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When students are in elementary school, a teacher who has expertise in teaching the fundamentals of reading instructs them. At the middle and high school level that stops - and the timing could not be worse. The literacy demands increase exponentially, yet typically schools do not teach adolescents how to successfully read the increasingly difficult materials they encounter throughout their day. As the rigor increases in their classes, student coping skills become less effective. Consequently, the achievement gap becomes wider and more difficult to close during the adolescent years. When it comes time to prescribe an intervention, middle and high school teachers are hitting a wall. Decoding and comprehension materials are often presented at an elementary level. The students feel bad enough that they struggle with reading; assigned 'baby work' increases the stigma. This book addresses the need for 6-12 teachers to have appropriate literacy intervention materials to use with struggling adolescent readers. This book will also help teachers learn how to support any adolescent reader--struggling or not--when they encounter challenging text. The book features two strands: decoding and comprehension. Each strand contains lessons, materials, a difficulty dial, tips for implementation and student samples.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction Part One: Decoding (the fundamentals of reading) Chapter 1: Breaking the Code: Letter-Sound Relationship and Word Analysis Chapter 2: Syllable Types: The Clover Model Chapter 3: Vocabulary: Why Words Matter for Learning and Reading Part Two: Comprehension Chapter 4: Fluency Tools: Increasing Comprehension Chapter 5: Active Reading Strategy Tools: Expanding Comprehension Chapter 6: Read Alouds: Modeling Fluent Reading Chapter 7: Writing About Reading Part Three: Classroom Management Chapter 8: Running Records to Assess Reading: Instructional Maps Chapter 9: Self-Regulation, Mindset, Motivation and the Struggling Reader Conclusion About the Authors

About the Author

Lisa Hollihan Allen, MSE is a teacher, literacy coach and author. Her education career began as a middle school ELA and literature teacher. She currently is a K-12 reading specialist for the West De Pere School District in Wisconsin where she works with students 6-12 as a literacy interventionist. She serves as an adjunct instructor at St. Norbert College where she teaches the course Language Analysis and Applied Linguistics. Her role in education expanded when she worked as a literacy leader and literacy team facilitator for Wisconsin CESA 7 (Cooperative Educational Service Agency) extending educational opportunities to all corners of the state and across the nation. Lisa was a state finalist for the Kohl Teacher Fellowship. Katherine McKnight, Ph.D. currently serves as a Distinguished Professor of Research at National Louis University. She travels worldwide as a professional development consultant and is a speaker in the fields of elementary & adolescent literacy, inclusive classrooms, state standards, interdisciplinary literacy, and integrating technology in the 21st century classroom. She is completely committed to the development, sharing, and promotion of strategies that develop student literacy. That's why she spends many days each year in classrooms, working with teachers to help students grow into productive, creative adults. Because Katie's work takes her into all kinds of schools (public, private, parochial; rural, urban, and suburban), she's able to complement her vast expertise with relevant classroom experience. Dr. McKnight regularly publishes in professional journals and is the author of many award-winning, professional books.


If how to reach and teach your struggling secondary readers has always baffled you, this book offers hope and clarity. Dr. McKnight and Ms. Hollihan Allen have crafted a perfect blend of instructional strategy, assessment options, and research on adolescent literacy. Its organizational structure and teacher-friendly format will allow you to target your students' specific needs, making an immediate impact on your classroom instruction and on your students' learning.--Amy LaPierre, PhD, director of curriculum, School District of West De Pere, De Pere, Wisconsin McKnight and Hollihan Allen share concrete strategies to support one of our most vulnerable populations of adolescents. These strategies will support teachers and helps students reach new heights. The variety of strategies will help teachers refine and extend opportunities for teachers to meet the needs of all learners.--Tynisha D. Meidl, PhD, chair of teacher education and associate professor, St. Norbert College, De Pere WI The topics addressed in this book, decoding and comprehension, are literacy skills which students need to continually practice and hone. Dr. McKnight and Ms. Hollihan-Allen have created a resource of intervention tools- lesson, materials, and tips for intervention- which address these skills. Classroom management techniques are also presented to enhance students' engagement with challenging text. This book is relevant and can be used by any teacher who wishes to utilize literacy best practices based on classroom success and sound research.--Sheila Kohl, PhD, 6th grade science teacher, West De Pere Middle School, De Pere, Wisconsin Finally, a resource for secondary educators on working with struggling readers! The teachers I work with regularly seek support on how to help their struggling readers and now I have a source for them! This book provides the much-needed practical tools for teachers to apply in their classroom as well as the important reading research for teachers to understand the 'why' behind the tools. Also unique to this book are the topics often not addressed at the secondary level, including how to do running records and the concept of decoding at the middle school and high school levels. I look forward to the resources in this book helping our teachers take our secondary readers to the next level!--Jenny Pierre, director of curriculum & instruction, Seymour Community School District Being a struggling reader stinks, but as you grow older it can become catastrophic. The issues struggling adolescent readers face are real, so it is a blessing that McKnight and Hollihan Allen have created this useful handbook for the many teachers who are often ill-equipped to meet these students' needs.--Danny Brassell, PhD, (, CalStateTEACH Faculty Advisor and Host/Founder of 67 Steps: Turning Struggling & Reluctant Readers into More Passionate and Proficient Readers For years, it was a struggle to find any concrete, hands-on, skill based information to help struggling middle school students achieve. Empower students? Let them take control of their education. The teacher becomes the facilitator . . . Then, I discovered Dr. Katie McKnight - with her wit, knowledge, experience, and passion. She understood and more than that . . . she cared! Dr. McKnight's books are a wonderful resource, filled with ready to use examples, and a variety of strategies to use with struggling students. Another amazing resource for all teachers.--Megan Willems-Koster, Corpus Christi Catholic School, Holland, MI

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