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AUTHOR

Comprehension Going Forward
Where We Are/What’s Next

(coauthors Susan Zimmermann, Ellin Keene, Debbie Miller, Chryse Hutchins, Stephanie Harvey, Cris Tovani, et al. )

“Each author takes the comprehension strategies as a starting point, and then reaches out toward a different set of applications, extensions, and practices. But everyone is connected by the research base on comprehension instruction and by our common goal: to provide every child in American with an ‘All-Access Pass’ to literacy.” --From the editor’s introduction by Harvey “Smokey” Daniels

In this lively, engaging book, Susan and fifteen of her colleagues -- who have spent many years working with teachers and in classrooms using the comprehension strategies -- reflect on what has been learned since strategy instruction took off in the 1990s. An energetic, personal conversation on what great comprehension instruction looks like, Comprehension Going Forward presents a broad range of applications across grade levels, as well as recommendations about what we can do better to make reading come alive for students.

“The real genius of this book is that it is written by teachers, for teachers. All of the authors in this book know what classrooms are like. This means that authenticity and integrity pervade every chapter in the book. Teachers will immediately sense this authenticity on their way to realizing that the book offers an endless supply of useful suggestions.” --From the Coda by P. David Pearson





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comprehension going forward
Comprehension Going Forward
(Heinemann 2011)

Mosaic of Thought (second edition)
The Power of Comprehension Strategy Instruction

(Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmermann)

When it was first published in 1997, Mosaic of Thought became a runaway bestseller as the first book to describe explicitly the use and benefits of strategy-based comprehension instruction. Since then it has sold well over a half million copies and has become one of the most popular education texts in America. This tenth anniversary edition brings things up to date. It offers up-to-the minute insight on strategy-based instruction and reminds everyone of precisely what effective, long-lasting comprehension teaching looks like. Each chapter has been carefully revised and is grounded in the latest research, containing more than 70 percent new material, including:

  • Key Ideas sections for each strategy that describe crucial comprehension concepts
  • new classroom examples that show comprehension strategies put into action
  • new opening vignettes that illustrate the concepts students will learn through explorations of the thinking used by proficient adult readers
  • new tools to help teachers create effective reader's workshops
  • innovations from teachers around the country for fine tuning think-alouds and conferring practices
  • new advice on long-term instructional planning
  • an invaluable Question and Answer section with smart, informed responses to the questions most frequently asked about strategy-based instruction.

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mosaic of thought
Mosaic of Thought
(2nd Edition)

7 Keys to Comprehension
How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get It!

(Susan Zimmermann and Chryse Hutchins)

“This is the bible for teachers and parents – there can be no book more important to future generations than 7 Keys to Comprehension.” Clive Cussler

A book that has filled a key niche for parents and teachers, while selling hundreds of thousands of copies, 7 Keys to Comprehension demystifies reading and gives practical advice about how you can help any child understand and love reading.

You want your child to read well and enjoy it, but you’re not sure how you can help achieve this. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Today, millions of children fall short when it comes to reading ability and comprehension. The good news is that there are simple and proven steps - the 7 Keys - that parents and teachers can use to turn the "chore" of reading into a rewarding adventure for any child.

This important book reveals why basic things like reading to a child and sharing your thoughts about what you read create the foundation needed to develop an avid reader.

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7 Keys to Comprehension
7 Keys to Comprehension

Mosaic of Thought:
Teaching Comprehension In A Reader’s Workshop

(Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmermann)

“Keene and Zimmermann take the lid off the reading process and show the operation of the various skills that people need in order to read well...They invite us inside their own minds, they bring their lives to the page, read, back off, and show specific strategies for taking in meaning.” Donald Graves

Published in 1997, Mosaic of Thought has become a classic in the education field selling over a half million copies. It is used in universities and school districts throughout America and has changed the way reading is taught in thousands of classrooms. Mosaic of Thought presents new instructional paradigms focused on in-depth instruction in the strategies used by proficient readers and takes the reader beyond the traditional classroom into literature-based, workshop-oriented classrooms. Through vivid portraits of remarkable classroom environments, we see how instruction looks in dynamic, literature-rich reader’s workshops. As students connect their reading to their background knowledge, create sensory images, ask questions, draw inferences, determine what’s important, synthesize ideas, and solve problems, they are able to construct a rich mosaic of meaning.


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mosaic of thought
Mosaic of Thought

Keeping Katherine
A Mother’s Journey to Acceptance

“Susan Zimmermann’s deeply moving book will touch all people, not only parents. Her courage, her joy, and her hope reach through her tragedy and offer us all a way of life that is creative, no matter what the circumstances.” Madeleine L’Engle

Keeping Katherine, an expanded version of Susan’s award-winning Grief Dancers (Nemo Press 1996), brings their family story up to date. It is a remarkable memoir about a family overcoming Susan Zimmermann and Katherineadversity and growing stronger as a result. Zimmermann describes life with her daughter Katherine, a child who developed normally for her first year. Then, without warning, her words ceased, she stopped crawling, and she paid no attention to her surroundings. By the time Katherine was two, she was severely handicapped. Not until Katherine was seven did Zimmermann and her family learn that Katherine had Rett syndrome, a neurological condition akin to autism. By that time, Katherine had three younger siblings: Helen, Alice, and Mark.

Keeping Katherine explores the impact Katherine has had on the family and their moving journey to acceptance. Katherine died July 29, 2012, just short of her thirty-third birthday.
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keeping katherine
Keeping Katherine

Writing to Heal the Soul:
Transforming Grief and Loss Through Writing

Winner Colorado Book Award 2003
" Inspiring... Ms. Zimmermann...gives readers who have suffered loss some simple but rewarding exercises aimed at easing and ultimately healing sorrow." ... The New York Times
Read the complete New York Times review.
Susan Zimmermann experienced a devastating loss when her first child, Katherine, developed a neurological disorder that left her unable to walk or talk. Faced with her daughter’s disability, Susan struggled with fear, denial, guilt, bitterness, and despair. She began to resurface and heal only through writing. The powerful process of working through conflicting emotions with paper and pen enabled her to transform her sadness into acceptance and even joy. Writing to Heal the Soul is her gift to others who are suffering any kind of grief or loss, whether the death, disability, or injury of a loved one, the loss of a job, or the end of a relationship. Lyrically illustrated with examples from life, the book offers simple yet inspiring writing exercises to help you focus and resolve your pain as you transform your loss into words of hope and healing.
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writing to heal the soul
Writing to Heal the Soul

Grief Dancers:
A Journey Into The Depths Of The Soul

Finalist, Colorado Book Award, 1997
Exceptional Parent Symbol of Excellence

“Susan Zimmermann has written a book about her daughter, but also a book about each of us – the fragile, damaged, but insistently precious part deep inside, that refuses to be cast off. To read these pages is to be reminded of the value of life itself. I have rarely been so moved.” Swanee Hunt

“Here is a journey into the deepest center of the soul. Susan Zimmermann portrays, with honesty, passion and wisdom, a chapter of her life that is both deeply terrifying and wholly inspiring. It is a story of loss and gain, pain and joy, and – above all – profound truth. It is a story with the power to change your life.” T.A. Barron

In her award-winning Grief Dancers, Susan Zimmermann tells the story of life with her daughter Katherine - a child who developed normally until she was a year old and then drifted into the world of the profoundly handicapped. Susan describes her loss with honesty and directness, but goes beyond that to tell of the odyssey she and her husband undertake to embrace, and eventually celebrate, their altered life with Katherine and their three younger children. A soul-searching journey through grief, loss, hope, anger, and despair to a place of unconditional love and acceptance, Grief Dancers’ underlying message is that the challenge of grief can be a starting point for the most valuable, powerful life journey that you will ever undertake.
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Grief Dancers is out of print. A newer version, expanded and updated, is available and sold as:
Keeping Katherinegrief dancers

 

Copyright 2013. Susan Zimmermann. All Rights Reserved.