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Lifers: Learning from At-Risk Adolescent Readers / Edition 1

Lifers: Learning from At-Risk Adolescent Readers / Edition 1

by Pam MuellerPam Mueller
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Aaron. Alexis. Bob. Carol. Christian. Cody. David. Eric. Frank. Jasmine. Kayla. Keith. Kim. Kristin. Kristy. Mark. Mick. Patti. Paul. Sergio. Sierra. Stan.

These are Pam Mueller's pseudonyms for the twenty-two very real high school students she researched, observed, interviewed, and worked closely with, in preparation for this powerful narrative. "They're all lifers," she writes, "students who have spent all their lives in remedial programs . . . students who have much to teach us . . . if only we will listen."

Listen she did and she presents their stories in their own words to support her strong plea for a much more effective literacy curriculum. "Their voices validate much of the research conducted over the past thirty years in the field of reading instruction," Mueller comments. "What is surprising is how despite this knowledge we have continued to employ faulty classroom practices. . . . Lifers they have become, and lifers they will remain."

Unwilling to accept this premise, Mueller offers her own solutions through three reading workshops that she and her colleagues implemented. The first lays the foundation for change through goal setting, reading activities, study strategies, ongoing assessment and evaluation, and more. But that's just for starters. For students who need additional help, Reading Workshop II was created, where smaller groups of lifers can discover the power of language, both oral and written, in a safe and supportive setting. And to help the neediest readers, they developed Reading Rebound, an individualized remedial class modeled after Marie Clay's Reading Recovery program. All three workshops are fully described in the book.

And throughout, the voices of the lifers are heard - loud and clear - in their own, often poignant, words.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780867095142
Publisher: Heinemann
Publication date: 09/21/2001
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range: 11 - 17 Years

About the Author

For twenty-five years Pam Mueller has worked as a teacher and reading consultant at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She is currently an instructor in University of New Hampshire's Learning Through Teaching inservice program as well as a facilitator for New Hampshire's Best Schools Initiative. She is a frequent consultant, speaker, and workshop leader.

Table of Contents

Part IAt-Risk Adolescents Speak Out: Alexis, Kayla, Mick, and Friends1
1.Lifers: When Readers Struggle From the Start3
Alexis's View of Reading6
Alexis's View of Herself8
The Beginnings of the Struggle9
Problems Encountered in the Struggle10
Trying to Get Help at School13
Parents Step In16
2.From Love to Hate: Educational Practices That Turn Kids Off to Reading19
Ineffective Instruction22
One Size Does Not Fit All25
Choice Makes the Reader28
Reading That Emphasizes Decoding Over Understanding33
Ineffectual Teacher-Student Connections38
3.Journeys Not Taken: Going Nowhere in Your Reading43
The Roots of Mick's Ambivalence47
What's the Point?49
A Glimpse into the Reader's World56
Destination: The Reader's World57
Mind Journeys Aren't Easy59
Finding Their Way63
4.What These Lifers Teach Us65
Seeing Is Believing66
If/Then Conclusions67
Can We Make a Difference?70
Part IIA Revised Curriculum and Re-visioned Readers73
5.Reading Workshop I: Laying the Foundation for Change75
Reading Workshop in Action: "Do We Really Have to Read Today?"76
Course Goal82
Program Effectiveness83
Students and Space84
Class Schedule86
Reading Activities86
Study Strategies87
Setting Expectations87
Keeping on Track90
Ongoing Assessment and Evaluation91
Keeping Parents Informed93
6.Reading Rebound: Preliminary Footings for Those Who Need It Most94
"I'm a Reader Now"95
Instructional Model100
Choosing the Student104
Training and Supporting the Teacher105
Assessing Progress106
Evaluating Results107
7.Reading Workshop II: Constructing the Framework for Success109
"We Can Read and Talk, Read and Talk"110
Learning More About Our Students117
Reading Beyond the Classroom120
Introducing Effective Reading Practices120
Learning Together: A Team-Teaching Approach to Instruction125
Assessment and Evaluation126
8.Literacy Workshop Electives for Those Who Still Need Support128
"I've Got the Knack of It All Right, But Only to a Point"129
Afterword: What's the Point to All This?135

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