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In this era of standardized testing that takes reading assessment out of the hands of teachers and students, The Essential RMA is a breath of fresh air. It treats teachers as knowledgeable professionals who are in the best position to assess the reading of their own students through face-to-face interactions. It assumes that students are capable learners who can participate in the assessment process and develop insights into their own reading processes. As a result of using Retrospective Miscue Analysis, students discover their own strengths as readers, build their confidence, and learn how to utilize effective strategies to build proficiency. This easy to follow guide equips teachers with the tools they need to bring authentic reading assessment back into their classrooms and plan individualized instruction for every student. 


Bess Altwerger

Towson University

Towson, MD

This is a brilliant little book, with the potential to change the way teachers at all levels and subject areas understand, support, and guide their students' reading development. The authors’ skill in presenting complex concepts in clear, “teacher-friendly”, accessible language will ensure that those who study this book will be able to design and implement new, powerful  classroom strategies that support and promote effective reading behaviour. I believe that Retrospective Miscue Analysis has the potential to unleash a new, more effective paradigm of “Guided Reading”. Those who buy this little book will be at the forefront of this paradigm change.

Brian Cambourne

Principal Fellow

University of Wollongong. AUSTRALIA


The comparison of RMA to a "window" metaphor is particularly appropriate.  As an in-the-head process, understanding readers has challenged reading scholars for generations.  This thin book invites educators to see into the minds of readers to provide clues to children's thinking as they read.  Awareness of their thinking allows educators to engage children in rich conversations about their reading processes and to consider future steps for instruction.  At a time when teacher expertise is being replaced by scripted and prescriptive programs, The Essential RMA is a rarity in that it invites teachers to work closely with ALL readers and design instruction that honors both students and what they bring to texts.  RMA has the potential to both revive good teaching and nourish older readers.


Catherine Compton-Lilly

Reading Recovery Emerita Trainer

University of Wisconsin Madison


The Essential RMA: A Window into Readers’ Thinking does it all.  It spells out, step-by-step, how to conduct one of the most effective strategies ever devised for helping people of all ages develop as readers: Retrospective Miscue Analysis.  It explains in everyday terms how the process of reading itself grounds these steps.  And, from beginning to end, it shows deep caring and respect for all readers (teachers and learners).  This book not only teaches; it inspires.

Carole Edelsky

Professor Emerita

Arizona State University




With each iteration, the RMI and RMA books have become more accessible to teachers.  The Essential RMA is a clear and easy-to-use manual that also includes critical tips to ensure teacher success.  I especially appreciated the links to the website where teachers can personalize the material and dig deeper into areas of interest.  The Essential RMA offers teachers, whether new to miscue analysis or "miscueteers" a clear blueprint to invite students to discuss their reading processes. These discussions will help students learn more about themselves as readers and take more ownership in their reading.  I can't wait to use it with my group of reading coaches!


Carol Gilles

University of Missouri


Intimidating a language learner is easy. Supporting language learners is a whole different matter.  The Essential RMA: A Window into Readers’ Thinking provides the key to diagnosing and supporting students on their journey to leading a literate life.  I especially recommend it to teachers at all grade levels and to tutors working with children perceived as having problems with their reading.  I like the volume's respect for students (even those others have declared "in trouble") and teachers.  One of the assumptions underlying this volume is that people who work with kids ought to be knowledgeable.  Goodman, Martens, & Flurkey not only have it right, but they provide the framework that teachers and tutors need to be seen as knowledgeable.


Jerry Harste

Indiana University, Emeritus


Retrospective Miscue Analysis has become a standard part of our literacy program at both the graduate and undergraduate level over the past decade.  Year after year our students report to us that RMA is the most powerful assessment tool they have learned in guiding not just their teaching but their understanding of literacy processes.  “Revaluing the reader” has become a core value in our literacy education program.  This book offers both the theoretical founding and the practical dimensions of getting started in RMA. The transcripts of interactions ground and guide the teachers into the ways in which RMA works.  I strongly recommend this book for a literacy education program that is directed toward both revaluing readers AND teachers. 


James Hoffman

University of Texas


I love the book. Even though it contains a lot of the processes that our volunteers don’t get into (recording, marking, etc), this book still gives a great overview of miscue analysis and, more importantly, how to hold conversations about miscues with students. In our community-based adult literacy program, our volunteer tutors begin to develop their “miscue ears.” The Essential RMA really does provide a window into our students’ thinking—something that both our learners and our tutors haven’t considered a part of ‘reading’ previously. It will support volunteers in listening to and revaluing their learners. It provides real, concrete examples of miscue conversations that will guide tutors in asking questions and truly listening to their readers, instead of jumping in to correct and do the readers’ work for them.


Edie Lantz Leppert

Adult Basic Literacy Program Director

Literacy Connects


This book provides an exciting alternative for teachers who want to actively engage students in understanding their reading processes, especially those students who are of most concern as they struggle to become effective and confident readers.   By opening a window into readers’ minds, RMA provides teachers with strategies for engaging in authentic inquiries with students about their reading processes. The ultimate goal is so much more than a higher test score­.  We aim for readers who are aware of their reading strategies and take charge of their own learning.


Kathy Short

University of Arizona


This absolutely terrific little book shows teachers how they can support the reading growth of all their students.  The authors clearly show how this is easily done. This is a must read for all teachers of readers who want to make a difference.


Diane Stephens

College of Education
University of S. Carolina



The Essential RMA
Table of Contents   Preface   Endorsements

Paperback  80 pages  $13.95
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