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Walther, Maria

Maria P. Walther

Maria Walther is a seasoned educator, author, and literacy consultant with over three decades of experience teaching first grade. Her practical, yet engaging approach to classroom instruction has made her a trusted partner for educators seeking effective teaching strategies. With a doctoral degree from Northern Illinois University, Maria is an avid researcher who continues to further her knowledge of literacy instruction. Maria is a strong advocate for reading aloud and has been honored for her dedication to fostering a love of reading in children with the Illinois Reading Educator of the Year and the ICARE for Reading Award. One of Maria's most cherished awards is The Most Influential Educator, given to her by a former student turned colleague. This speaks to the lasting impact she has on those she teaches. As a prolific writer, Maria aims to provide busy teachers with practical resources. Her best-selling books, The Ramped-Up Read Aloud and Shake Up Shared Reading, offer actionable insights into creating engaging reading experiences for kids. Collaborating with Karen Biggs-Tucker, Maria co-authored The Literacy Workshop, which helps educators seamlessly integrate reading and writing instruction. In A Year for the Books, co-written with her daughter Katie, Maria shares routines and mindsets for building student-centered reading communities from kindergarten to eighth grade. Educators can learn more about Maria's consulting work and find helpful resources on her website,, or connect with her on Instagram and Twitter as @mariapwalther and @ayear4thebooks.