- Age Range: 11 - 17 years
- Grade Level: 6 - 12
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Heinemann; 1st edition (October 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0867095199
- ISBN-13: 978-0867095197
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 112 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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When Kids Can't Read: What Teachers Can Do: A Guide for Teachers 6-12 1st Edition
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“If I had to recommend just one book to middle and secondary teachers working to support struggling readers, this would have to be the book. When Kids Cant Read, What Teachers Can Do is a comprehensive handbook filled with practical strategies that teachers of all subjects can use to make reading skills transparent and accessible to adolescents. Blending theory with practice throughout, Kylene Beers moves teachers from assessment to instruction from describing dependent reading behaviours to suggesting ways to help students with vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, word recognition, response to text, and so much more. But its not just the strategies that make this book so valuable. Its the invitations to step inside a classroom and eavesdrop on teacher/student interactions. Its the student profiles, the if/then charts, the extensive booklists and, of course, the experiences of a brilliant reading teacher. This is simply the best book published to date to support struggling adolescent readers!”–Gillda Leitenberg,District-wide Coordinator, English/LiteracyToronto District School Board
About the Author
Kylene Beers, Ed.D., is a former middle school teacher who has turned her commitment to adolescent literacy and struggling readers into the major focus of her research, writing, speaking, and teaching. She is author of the best-selling When Kids Can't Read/What Teachers Can Do, co-editor (with Bob Probst and Linda Rief) of Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise into Practice, and co-author (with Bob Probst) of Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading and Reading Nonfiction, Notice & Note Stances, Signposts, and Strategies all published by Heinemann. She taught in the College of Education at the University of Houston, served as Senior Reading Researcher at the Comer School Development Program at Yale University, and most recently acted as the Senior Reading Advisor to Secondary Schools for the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College. Kylene has published numerous articles in state and national journals, served as editor of the national literacy journal, Voices from the Middle, and was the 2008-2009 President of the National Council of Teachers of English. She is an invited speaker at state, national, and international conferences and works with teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools across the US. Kylene has served as a consultant to the National Governor's Association and was the 2011 recipient of the Conference on English Leadership outstanding leader award. Kylene is now a consultant to schools, nationally and internationally, focusing on literacy improvement with her colleague and co-author, Bob Probst.
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Enter Kylene Beers, with easily the best book I've read on the subject of struggling readers who are NOT of elementary age, but of middle and high school age. Yes, elementary teachers have reading specialists to fall back on, but in secondary schools, it is often either the English teacher who must intervene or no one. For Beers, the inspiration for writing this book was the number of former students she had who were condemned to "or no one" because she simply did not know what to do. For me (and probably legions of other teachers) her story will sound chillingly familiar. Fortunately, WHEN KIDS CAN'T READ: WHAT TEACHERS CAN DO is the antidote to our problems.
In this book, Beers identifies the myriad of types of students who struggle with reading, and why. She provides practical strategies on how to intervene if your students struggle with comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, and word recognition/fluency/automaticity. There's also advice on how to help kids in responding to literature, as well as how to help them find a book that will tap into their interests.
Each chapter includes an introduction and thorough definition of the problem, a section called "Step Inside a Classroom" which details real-life transcripts of kids having this exact reading difficulty, and a list of various strategies you can try -- even if it means having different groups with scaffolding activities within your language arts classroom. At the end of the book are appendices that include such helpful reproducibles as bookmark templates, common roots/prefixes/and suffixes, Fry and Dolch word lists, common phonics generalizations, 175 most common syllables in the 5,000 most frequent English words, word sorts, easily confused words, common spelling rules, and booklists for every type of reader. Can you say goldmine? This is the end of the rainbow, folks.
I can't recommend this book enough to my fellow 7-12 English teachers. Reach out to your weak readers. Don't condemn them to a life of mediocrity (or worse) in literacy by assuming either it's their problem or they are beyond help. It's not and they aren't. Buy this book and put it to good use. This is where theory meets the road (called "practicality"). Be not only an English teacher, but a READING teacher (in every sense of the word).
I also love that Beers is so encouraging of writing across the curriculum. I agree with her that layering writing assignments into content delivery serves the students, as well as over-burdened teachers- far better than stand-alone tasks that merely require of the student a downloading of information onto worksheets or standardized tests.
My sole complaint is teacher's of younger students will have to connect the dots for themselves- not too bad given it was not in the scope of Beers' book. I teach elementary ELA, and found it very useful. Can't wait to use some if the gems in the coming year!