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Raising Reading Achievement in Middle and High Schools
Updated Edition of Bestseller

Raising Reading Achievement in Middle and High Schools
Five Simple-to-Follow Strategies

Second Edition

October 2006 | 224 pages | Corwin
Strengthen student literacy achievement in middle and high schools!

In response to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), raising literacy levels in secondary schools has taken on a new urgency. Recognized literacy author, Elaine K. McEwan, focuses her revised second edition on enhancing the "five big ideas" for raising reading achievement with seven cognitive strategies of highly effective readers and more than twenty research-based "teaching for learning" tips to infuse into daily content instruction.

Featuring reflection and discussion questions for reinforcement, this indispensable guide demonstrates how to improve students' literacy with these five teacher-friendly strategies:

  • Focus on changing what you can change
  • Teach the students who can't read how to read
  • Teach every student how to read to learn
  • Motivate all students to read more, to read increasingly more challenging books, and to be accountable for what they read
  • Create a reading culture in your school

With new programs designed for adolescent learners, this update provides suggestions and developmental tools to effectively strengthen reading curriculum and instruction. Reading specialists, special education teachers, literacy coaches, intervention specialists, and central office administrators can also use this essential tool for evaluating middle and high school reading programs and formulating school and district improvement goals.

List of Teaching for Learning Tips
A Change in Focus

The Goals of This Book

Who This Book Is For

What This Book Is Not

Overview of the Contents

A New Feature

The Challenge

About the Author
1. Reading Achievement: Where Do We Stand?
Raising Achievement Expectations

The State of Reading Achievement in the Nation

The Response of Educators

The State of Reading Achievement in the States

Roadblocks to Raising Achievement in Middle and High Schools

The Responsibility of School Leaders

Reflection and Discussion Questions

2. Focus on Changing What You Can Change
Change the Educational Paradigm

Change How Goals Are Set

Change How Teachers Teach

Change the Curriculum and How It Is Chosen

Change the Alignment of the Curriculum

Change the Amount of Time Allocated to Reading Instruction

Change Where Strategic Reading Instruction Is Provided

Change How Learning Is Assessed

Change Expectations for Students

Change How Professional Development Is Provided

Reflection and Discussion Questions

3. Teach the Students Who Can’t Read How to Read
How Children Learn to Read: A Short Lesson

Failing to Learn

Programs to Remediate Struggling Secondary Students

Find the Students in Special Education Who Can’t Read and Teach Them to Read

Reflection and Discussion Questions

4. Teach Every Student How to Read to Learn
Reading to Learn and Cognitive Strategies

The Strategic Teacher

How to Teach Cognitive Strategies

Reading to Learn and Vocabulary Development

Reading to Learn and Knowledge Acquisition

How We Can Engage More Students in Reading to Learn

Cognitive Strategy Instruction at Alief Hastings High School

Reflection and Discussion Questions

5. Motivate Every Student to Read in the Zone
The Value of Reading a Lot

Reading in the Zone

The Importance of Reading Challenging Fiction and Nonfiction

The Importance of Accountability

Motivating Students to Read a Lot

Engaging Students in Reading

Skills to Read With Confidence and Success

Reflection and Discussion Questions

6. Create a Reading Culture in Your School
Pay Attention to the Basic Beliefs and Core Values of Stakeholders

Determine What Needs to Be Changed

Identify the Roadblocks to Change

Hire a Strong (Assertive) Instructional Leader

Hold Everyone Accountable

Make a Plan

Don’t Forget the Parents and Kids

Assess for Learning

Press Academically and Be Instructionally Tenacious

Getting the Job Done at Griffin Middle School

Reflection and Discussion Questions

Resource A. Assessment Tools
Resource A.1: Prereading Assessment Form

Resource A.2: Prereading Assessment Key

Resource A.3: Postreading Assessment Form

Resource A.4: Postreading Assessment Key

Resource B. Programs for Learning to Read in Secondary School
Benchmark Program

Corrective Reading

Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)


Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes

Reading Is FAME

Reasoning and Writing

REWARDS (Reading Excellence: Word Attack and Rate Development Strategies)

The Spalding Method

Spelling Through Morphographs

Resource C. Creating a Strong Reading Culture: A Process Exercise


Time Required


Administration Directions


"Makes a distinct contribution to the field and should be mandatory reading for each and every building principal for every middle, junior high, and high school in the United States."

Erin Rivers, Principal
De La Salle Middle School, Mission, KS

"Provides a compelling case for strategies and goals based upon research and student achievement. The author offers real school case studies and the goals are clear and understandable."

Rosemarie Young, Former President

"The book is based on 20 research-based reading strategies, incorporating these into a teacher's daily curriculum and routines and helping teachers with students who can't seem to learn to read. A 'must-have' reference."

California Bookwatch, December 2006

"Offers a reinforcing translation of available results into a practical guide that motivates school administrators and teachers to put research findings into actions."

PsycCRITIQUES, July 2007, Vol. 52(28)
American Psychological Association

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

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