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Showing 1-10 of 28 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 50 reviews
on August 13, 2015
Richard T. Vacca & his wife are the BEST authors ever. I was introduced to them while at Texas Women's University in grad school. I purchased this book hoping the CD that comes with the book would be inside, but it was not. Now I have to copies. I will keep a copy at home and use the second copy at work. Between Vacca and Regie Routman a reading teacher has most of what he or she needs.
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on August 5, 2007
As a Middle and High School teacher with ESL students, and a professional developer, I have been on the look-out for texts that would deliver a practical approach and solid strategies for teaching content area literacy. The authors advocate the use of constructivist approaches to teaching as well as in the professional development of the teacher. The target audience is the pre-service teacher (grades 6-12).

I really liked how each chapter of the 9th edition opens with an overview and a map of the concepts. The figures in the books are great illustrations of the strategies and techniques, and one in particular was a particularly apt example of Guess What's in My Head (figure 7:10)that show how unproductive it is as a teaching technique. Each chapter begins with an activity that poses a set of questions that sets the stage for learning about the chapter content. The authors attempt to be thought-provoking but in chapter 6 I wonder if they and their editors were really paying attention. Here they try to show the complexity of reading by citing the adventurer David Livingstone's encounter in Africa with "preliterate natives" (p. 186) who ate a book to literally digest its contents. Its inclusion in this book makes me wonder who they think is teaching "diverse learners" in the school.

As a synoptic text, the writers try too hard to cover all the bases of content area teaching at the expense of some in-depth analysis of the effectiveness of the techniques and strategies they recommend. Many texts on teaching reading at upper K-12 levels tend to concentrate on comprehension techniques, which is fine for somewhat-proficient readers, but neglects the weaker readers and the ESL students in the heterogeneous classroom whose comprehension difficulties are compounded with de-coding challenges.

As an ESL teacher, I would have liked to know how all of these strategies for teaching in the content areas could be adapted to my students. Instead, there is a separate chapter on "Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners" who, as practicing ESL teachers know, do not cease to be "diverse" after they have been mainstreamed. Having tried some of these strategies with my students, I can say for sure that QARs is far too challenging for ESL novice and intermediate learners when they are asked to think beyond the text. To participate in classroom discussion they need scaffolding for the language functions and vocabulary. In my opinion, the weakest chapter of all was Assessing Students and Texts (Chapter 4). The authors have completely missed the basic point about rubrics: to make assessment more consistent. There are better books on assessment with rubrics than this chapter.
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on April 26, 2015
This and later editions are praised for being research-based, which is a definite plus. As is common for books aimed at education students in both elementary and secondary programs, the relevance for current and future high school teachers is often difficult to find in most examples and anecdotes.
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on August 6, 2009
I purchase the book brand new. I used the book for less than two weeks and it is already falling apart. It is like they used the wrong type of binding glue. On a brighter note the book has VERY useful strategies.
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on October 22, 2009
My professor absolutely loves this book. I do not particularly care for it. Not very appealing to the reader. Pictures and examples are very blah!!! Plus, it is packed with too much information in a small space. Not enough examples for the concepts that need to be learned. The book came apart for most of my classmates. The pages disconnected from the binding. Hard cover is not so appealing. Does it serve the purpose in my Reading Certification class? Yes. Is it very appealing? No!
I will be reselling it once my class is over.
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on February 19, 2011
This text is used to help teachers assist their students who are having difficulty comprehending or understanding written material that is used to teach them a discipline. It is well-written and offers many strategies and formats for bringing these students up to grade level to meet current standards. Well worth using for teaching content area literacy, much needed in today's fast-paced society and with so many multicultural components.
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on September 27, 2015
Binding was separated from pages. I sprayed contact cement from an aerosol can down the binding. Problem soved. Minor setback for the price.
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on May 14, 2011
I have not read the book extensively, but only to find specific information pertaining to pre, during and post reading strategies. The book seems generally well written and provides some good examples in which teachers can use to help their students to become better readers, however I found the book to be lacking in quantity as it relates to containing a wide variety of strategies that can be used with students.
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on March 22, 2014
This is not a terrible textbook. It's a little boring and does not include as much information or as many strategies I would have liked. But the price was right (I purchased it used for about 6 dollars) and I needed it for a class I am taking.
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on July 19, 2010
This book repeats itself and used incorrect information in a quote, which I had to research on-line to straighten out. The graphics and layout are distracting, and the information is nothing really new. Part of the problem is that it's being used as a textbook for the Grand Canyon University masters program, and it is meant to be a text for beginning teachers, which is not a fault of the book.
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