Pathways to Independence: Reading, Writing, and Learning in Grades 3-8 / Edition 1

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This comprehensive text presents a core of research-based approaches to engaging, effective literacy instruction in the middle grades. Methods and materials are described to foster reading skills, content mastery, and writing in different formats and for different purposes. The authors emphasize the need to tailor instruction to the needs, strengths, skill levels, and interests of diverse students. They offer recommendations for reading lists that incorporate critically acclaimed fiction and nonfiction, popular series books, and other student-friendly materials. Special features include case studies, examples of teaching and assessment activities, and commentary from middle-school teachers and students. Appendices contain reproducible forms and lists of recommended reading materials and resources.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The shelves of university libraries and college bookstores are filled with books on beginning reading instruction, but there are few, if any, quality works that address how to teach reading and promote the literacy of middle-grade students. This void has now been filled. Building upon their collective experience and scholarship, Worthy, Broaddus, and Ivey take us on a theoretically based yet pragmatic journey through the intricacies of teaching students who may have acquired fundamental skills in decoding and comprehension but have yet to develop into skillful, willful, mature readers. For college instructors who teach reading methods courses focused on the upper elementary or middle-school levels--or for those simply interested in the unique dynamics of teaching literacy to preadolescents--this is an essential resource. The authors provide the substantive detail needed to teach reading to this oft-neglected group of learners. Preservice students, practicing teachers, and college instructors will find this to be an engaging, informative work." --James F. Baumann, PhD, Department of Reading Education, University of Georgia

"This book provides preservice and classroom teachers with a much-needed perspective. Challenging many current instructional practices, the authors clearly demonstrate that middle-level literacy instruction transcends content areas and is the responsibility of all teachers. Central to the text is the deep, essential need for educators to value and honor student voice in reading and writing if literacy growth is to flourish. Teachers will find the book to be a valuable study group tool. Together, they can explore the text, reflect on their own teaching, and discover numerous methods to enhance student engagement and literacy development." --Deborah E. Grove, PhD, Supervisor, Williamsport Area School District, Williamsport, PA

"Teachers are going to love this book! It offers rich portraits of real kids doing real reading, and it contains all the information teachers need to develop a successful middle-grade reading program. Including specific strategies, guidelines for implementing them, and needed resources, the book is comprehensive and engaging. The knowledge presented will help both teachers and students develop their skills." --Cathy M. Roller, PhD, Director of Research and Policy, International Reading Association

This text presents a core of research-based approaches to literary instruction in the middle grades. Methods and materials are described to foster reading skills, content mastery, and writing in different formats and for different purposes. The authors emphasize the need to tailor instruction to the needs, strengths, skill levels, and interests of diverse students. They offer recommendations for reading lists that incorporate critically acclaimed fiction and nonfiction, popular series books, and other student-friendly materials. Special features include case studies, examples of teaching and assessment activities, and commentary from students and teachers. Appendices contain reproducible forms and lists of reading materials and resources. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572306479
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/20/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 345
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Jo Worthy, PhD, is Associate Professor of Reading Education and Teacher Education at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate practicum courses in reading methods and reading difficulties in addition to courses on reading and language arts research. After receiving her bachelor's degree and teaching certificate in early childhood education, Dr. Worthy taught for many years in Virginia public elementary and middle schools. She continues to spend most of her time in public schools, collaborating closely with teachers, teaching her classes on an elementary school campus, and directing a literacy tutoring program. Dr. Worthy earned her doctorate in 1989 from the University of Virginia in reading education, focusing on educational research, clinical assessment, and children's literature. From 1991 to 1994, as a postdoctoral fellow at the Learning Research and Development Center with Isabel Beck and Margaret McKeown, she researched text comprehension and engagement. Her current research and teaching interests include teacher education, students' reading preferences, and reading difficulties, with a focus on grades 1-6.

Karen Broaddus, PhD, is Associate Professor of Reading Education at James Madison University. Her background experiences include teaching middle and secondary English and working as a children's librarian in school and public library settings. Dr. Broaddus received her doctorate from the University of Virginia in 1995, focusing her studies on reading, English education, and assessment. She began her college career at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, teaching children's literature, multicultural studies in adolescent literature, language arts, and literacy assessment and intervention. In Tulsa city schools, Dr. Broaddus collaborated with preservice teachers in group research projects on children's responses to multiethnic literature and in individual case study projects on struggling readers. Since her appointment to the faculty at James Madison University in 1998, she has focused her teaching and research on reading, writing, and content area learning in the middle grades.

Gay Ivey, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Reading Education at the University of Maryland at College Park. She began her teaching career in Albemarle County, Virginia, where she was a middle school Title I reading/language arts teacher. Dr. Ivey received her master's degree from the University of Virginia in 1990 and her doctorate from the University of Georgia in 1997. Her first university position was at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University before moving to the University of Maryland in 1999. She teaches courses in reading instruction and assessment. Her research interests include examining ways to make regular classroom instruction more responsive to individual development and motivation in the upper elementary and middle grades, especially for students who find reading and writing difficult.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Understanding Students in the Middle Grades (Grade 3-8)
Personal and Social Issues that Affect Education for Students in the Middle Grades
A Guide to This Book
I. Getting Ready for the School Year: Assessment and Materials
1. Assessment: Getting to Know Students as People and Learners
What Is Assessment and Why Is It Important
Getting to Know Students as People
Getting to Know Students as Learners
Issues in Choosing Appropriate Books
Analyzing Students' Reading
Continual Assessments during Classroom Instruction
2. What Students Read and How to Get It
Building a Classroom Collection to Support Learning and Engagement
Other Important Featuers of a Well-Balanced Classroom Collection
Books That "Fit": Guiding Students in Choosing Appropriate Books
The Hardest Part: Acquiring Materials for Classroom Collections
II. Reading and Writing Instruction
3. Reading Aloud to Students
Why Read Aloud in the Middle Grades?
Exposing Students to a Variety of Topics and Genres by Reading Aloud
Promoting Engagement in Reading through Reading Aloud
Giving Students Access to Materials They Cannot Yet Read on Their Own
Creating a Context for Sharing Expertise about Reading and Writing
Providing Opportunities for Personal Response, Discussion, and Inquiry
Making Time for Reading Aloud
4. Just Reading
Why Prioritize Independent, Self-Selected Reading?
The Importance of Self-Selection: What Students Read on their Own
What Teachers Do during Reading Time: Supporting, Teaching, and Assessing
5. Building Reading Fluency
What Is Fluency and Why Is It Important?
Elementary and Middle School Classrooms That Foster Reading Fluency
Why Some Students Don't Develop Adequate Fluency
Traditional Fluency Instruction
Purposeful Instruction That Targets Fluency Development
Assessing Fluency
6. Guiding Students to Read as Writers
Tapping Personal Experience as a Source for Writing
Thinking as an Author: Using Models from Literature
Engagement and Writing: Developing Independence
7. Exploring Words
Encouraging Language Play
When Do I Teach Grammar?
What about Spelling?
Using Students' Knowledge about Words to Guide Instruction
8. Guiding Students to Act as Researchers
Why Focus on Research?
Learning about the Research Process
Setting UP Clear Steps for Research and the Writing Process
Revisiting the Topic of Engagement in Research
9. Tailoring Instruction for Individual Students
Meeting Students' Needs in the Regular Instructional Program
Extra Assistance for Students Who Struggle
Current Views on Students Who Struggle in Literacy
School Programs for Students Who Struggle in Literacy
Instruction in Remedial and Special Education Programs
What Kinds of Instruction Do Struggling Learners Need?
A Plan for Meeting the Needs of Struggling Learners
Exploring Options for Additional Assistance
Learning More about Helping Struggling Learners
Appendix A. Graphic Organizers for Reading and Writing
A.1. Expository Writing: Sequence Chart
A.2. Expository Writing: Cause and Effect
A.3. Expository Writing: Description
A.4. Expository Writing: Problem and Solution
A.5. Expository Writing: Comparison
A.6. Narrative Writing
A.7. Concept Web
A.8. Persuasive Writing: Editorial
Appendix B. Forms and Record Keeping
B.1. Project Checklist for a Simulated Journal
B.2. Content Editing Checklist for Narrative Writing
B.3. Blank Content Editing Checklist
B.4. Mechanics Editing Checklist for Narrative Writing
B.5. Blank Mechanics Editing Checklist
B.6. Evaluation Form for Content Area Poetry Collection: Free Verse
B.7. Blank Evaluation Form
B.8. Interview for the First Day of School
B.9. Reading Attitudes Survey
B.10. Reading Preference Survey
B.11. Reading and Writing Habits Survey
Appendix C. Literature for Children and Adolescents
C. 1. Poetry
C.2. Picture Book Sets: Literary Analysis and Teaching Writing
C.3. Short Chapter Books and Short Stories
C.4. Text Sets for Thematic Studies
C.5. Nonfiction Models for Teaching Expository Writing
C.6. Diversity in Realistic Fiction
Appendix D. Resources for Teaching Reading and Writing
D.1. Professional Resources for Teachers
D.2. Professional Journals
D.3. Magazines for Children and Young Adults
D.4. Resources on the World Wide Web
Appendix E. Charles: A Case Study of a Less Skilled Reader in the Middle Grades
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