Know Better, Do Better: Teaching the Foundations so Every Child can Read
It's our goal that every child in every elementary school in America can read fluently by the end of second grade. This book explains how to make that happen - for all children in all classrooms. Meredith and David Liben have spent decades transforming education, working as teachers, researchers, leaders, and founders of an alternative public elementary school in Harlem-the Family Academy. The Libens have been on the front lines of the reading wars since 1994, when the Family Academy's first cohort of students failed the NYC end of year reading exam and they were confronted with the question: How can a school with plenty of resources, dedication to outstanding instruction, and support for social and emotional learning fail so spectacularly at teaching children how to read? The answers are collected here in Know Better, Do Better: Teaching the Foundations So Every Child Can Read. The Libens have poured through the research, pedagogical movements, and deeply entrenched classroom myths to find the literacy practices and instructional materials that actually improve student learning outcomes. Through their work, the Family Academy reading scores rose to the highest of any non-gifted school in Harlem. The best of intentions aren't enough to make children literate; educators have to know better so they can do better. This book is written for anyone concerned about the poor reading results of America's students, from teachers looking for real strategies to use in their classrooms to parents trying to be better advocates for their children.