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Reading to Learn in Secondary Classrooms: Increasing Comprehension and Understanding

by Daniel M Perna and Sarah F Mahurt Corwin Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 128 pages
AU$118.00 NZ$123.48
Product Status: Not Our Publication - we no longer distribute
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Reading: a tool for learning in any subject area!

Although reading is an essential skill for learning in any discipline, many students in today's secondary classrooms find reading tasks difficult and often fail to complete those assignments. Now this proven, step-by-step instructional model shows secondary teachers how to help students boost their reading comprehension, acquire knowledge through their reading, and process the information that they've learned.

Providing numerous classroom examples, the authors show teachers how to use research-based, high-effect strategies before, during, and after reading to increase student learning in various content and subject areas. Teachers learn how to help students:

Prepare for learning and anticipate reading assignments through pre-lesson strategies such as previewing the text, activating prior knowledge, and developing questions
Remain focused and engaged during reading assignments through strategies such as reciprocal teaching, jigsaw, and think-alouds
Process and internalize newly learned information using strategies such as graphic organizers and summaries
Easy to implement, this method helps secondary teachers improve students' content learning and reading ability at the same time!

-Presents a user-friendly instructional planning model that can be used across the content areas
-Offers specific strategies to use during the three stages of instruction
-Includes numerous examples from content classrooms
-Can be easily implemented by the classroom teacher and is also useful for schoolwide adoption

List of Figures
About the Authors
1. Introduction
Challenges for Secondary Teachers
Lifelong Literacy Growth and Development
What to Teach
Research in Literacy
How This Book Helps
2. The Instructional Process
Before Reading Activities
During Reading Activities
After Reading Activities
The Process
3. Before Reading
Background Knowledge
Developing Questions
Understanding and Using Text Structure
Previewing Text
4. During Reading
Jigsawing Text and Graphic Organizers
Reciprocal Teaching
Think Alouds
Oral Reading
5. After Reading
Graphic Organizers
Written Summaries
Importance of Writing
6. Putting It All Together
Students Today
Following Through With Assessment
What Does This Mean for Teachers?
Improving Content Learning and Literacy
Appendix A
School Examples Using Instructional Framework
Issues in a Vocational-Technical School
Initial Professional Development
Measures of Success

Includes clear sample lessons from nearly every major content area so teachers can see how the literacy strategies have been applied in the classroom. Joan Baltezore, Biology Teacher This text helps the reader understand that students do not just learn to read in the primary grades. Students must continue to grow and become more sophisticated readers if we expect them to master varied content information and concepts. The strategies in this book provide a framework to support content area teachers as they strive to engage students and increase content literacy as well as content mastery. Crystal Leu, Director of Curriculum 'Recent research has shown that the overarching assumption that students can read and understand on a basic level can no longer be assured. This book provides clear, comprehensive, cogent, and concise processes that educators can use to enhance high school students' capacity to read, understand, and use the information contained in written word. I recommend this text to high school instructors, their mentors, and administrators who interact with students for whom basic reading skills are still a challenge.' Hal Hayden, Adjunct Faculty, Nova Southeastern University 'Great book! Literacy for all, not just academics. The case studies and data are easy to understand, and the techniques can be quickly implemented in all classes. A definite read for all CTE teachers and directors.' Jan Struebing, Retired Career Technical Education Director 'Perna and Mahurt understand the difficulties faced by secondary teachers today and emphasize commonsense literacy strategies to alleviate these difficulties. Using literacy instruction as a learning tool that helps teachers instruct students in their respective content areas has the potential for student growth across the curriculum. This book provides useful tools for secondary teachers in all content areas.' Carol Arjona, Director of Secondary Education 'There are two reasons why this is an important resource for high school teacher leaders: the underlying understanding that ALL students must master literacy at a high level, and the abundance of specific high school examples presented in a user-friendly format. Literacy and learning linked in ways that can be implemented immediately and easily!' Billie Donegan, Director of Instructional Best Practice and School Change Coach
Daniel M. Perna is an educational consultant concentrating on school improvement and achievement. His work focuses on implementing high standards in classrooms, helping teachers develop strategies to increase student comprehension, and designing goal-oriented leadership for schools. Perna has over 30 years of experience in public education. He has been an English teacher, basketball coach, athletic director, high school principal, and assistant superintendent. He currently serves as an adjunct teacher in graduate education for Wilkes University and as an advisor to doctoral students in educational leadership at NOVA Southeastern University. Perna has received the Pennsylvania Association of Supervision and Curriculum Directors award for research and publications. He has presented professional development workshops, keynote addresses, and conference presentations in both the United States and Canada. He is noted for his motivational approach to developing a passion for success in the school and classroom. He was granted a master’s in educational administration from McDaniel College and a doctorate from NOVA Southeastern University.

Sarah F. Mahurt is the director of the Purdue Literacy Collaborative and associate professor of literacy and language at Purdue. Through her leadership, the Purdue Literacy Collaborative has trained more than 80 literacy coordinators to be literacy leaders and coaches in their schools. This project has reached more than 800 teachers who are improving their teaching of literacy and student achievement in literacy. She recently received the Department of Curriculum and Instruction’s Engagement Award for this school reform effort.

Mahurt's publications include articles on the integration of reading and writing, teacher development, and Caribbean children’s literature. She has also made numerous presentations on literacy teaching and learning in elementary schools and school reform in literacy education. She has consulted with schools and districts focusing on school improving student achievement in reading and writing. She recently chaired a committee to develop a statewide network of educators in Indiana who are focused on improving writing instruction.

In more than 25 years as an educator, Mahurt has worked as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, and university professor. She was awarded the Celebrate Literacy Award from the St. Croix Chapter of the International Reading Association and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Outstanding Educator Award for her literacy work in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. She was also received the Teaching Excellence Award at the University of the Virgin Islands.