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Struggling Adolescent Readers: Why They Struggle and What Teachers Can Do Mary E. Curtis, Ph.D. Director, Center for Special Education Lesley University.

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Presentation on theme: "Struggling Adolescent Readers: Why They Struggle and What Teachers Can Do Mary E. Curtis, Ph.D. Director, Center for Special Education Lesley University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Struggling Adolescent Readers: Why They Struggle and What Teachers Can Do Mary E. Curtis, Ph.D. Director, Center for Special Education Lesley University National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk (NDTAC) May 19, 2005

2 2 Overview  What does research tell us about struggling adolescent readers?  What instructional practices hold promise?

3 3 Percentages of Students At Expected Level Grigg, W.S., Daane, M.C., Jin, Y., & Campbell, J.R. (2003). The nation’s report card: Reading Jessup, MD: Education Publications Center.

4 4 Percentages of Students Most At Risk Grigg, W.S., Daane, M.C., Jin, Y., & Campbell, J.R. (2003). The nation’s report card: Reading Jessup, MD: Education Publications Center.

5 5 Components of Reading

6 6 Interactions Among Reading Components

7 Adolescent Literacy Programs in Grades 6-12 Based on data contained in Appendix A, from the Adolescent Literacy Briefing Book, prepared for the Carnegie Corporation of NewYork by C. Snow, G. Biancarosa & M Nair. 17 Programs 21 Programs 16 Programs 15 Programs

8 8 Recent Trends in Reading Research in Grades studies 12 studies 77 studies Based on: Curtis, M.E. (2002, May 20). Adolescent reading: A synthesis of the research. Paper presented at NIFL/NICHD Adolescent Literacy Workshop II, Baltimore, MD. 13 studies

9 9 Evidence-Based Education

10 10  Average Age: 15 (from 8-18)  60% Male; about 40% Minority  Average IQ (from )  Boys Town is 3rd out-of-home placement  Length of Stay: months  Behaviorally disordered & emotionally impaired  40-50% with a history of academic failure  10-15% classified as learning disabled Boys Town Youth: A Profile

11 11 More Than 2 Years Behind: Oral Reading Word Recognition Comprehension Vocabulary Spelling 15-20% 20-25% 30% 40% 50% Oral Reading Rate = ~ 100 WCPM Reading Achievement of Incoming Youth

12 12 retells stories from books read; names letters of the alphabet; plays with books, pencils & paper; prints name; recognizes some signs Stage 0 Prereading Stage 0 Prereading learning letter-sound & print-spoken word relationships; reads simple texts; “sounds out” some words Stage 1 Decoding Stage 1 Decoding reading stories & short selections with increasing fluency; “ungluing” from print is taking place Stage 2 Confirmation Stage 2 Confirmation Stage 3 Reading to Learn Stage 3 Reading to Learn reading is used to learn new information, new ideas, new words & concepts Stage 4 Multiple Viewpoints Stage 4 Multiple Viewpoints reading from a broad range of complex materials; experiencing a wide variety of perspectives & attitudes Stage 5 Construction Stage 5 Construction reading occurs rapidly & efficiently; used for personal & professional needs Stages of Reading Development From: Chall, J.S. (1983, 1996). Stages of reading development. NY: Harcourt Brace.

13 13 Alphabetics  20-25% may be more than 2 years behind; as many as 1 out of 10 may have serious gaps  Direct, systematic, explicit instruction is effective  Focus on high frequency spelling-sound relationships within challenging words  Instruction should be reflective  Connections among word analysis, word recognition, and semantic access should be emphasized

14 14  oat  coat  boat  goat  boast  approach  charcoal  scapegoat Laubach Program Laubach Program Revised Program Revised Program Sample -oa- Words From: Curtis, M.E., & Chmelka, M.B. (1994). Modifying thee Laubach Way to Reading Program for use with adolescents with LDs. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 9,

15 15 Fluency  As many as 1 out of 5 may be 2 or more years below grade level; average reading rate when accurate may be as slow as 100 words correct per minute  Frequent opportunities to practice word identification in context should be provided  Fluent reading should be modeled, supported, and monitored

16 16 Vocabulary  As many as 1 out of 2 may be 2 or more years below grade level  Explicit vocabulary instruction may work best for those who struggle most  Instruction should provide multiple opportunities to learn word meanings in a variety of contexts  Instruction should engage learners in application of word meanings  Instruction should emphasize differences as well as similarities in meanings

17 17 Introducing Word Meanings Promote inference making about appropriate contexts VS Asking students to infer word meaning from context

18 18 Comprehension  As many as 1 out of 3 may be 2 or more years below grade level  Instruction should provide learners with direct explanation and modeling of strategies  Instruction should include guided practice  Changing teacher’s behavior may be as significant as changing students’

19 19 Explorations Board From: Curtis, M.E., & Longo, A.M. (1999). When adolescents can’t read: Methods and materials that work. Cambridge, MA: Brookline.

20 Replication Results: Standardized Tests Fall of 1996 to Spring of 1999

21 21 Raising Reading Achievement Provide High Quality Reading Instruction for All Learners Within Content Area Classes Provide High Quality Reading Instruction for All Learners Within Content Area Classes Provide Intensive Remedial Interventions For Those Learners in Need Provide Intensive Remedial Interventions For Those Learners in Need AND

22 22  Structured  Fast-Paced  Challenging  Appealing  Sensible  Optimistic  Learning-Based What Features Matter?

23 23 General References Curtis, M.E., & Longo, A.M. (1999). When adolescents can’t read: Methods and materials that work. Cambridge, MA: Brookline. Deshler, D.D., Schumaker, J., Harris, K.R., & Graham, S. (Eds.).(1999). Teaching every adolescent every day: Learning in diverse middle and high school classrooms. Cambridge: Brookline Books. Jetton, T.L., & Dole, J.A. (Eds.).(2004). Adolescent literacy research and practice. New York: Guilford. Kamil, M.L. (2002). Adolescents and literacy: Reading for the 21 st Century. Retrieved January 15, 2005, from McCardle, P., & Chhabra, V. (Eds.).(2004). The voice of evidence in reading research. Baltimore: Brookes. McEwan, E.K. (2001). Raising reading achievement in middle and high schools: 5 simple-to-follow strategies for principals. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J., & Pollock, J.E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Research- based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Moore, D.W., Beab, T.W., Birdyshaw, D., & Rycil, J.A. (1999). Adolescent literacy: A position statement. Retrived January 15, 2005, from Schoenbach, R., Greenleaf, C., Cziko, C., & Hurwitz, L, (1999). Reading for understanding: A guide to improving reading in middle and high school classrooms. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


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