As I mentioned in my previous blog post I have been taking a class called “Reading and Writing in the Middle and Secondary Schools” and our text is “When Kids Can’t Read: What Teachers Can Do” by Kylene Beers. I have really enjoyed this book and so I wanted to blog about it!
This book focuses on strategies to help struggling readers, and I mean really struggling readers. Readers who have a hard time picturing the story in their heads, who find it hard to make predictions about a story, and those who even struggle to sound out words.
Since I want to teach at the high school level I never thought that I would be faced with students reading at this level. This class has made it clear that this assumption was wrong. Although it is still crazy to me that some students can make it to high school while still reading at a third grade level, I now know of techniques I can try out in order to help these students.
At the beginning and end of each chapter Beers includes a letter to a previous student, George. Through these letters Beers shows us that in her beginning years of teaching she struggled to help the dependent readers in her class, but she has learned since then and she offers her valuable knowledge and experience in each chapter. She addresses ways to help students make inferences, pre-reading strategies, during-reading strategies, and after-reading strategies that aid students in gaining comprehension of different texts. Beers also shares activities to support reading fluency and valuable vocabulary exercises.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. “When Kids Can’t Read” is a book that I can see myself turning to again and again in the future. I highly recommend checking it out. I was also extremely excited to discover that Kylene Beers will be presenting at this year’s NCTE Conference!! You know what session I will be attending!
This was what my face looked like when I discovered the session with Kylene Beers … in kitty form!