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Developing Research-Based Resources for the Balanced Reading Teacher

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Improving Instruction for Older Struggling Readers
Sebastian Wren, Ph.D.

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Book Review 
A lot of kids have slipped through the cracks in our system.  We have one of the best educational systems in the country (yes, I believe that -- comparing our educational system against other countries is like comparing apples and oranges).  But even so, millions of kids -- MILLIONS -- fail to learn to read.  They don't learn to read in the early grades, and their teachers in the later grades don't know what to do with them.  They get shoved into special ed programs or resource programs.  They get passed from grade to grade, class to class, school to school, until either they get fed up with school and drop out or they graduate.  And, yes, many students do graduate without really being able to read.

We can put a stop to this -- as soon as we realize a student can't read, there are things we can do about it.  We can teach all students to read -- even students who have slipped through the cracks for a few years.  We don't have to pass them around like a hot-potato.

-- To learn more about a particular book, or to purchase a copy of that book, just click on the image of the book cover --
When Adolescents Can't Read
Mary E. Curtis and Ann Marie Longo
Published in 1999 by Brookline Books
This book is one in a series of books that I heartily recommend (not just this book, but all of the books in this series).  The series is called "From Reading Research to Practice: A Series for Teachers." The series was edited by Jeanne Chall, and every book in the series is short, concrete, and very useful.

This is a wonderful book.  The authors describe their general approach and strategy for working with older struggling readers in Boy's Town, but their approach can be used in absolutely any middle- or high-school setting.  It is an assessment-driven, individualized approach, that has been very effective with older struggling readers.  Curtis and Longo offer some advice and tips for dealing with the frustrations that older struggling readers experience -- frustrations that often lead to discipline problems as the students try to avoid reading and writing activities.  If you work with teen-agers who are still having difficulty with reading, then you absolutely must buy this book.

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Last Updated 1-1-05