but she still has "those 'back-to-school' dreams in the fall." She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Millersville University and Temple University and spent the next thirty years as an educator. Her love of teaching stems from her love of learning. "I have always loved learning. Becoming a teacher was a way I could share that love of learning with children and eventually, adults."

Debbie's ideas for her books also come from her work with teachers. She listens for frequently asked questions, patterns, teachers' needs and keeps a writer's notebook to collect ideas, thoughts, and notes. "Often, the old joke comes to mind: 'how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.' That's how I write: Bit by bit, on planes, in hotel rooms, in my office on a rare day. Teachers' questions and comments spur me on through my daily, ongoing work in classrooms, which sustains my work."

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