7/9/12 ** I love cross-over books, i.e. those that work for both my dissertation and my classroom teaching. Even though Heath & Mangiola wrote in 1991, this book is still so relevant. They argue that students need opportunities to develop literate behaviors, not just literate skills. When students have multiple authentic opportunities to talk about their learning, they will also develop their writing skills. The authors discuss "think talk" and suggest that kids should be involved in studying their own language and developing criteria for evaluating the quality of discussion. ("...language should be both the medium and the object of study" p. 40) This sounds so much like the discussions we're having now about academic language and academic conversations (see Jeff Zwiers' work). The list of literate behaviors on p. 41 looks an awful lot like what we will be asking for as we get further into implementation of the Common Core State Standards.