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"This book captures the essence of Marie's work. It is fundamentally practical and theoretically rich. Marie is revered for her contributions to the field of literacy and for her wisdom and deep commitment to children and their teachers. That wisdom and commitment is evident everywhere in this book. Savor it." -Peter Johnston, author of Choice Words

Not all children walk the same path towards literacy.

Discerning teachers recognize one destination, but many differing journeys. "If we notice children taking different paths," writes Marie Clay, "we can interact with their different journeys just as we would alter our talking to adapt to our listeners, and in about three years expect them to arrive at common outcomes."

Teacher-centered, practical, and research-based, this collection of articles by Marie draws on her lifelong passion for children's literacy and teacher education. She demonstrates:

  • how understanding what children know becomes the key to effective teaching
  • how teachers need to look at early literacy learning through children's eyes, and to listen to children as they converse
  • how writing should be the powerful partner of reading.
In these pages, teachers and educators of teachers will find:

  • research evidence to raise their awareness of how young minds learn to work with
  • the printed word
  • help to observe and build on what children already know before they first enter
  • school
  • how to focus on and interact with what each child can do (not what they can't )
  • how to set each individual learner on their own pathway to literary success, so there need be no wasted time, no discouragement for teacher or student.
Above all, diversity is to be welcomed and accommodated, and independence fostered.

Marie Clay's classic text has stood the test of time. In this new edition its central message lives on as an aid and inspiration for today's generation of early literacy teachers everywhere. It supports best literacy practice. Start reading now!

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