RCOstaff@rcowen.com 914-232-3903 or 800-262-0787

Professional Books: Reading To, With and By Children

Reading To, With and By Children

by Margaret E. Mooney

1990 pb 104 pages
Item# 8
ISBN: 0-913461-18-0
eBook Only

READING TO, WITH AND BY CHILDREN explores the key instructional approaches of shared, guided, and independent reading that teachers employ when helping children become effective readers.

Other Books by The Author

  • A Book is A Present: Selecting Text For Intentional Teaching
  • Text Forms and Features: A Resource for Intentional Teaching
  • Developing Life-long Readers
  • Reading in Junior Classes (co author)

Other Works by the Author

  • Keynote Speaker Summer Institutes
  • Books for Young Learners Teacher Resource: Readers as Writers and Writers as Readers: Creating a Reading/Writing Folder

About the Author

Author Bio: Margaret E. Mooney’s teaching, writing, and publishing career began in New Zealand, but for the past several years she has been dividing her time between New Zealand and the United States, especially the state of Washington.

She encourages teachers to view all children as worthy, not needy, emphasizing education as a process of enhancement and not one of compensation. She promotes guided reading as an instructional approach in which children practice, apply, and extend skills and strategies in order to understand text on the first reading. Margaret has written the Books for Young Learners Teacher Resource, Text Forms and Features: A Resource for Intentional Teaching, Reading To, With, and By Children, and Developing Life- long Readers.

In 1998, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Margaret as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to education, particularly the teaching of reading.

More Books by the Author

  • Caught in the Spell of Writing and Reading: Grade 3 and Beyond Text for Intentional
  • Teaching Text Forms and Features: A Resource for Intentional Teaching
  • Developing Life-long Readers


Reading To, With, and By Children helps teachers make informed decisions about learning opportunities for children. Understanding and using this book ensures that children will develop successful attitudes about reading and writing. Margaret Mooney, a noted New Zealand educator, has written this book based on her decades of experience as a teacher, principal, consultant, and editor. Reading To, With, and By Children focuses on literacy as child-centered. The core of the book explores the key instructional approaches teachers employ when helping children become effective readers. Readers learn practical aspects of the New Zealand philosophy about the teaching of reading and writing and how it is implemented in the classroom.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 Learning to Talk and Learning to Read

3 Focusing on the Reader

4 Choosing the Appropriate Approach

5 Reading to Children

6 Shared Reading

7 Language Experience

8 Guided Reading

9 Independent Reading

10 Continuing the Dialogue

11 Sharing the Responses

12 Keeping Learning Alive

13 A Child’s View of Learning


This book is based on my New Zealand experience as a teacher, consultant, editor, and educator. That experience has been questioned, confirmed, and extended through several periods of working in other South Pacific countries and in the United States. However, my New Zealand experience is not unique. It reflects the events of many classrooms at all grade levels throughout the world.

In New Zealand a reading program is not limited to any package, or series of materials, or set teaching steps. “Program” means everything that is planned for and happens in a school or classroom: the philosophy; the way it is implemented; the resources; and the management of time, people, resources, and space. New Zealand teachers do not restrict their reading programs to one set of materials, but all material used reflects one set of principles. Although the examples in this book are from the Ready to Read series, developed and distributed to all New Zealand schools by the Department of Education for use as a core series in the first three years at school, the principles are relevant to any material which reflects children’s ideas and experiences at any level of a school system.

This book is intended to help teachers make informed decisions about the learning opportunities they offer the children, and to ensure that children find reading an enjoyable and successful experience.


There are as many definitions of reading as there are readers, and that is as it should be. Reading is a personal experience. Each person’s expectations, satisfactions, and responses not only differ from those of others but vary from experience to experience. Reading is a reflection and a refinement of one’s understandings about life, both as it is perceived and lived. Any book on reading reflects the author’s view, but that view will be modified according to each reader’s experience and understandings.

Reading is the sharing of meaning. It is interaction between the giver and the receiver. Reading is the creation and recreation of meaning; and it takes place through the nonverbal as well as verbal modes of language—through listening and speaking, reading and writing, moving and watching, shaping and viewing. Reading is not merely a curriculum subject able to be confined to any one period, for reading is part of any exchange of meaning through text. However, most teachers do find they need to focus specifically on reading and related experiences for some part of each school day. This book is based on the premise that what happens during reading time is affected by and affects everything that happens during the entire school day. It also affects children’s views of themselves and their world.

All power to those who have the privilege of helping children develop their view of reading!