1st Edition

Success with Struggling Readers
The Benchmark School Approach

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ISBN 9781593851699
Published June 22, 2005 by Guilford Press
264 Pages

USD $39.00

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Book Description

From the founder of the internationally known Benchmark School, this unique book presents a proven approach for helping struggling students become fully engaged readers, learners, thinkers, and problem solvers. Benchmark's research-based Interactive Learning Model is clearly explained and illustrated with teacher-friendly, how-to-do-it examples. Gaskins demonstrates ways to teach effective strategies for decoding words and understanding concepts, and to give students the skills to apply these strategies across the curriculum based on their individual cognitive styles and the specific demands of the task at hand. Comprehensive yet highly readable, the book includes quick-reference charts and reproducible figures and activities that can be used in all subject-matter areas, grades 1 through 8.

Table of Contents

I. Struggling Readers
1. Searching for Answers to the Why and How of Struggling Readers
2. Introduction to Benchmark's Interactive Learning Model and Person Variables
3. Exploring the Strengths and Challenges of Struggling Readers: Personality, Temperament, Emotion, Motivation, and Volition
4. Exploring the Strengths and Challenges of Struggling Readers: Intelligence, Physical Development, and Health
II. Context and Theories of Learning
5. The Context for Learning: Teacher Knowledge, Classroom Culture, and Instruction
6. The Context for Learning: Sociocultural, Task, and Text Variables
7. Learning Principles about the Interaction of Variables, Explicit Instruction, and Social Activity
8. Learning Principles That Guide Instruction: Developmental, Motivational, and Accountability Issues
9. Learning Principles to Share with Students
III. Classroom Implementation
10. Strategies for Reading Words: Teaching Phonemic Awareness, Decoding, and Fluency
11. Activities That Reinforce Word Detective Practices
12. Comprehension Strategies
13. Explicit Explanations of Comprehension Strategies for Grades 1-8
14. Rationale for Teaching Concepts, Essential Understandings, and Knowledge Structures
Afterword: Five Major Insights from 45 Years of Teaching Struggling Readers

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"Irene Gaskins has spent over 30 years shaping Benchmark School into an optimal form of education for struggling readers. Most researchers do not move beyond their dreams when they envision the ideal school or curriculum, but Gaskins is the exception. She has shaped her approach by pursuing new research findings and their application, helping teachers hone their skills to become as effective as possible, uncovering the roadblocks facing struggling readers, and devising programs, writing curricula and then regularly revising them in order to address all of these factors. Educators can learn much about effective teaching and learning from every chapter of this fascinating book. The staff at Benchmark has encountered most of the problems facing elementary and middle grade teachers and principals, and this book provides a picture of the solutions they found to be most effective. Written with expertise and sensitivity, Gaskins's observations, analyses, findings, and solutions will prove informative, eye-opening, and even surprising to teachers in search of new ideas and inspiration."--Linnea C. Ehri, PhD, Program in Educational Psychology, Graduate Center, City University of New York

"Highly recommended reading for educators seeking a better understanding of what really works for struggling readers, with answers that may surprise you. In this volume the legendary Irene Gaskins shares insights gained in applying research to help hundreds of struggling readers find success. As expected, Gaskins provides detailed information on the systematic instruction in word identification and comprehension that has made Benchmark School famous. I appreciated the wealth of classroom examples showing how teachers can actually help struggling readers, not just with the technicalities of reading but with necessary life skills such as good, old-fashioned self-discipline."--Kathryn H. Au, PhD, College of Education, University of Hawaii

"What a wonderful contribution to the field! In this first-person perspective on the renowned Benchmark School approach to literacy, Gaskins offers a compelling combination of history and theory, research and practice. Her integration of psychology and literacy well illustrates that there is far more to teaching struggling readers than teaching them to read. A unique, exceedingly helpful resource, this book includes well-organized chapters, numerous charts, and an outstanding reference list."--Kathleen Mohr, EdD, Department of Teacher Education and Administration, University of North Texas

"This book isn't just about teaching reading--it's about how to help struggling readers succeed in an academic environment. Gaskins presents solid, research-based practices that she and her colleagues at Benchmark developed and that are widely accepted throughout the field. As you read this book, it's only natural to self-assess and cull ideas to improve your own teaching. This would be a fabulous book for an elementary school faculty to read and study together. It would also be great for literacy specialists, or as a text in graduate-level courses on foundations of literacy or working with struggling readers."--Brenda L. Sabey, PhD, Department of Elementary Education, Dixie State College of Utah