Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Must-Have for Teachers and Subs: Laura Candler's New Graphic Organizers Book

I have a confession to make. I am a graphic organizer junkie. Just add that to the many things I am addicted to: blogging, Facebook, Pinterest, chocolate, coffee... of course, there are plenty of worse vices to have I suppose. Keeping this graphic organizer obsession in mind, it will be pretty obvious why I love Laura Candler's newest publication... Graphic Organizers for Reading: Teaching Tools Align with the Common Core for Grades 2-8.

First of all, it comes from Laura Candler of Teaching Resources and Corkboard Connections. I have several other products from her, and they are high quality and useable in the classroom. And secondly, they are graphic organizers (I told you I was obsessed).

For teachers in general, and subs in particular, I feel that graphic organizers are a perfect item to carry with you. If you're stuck with no lesson or lessons that didn't take nearly enough time, just pull out a graphic organizer. They are great because they are so versatile... they work for every subject and grade level and can springboard into writing activities and other lessons.

There are a lot of graphic organizers out there (I even make plenty myself), but here is what makes Laura Candler's Graphic Organizers for Reading different and wonderful:
• It's thorough... 109 pages with 26 different types of graphic organizers.
• It's organized... She has them grouped into the categories of multi-purpose, informational, and literature.
• It's informative... She doesn't leave you to guess how to use the graphic organizers. For each type, she has instructions on how to use it in teaching, a blank one, and a filled-in example.
• It's standards-based... She shows you how to use each one to link it to a Common Core State Standard.

Never again will you not have a graphic organizer to use. And never again will you be confused as to how to use it. This is fantastic, especially for substitute teachers who are not certified teachers and may not have as strong a pedagogy background. Simply, follow the instructions in the book, and you will not go wrong.

I do have to disclose that I am proud to call Laura Candler my friend, but I am doing this review on my own (not because she asked me to), and I am not being compensated for it. In fact, she offered to send me the book, but I had already bought it. I bought it the very night she announced it was available. That's how excited I was for it to be published. And I was not disappointed in any way, shape, or form. I feel that it was a worthwhile purchase since I will always have something useful for students to do from now on.


  1. Thanks for the wonderful review, Rachel! I'm also excited that I've signed a contract to publish this book in print! My publisher and I have decided that anyone who purchases it now from me will get a free upgrade to the professionally-formatted one when it comes out! I've got a team of teachers working with me to connect the graphic organizers with all of the Common Core standards for informational text and literature from grades 2 through 8, and those will be in the new version. The response to this book has been terrific and I appreciate you helping to spread the word about it.

    1. HI. I love your resources and I have been following you for about 10 years! I am a high school special education teacher so I am always looking for ways to adapt your ideas and actually so many fit perfectly with what my students need. I co-teach biology as well as teach an instructional biology class and a period of resource as well. Any ideas for high school students reading in the content areas would be appreciated! Thanks!

    2. Kim, I bet if you go to Laura's blog or Facebook wall, she would be much more likely to answer you. Laura is pretty fantastic! :-)

  2. What a wonderful extension of an already fabulous resource!

  3. Amazing!!
    Lisa from ateachersbagoftricks.blogspot.com


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