Monday, January 25, 2010


Hello All,

Tonight I am passing along a request from Kylene Beers, former NCTE president and author of When Kids Can't Read What Teachers Can Do, one of MY favorite resources. Kylene is researching ways that educators teach novels to struggling readers, and she wants our input. Here is her request:Please consider helping Kylene Beers and Bob Probst with research that stands to benefit us all when the results come out. Here are the details. The online survey takes only a minute:
Bob Probst and I are looking for some information on how teachers teach novels to struggling readers. We’ve created a survey on survey monkey and will keep it open through January 30. Here’s the post I put up on Twitter a few hours ago:

Beers/Probst survey for tchrs gr 4-12 re novels for struggling readers. Ends Jan 30. Survey link:

Would you each spread the word about the survey through your own twitter accounts, Nings, Facebook page, or email distribution lists? Some of you might even actually talk face to face with teachers. That’s also an acceptable word to encourage folks to participate. Those of you with college classes of inservice teachers might encourage them to respond.

We’ll post results on my blog site ( in a couple of weeks.


You were all so great to respond to my survey about reading aloud that I felt you would be willing to respond to this request as well.

Thanks again,


D said...

We did this with the novel "Night" by Elie Wiesel. I gave the kids some historical information. Introduced all the new vocabulary. With each prior chapter. I teach reading so I incorporated some good decoding skills. We read the novel in class - had my better readers read and I did too. I downloaded the audio version of the novel. I had problems with this as the version I had only worked with Itunes and I couldn't get it to work on a CD. Get a good technology person to help. Give yourself lots of time and do it in small chunks. At the end we watched Schindler's List (the movie) and compared what we learned with the book with what we saw in the movie. Though the stories were different, the experiences were identical in a lot of cases. Also, for students with learning disabilities, there is a program called which allows you to download books and also a program called "readoutloud" which allows the computer to read the book to the kids as they follow on the computer screen. We covered a lot of the literary concepts. It took more time. But it was worth it.

link2literacy said...

Thanks so much for your suggestions, D. What were some of the good decoding skills you incorporated? Be sure to post this comment on Kylene's site at well! rbs

D said...

We did some basic things like syllable division, looking at suffixes, v-e syllables, etc. The word, "crematorium" was divided: cre-mat-or-i (i makes the long e sound) and then um. Since I teach reading, many of the kids knew these rules. I would suggest getting the book, "The Writing Road to Reading" by Spalding which is a multi-sensory approach to reading and gives some good information on the structure of words.