Ohio Reading Teacher

Articles

Vol. 40, No. 1, Spring

From the Editors
Dear Readers,Thank you for your support as members of the Ohio Council of the International Reading Association! We appreciate your submissions to the Ohio Reading Teacher, and we hope that you will continue to submit your work to Gail Saunders -Smith,...
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Using Literature to Teach Superlative as a Grammatical Form
When students read and respond to text that provokes thinking, they are much more likely to become active, engaged readers (Harvey and Goudvis, 2007, p. 61).Standards for Teaching the English Language Arts state that "students apply knowledge of language...
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Fluency Is a Vital Link in the Comprehension Chain
Is fluency importantiAs a beginning teacher in the early eighties, imagine seeing the word fluency for the first time on your students' report cards. Although you did not receive any instruction on how to teach fluency, you must give your students a...
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"Can I Read Some More?": Getting Engaged in Science Class
Calvin followed his teacher's directions to "clean off his desk and get ready for science." Although Calvin's teacher characterized him as a disengaged student, he typically followed his teacher's directions. An African -American student, Calvin struggled...
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Engaging Middle School Readers: An Approach and Schedule That Worked for Me
When you enter this fifth grade reading classroom, you are immediately caught off guard by the noise. Students are talking with each other. The teacher is sitting at a table with four 5th grade students discussing a story. At another table a girl has...
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The Bookshelf: Professional Development Resources
I can write like that: A guide to mentor texts and craft studies for writers' workshop, K-6 by Susan Ehmann and Kellyann Gayer (2009). International Reading Association. ISBN: 978-0-87207-708-9Here is a book full of resources that will help you select...
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Vol. 39, No. 1, Fall

From the Editors
Greetings! Some introductory thoughts about this issue of ORT. You will note in this issue that the articles focus on a variety of practical strategies to enhance students' responses to expository and/or literary text. Judy Ganz, for example, describes...
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Word Morphology as A Strategy for Vocabulary Instruction
IntroductionFor many years, reading researchers have been cognizant of vocabulary instruction as a critical component in the teaching of reading and the comprehension of text (Blachowicz & Fisher, 2004; Fountas & Pinnell, 2001; Stahl, 1986, 2003)....
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Teacher Nonfiction Book Clubs
Teacher Nonfiction Book ClubsLindsay, an intermediate teacher, commented, "All of my professional development is with fiction. We hear about new fiction titles and how to use them in the classroom. I joined this nonfiction book club to help me gain insight...
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What Can A Book Club Do for the Community?
Raising Cultural Awareness through Interactive Discussion about The Secret Life of BeesIn the following example of a young women's book club discussion, Joan was encouraged by the facilitator to share her thoughts. The discussion focused on African-American...
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Embracing Literacy in the Physical Education Classroom
Who says that literacy isn't alive in all aspects of classroom instruction? Educators often dismiss the idea that physical educators play a prominent role in reinforcing literacy skills. This myth undermines the necessity of all educators having a foundation...
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Adolescent Literacy and Learning: Increasing Interest in Reading and Active Learning with Content Literacy Kits
February 28, 2007Dear Teachers,Would you like your middle and high school students to be more interested and more motivated to learn the content you are teaching? Would you like to see them read more and learn more about the topics they are studying?...
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Throwing out the Baby with the Bathwater: Federal Budget Cuts in Reading First Not Justified by Ohio's Experience
The story may be apocryphal, but this is the way I heard it when I was a youngster. Back in the day, before running water and draining tubs, families used to take baths in a rotation, from eldest to youngest. As one can imagine, by the time the baby...
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A First-Hand Reading Experience with My Second Grader: A True Story
I was totally blindsided when I went to my son's second grade parent/teacher conference this year. My son's teacher told me that Jason was only reading at a first-grade level! "That's impossible," I said. "When he finished first grade, Jason was above...
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More Than Tutoring: Preparing Quality Teachers While Helping At-Risk Students
During our years of teaching elementary age children, we have each wrestled daily with how to help at-risk children take giant steps forward with both their abilities to read and their love for reading. Eventually, we each went back to grad- uate school...
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The Bookshelf: Professional Development Resources
Contemporary professional development for teachers often focuses on workshops and conferences with the intention of engaging edu- cators in strategies that are research and stan- dards-based. Needless to say, these focused opportunities are well intended...
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Ten Tips on How to Improve Education in Ohio: A Letter to the Governor
Two years have passed since I left Ohio, so it may appear presumptuous of me to suggest ways to improve education in Ohio. Being away, however, provides a healthy perspective as an outsider as well as an insider (having lived in Ohio for nearly twenty...
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"Digital Natives" and Reading with WebQuests
Technology Brief"Digital Natives" are described as "na- tive speakers of technology, fluent in the digital language of computers, video games, and the Internet." (Prensky, 2005/2006 p. 8). An important challenge for today's language arts teachers is...
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Vol. 38, No. 1, Fall

Use Content Reading? When Pigs Fly!
"We do hands-on activities. You don't need to use reading to learn agriculture." This is a typical response from pre-service agricultural teachers when asked the following question in a content reading course: "Do you know how to use reading to help...
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What Can We Expect of Low Income Students? First Graders' Engagement with Writing
The first graders in the class of Ms. Paula Richardson (pseudonym) are doing extraordinarily well in writing. Only seven weeks into the school year, a student has written a story that is 54 words long and includes eight sentences, all of them complete....
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Getting in the Construction Zone: Filling the Teacher "Toolbox" for Implementing Literature Circles in the Classroom
Driving through a new housing development is always exciting for me. I hear the rapping of hammers, the buzzing of saws, and the whirring of drills, but I also hear the voices of people who are cooperating to construct something new. I can easily relate...
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Business:School[four Dots above]Apples:Oranges
Since entering the teaching profession, I have often commented that school is not a business and should not be treated as one. This notion of "scientific management" in education has lately become the driving force behind the decision-making process...
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Promoting Learning for English Language Learners with Portfolios Four Case Studies
IntroductionAccording to the US Census, one in every six children of school age speaks a language other than English at home. These students, known as language minority students, are the fastest growing segment of our school population. They may speak...
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Reading First-Ohio: An Overview
As part of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, Reading First is intended to ensure that all children learn to read well by the end of third grade by putting proven methods of early reading instruction in classrooms. Specifically, the purposes...
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Censorship Causes Deafness
In 399 BC Socrates was condemned for corrupting youth. In 200 BC some of Confucius' books were burned. They let him live, but burned some of his followers for good measure. It went, and goes, on and on. In fact, two authors, who will be at the 5th Annual...
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Fostering Cultural Awareness in a Rural District
When discussing stereotyping with my students, the hotly debated and highly politicized issue of immigration reform seems to creep its way into my language arts classroom. And along with this discussion comes the unpleasant reality of intolerance and...
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Adopting Technology: What Do You Really Need?
Are you concerned that your use of technology may not be adequate to meet the needs of your students? Ae you confused by the number and variety of technological tools in the marketplace? Ae you unsure of where to begin finding answers? Perhaps our experience...
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From the Editors
We would like to dedicate this edition to Mr. William J. York for his contributions to the Ohio Reading Teacher and the Ohio Council of the International Reading Association. He supported the birth, formation and nurturing of this journal from 1967-1978....
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More Than Tutoring: Preparing Quality Teachers While Helping At-Risk Students
During 15 years of teaching elementary age children, I wrestled daily with how to help atrisk children take giant steps forward with both their abilities to read and their love for reading. Eventually, I went back to graduate school in order to find...
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Revisiting an Old Friend: Using DR-TA to Support Struggling Readers in Today's Standards-Based Classroom
Struggling readers need a lot of support. In today's climate of standards and testing, students are being asked to perform on assessments that are testing their reading ability regardless of the subject area on the test. We all know that many of the...
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Vol. 37, No. 1, Fall

To Sink or Not to Sink: Using Literature to Support Scientific Inquiry
To be, or not to be, that is the question.William ShakespeareHamlet, Act III, Scene I (p.127)IntroductionIn Hamlet, Shakespeare invites readers to ponder a famous philosophical question: To be or not to be? In this article we report on a strategy lesson...
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Improving Content Area Writing through Process Drama
For weeks before the school year began my mom would begin stockpiling brown grocery bags. With four children in school, there was always a plethora of textbooks to cover. When the teacher handed out the new year's texts, it was part of a ceremony, repeated...
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Reading and Writing: Make the Connection!
Allie's Basketball Dream - "possible story"By KendylOne day Allie went to the park. She found a basketball on the ground. She asked everybody in the park, but it wasn't anybody's. Then she remembered that she aimed to be a professional basketball player....
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The Changing Landscape of Literature for Youth: An Historical Perspective about Realistic Fiction
A Brief HistoryRealistic fictional stories for youngsters and young adults have historically captured the essence of societal issues of the times. For example, in the 1800s literature for children was didactic. Morals, values, and expectations were taught...
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The Ohio Resource Center: "One-Stop-Shopping" for Ohio Teachers!
Looking for high-quality lesson plans? Puzzled about how to teach an ELA benchmark or grade-level indicator? Want to integrate your language arts instruction with other content areas? Help is just a "click" away!The Ohio Resource Center for Mathematics,...
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From the Editors
Greetings!It has been almost a year since Evangeline Newton invited us, along with Gloria Flaherty and Susan Hayward, to "take over" as the new editors of ORT. Ah, yes, a new challenge! We, Michelle and Chris, agreed to work as a team for this upcoming...
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Peer-Tutoring: Positive Peer Interactions
The other day in the teachers' lounge, I overheard a group of teachers asking questions concerning peer tutoring:"Can general education students help peers with learning disabilities in their classroom?""Is there a place in general education classrooms...
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Pulling It Together: Meeting the Needs of Struggling Readers in a Standard's Based Title I Reading Program
IntroductionAs a Title I Reading teacher, I had the opportunity to work with many young children who performed below grade level reading expectations. By expectations, I mean meeting the Language Arts performance indicators for first grade based on Ohio...
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Friendship's Effect on the Writing Processes and Products of Four Fourth Graders during Their Classroom Writing Workshop
"In Tommy's 'Meet the Author' paper, an autobiographical sketch fashioned after the book jackets of a published book, Tommy wrote, 'He started writing in the 3rd grade. He became a better writer in the 4th grade...'"Background InformationVygotsky (1978)...
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Magnolia Elementary, Where Teachers "Put Reading First" Every Day
Teaching reading and learning to read are complex endeavors. Practices that are purposeful and connected help children think wisely about reading. It helps us (teachers) assess, reassess, and refine our efforts, so that we're doing more of what's working...
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Can Educators Swing the Pendulum? Political Advocacy
Here's a quiz for you - can you name your current Ohio House Representative? Can you name your current Ohio Senator? Don't worry, folks, this isn't going to be one of those articles that urges you to write to your representative (although that's never...
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Vol. 36, No. 1/2, Fall-Spring

Characteristics of Successful Literacy Tutoring
Calling All Reading Tutors: The Characteristics of Effective Literacy TutoringWith the call for reading tutors increasing around the country, it is important to know the characteristics of effective literacy tutoring. Children who have difficulty mastering...
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I Can, but I Won't: A Study of Middle School Reading Engagement
Introduction"I don't really like to read." So said Annette as we were driving to a field trip. "I start a book then put it down. Nothing seems to interest me' so I don't bother." Thinking that she had not found anything of interest to read, I asked her...
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GED Scholars: A Lesson in Lifespan Literacy
October 6, 2003, marked a day of special celebration in Northeast Ohio. The GED Scholars Initiative, now in its second year, held a reception on the Kent State Stark Campus to honor stipend recipients, recognize their scholarly achievement, and congratulate...
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The Literacy Collaborative®: A Successful Professional Development Framework for Warren City Schools
Building and maintaining a successful literacy program is a daunting task, especially in a district that has had a history of being in academic emergency. But thanks to the efforts of the teachers, administration, and curriculum directors in the Warren...
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Self-Efficacy: One Teacher's Concern for Reading Improvement Students
In the past, research in the affective domain of reading instruction has been limited. One possible reason is the perception that affective concerns are hard to define (Mathewson, 1994). Another possible reason is the difficulty in measuring effects...
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From the Editors
Since its inception in 1999, OhioReads has provided school and community grants resulting in over three million hours of volunteer tutoring in Ohio school and community programs. What have we learned from this ambitious undertaking? A team of literacy...
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An Adapted Language Experience Approach: Helping Secondary Students with Content Area Reading
I'm supposed to include Bill in my social studies class but he can't read the textbook. Why should I try to teach him history when he can't read? Shouldn't I forget the social studies lesson and just teach a basic word list? What do I do with this student...
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My First-Hand Experience with Literature Circles: A Preservice Teacher's Reflections
As I approached the fifth grade classroom where I was going to observe literature circles, I was greeted by, what seemed to me, an extraordinarily eager group of students sitting in the hallway. Gathered around a small table, I could see that each student...
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Reading First: What Has the International Reading Association Been Doing?
During the last several years, the most important policy related to beginning reading has been Reading First. Because of the Reading First legislation (which is part of Title I of the No Child Left Behind [NCLB] Act), approximately 5 billion dollars...
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A Tale of Three Students: Diverse Approaches to Peer-Led Discussion of Literature
Sally, an outgoing fifth grader, was observed leaning into the table nodding and listening, adding her comments and raising questions. She consistently conferred with the peers in her literature club as she used talk to construct meaning from the novel...
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Case Study of a Beginning Speller: Practice Makes Better
You are in a room where everyone is busy. Some are writing or reading independently. Others are meeting with colleagues to ask for guidance or opinions. Still others are working with equipment such as staplers, pencil sharpeners, stamps and computers....
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Building an Integrated Intervention: A Combination of Programs
Her name was Leslie, and she was new to our school, as well as new to first grade. She had attended kindergarten at a public school within the district and had experienced problems with her learning there. Her mother had requested a multi-factored assessment...
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Stimulating Critical Thinking with Wordless Books
In today's classrooms, wordless books - those in which the story is told only through a series of pictures - often provide a meaningful context for enhancing students' oral and written communication skills. The typical process involves individual students,...
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From the 2003 OCIRA Fall Conference: Weaving Our Own Tapestry of Books
The 2003 OCIRA Fall Conference was all about books - the newest and the best in children's literature, and it was all about how to weave many genres into the fabric of our teaching to enrich students' learning. Superb presentations delivered by educators,...
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Teacher Stance Is Critical in Planning a Classroom Author Visit
Author visits enhance reading and writing in the classroom. The purpose of an author visit is to support the teacher's efforts to stimulate and encourage reading and writing, to offer insights into the creative process of writing, and to extended this...
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OhioReads: Lessons Learned from Successful Schools
The authors completed this study as part of a doctoral seminar at Kent State University in spring, 2003.In June, after school was out, one of the seniors commented that she saw one of the students at the grocery store. He ran to her with outstretched...
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Vol. 35, No. 2, Summer

Leaving No Child Behind: Combining Project READ and Guided Reading to Improve At-Risk Students' Literacy Skills
IntroductionIn the state of Ohio and nationwide, teachers are under great pressure to help students meet high-stakes accountability measures in the form of state-mandated proficiency tests. Given the recent re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary...
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The Story of Molly: Using Audience Awareness in a Second-Grade Writers' Workshop
Theoretical FrameworkRecent research provides support for an audience-awareness approach to writing instruction. According to The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Writing Report Card (1992), the most successful writers not only had...
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Teaching Compare-Contrast Writing in the 21st Century
"Compare and contrast the Beatles and Mozart." "Compare and contrast the causes of the American Revolution and the French Revolution." "Compare and contrast the main characters of Moby Dick and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Sound challenging? Definitely!...
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From the Pens of Ohio Authors: Books for the Bicentennial
The 2002-03 school year offers exciting teaching possibilities for educators at all levels as Ohio's 200th birthday celebration approaches. Ohio communities and historical societies are gearing up for expositions that will highlight hometown history,...
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From the Editors
"Empowerment" is a buzzword we hear often in educational circles these days. We talk of empowering learners as inquirers and teachers as decision' makers. Most of the articles in this issue of ORT put the concept of empowerment into practice. The issue...
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How Primary Teachers Are Using Word Walls to Teach Literacy Strategies
Word walls have become a popular tool to teach literacy strategies in today's classrooms (Brabham & Villaume, 2001). Teachers display selected words on a wall or bulletin board and use them as the basis of word identification study. They become a...
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A Profile of a Community after School Tutorial Success Program: A Community and Volunteer Effort
"The period of time between the school bell and the factory whistle is the most vulnerable time for children. These are the hours when children are most likely to engage in at-risk behavior and are more vulnerable to the danger that still exists in too...
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What Do Reading Teachers Think and What Do They Do? A Survey of Teachers' Habits and Beliefs
Each time I share my viewpoint on effective reading instruction, the "Five Habits" as I like to call them, I become more and more committed to them. I've held true to my beliefs for over two decades (O'Connor, 1980; O'Connor, 1999) and have been pleased...
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No Child Left Behind What?
Ranking as one of the most frequent educational news items in the public press, on the Web, and in professional journals (see sidebar), the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLBA) has truly captured national conversation. But one thing is missing from...
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Writing Workshop: Catalyst for Developing a Community of Learners
Watterson-Lake Elementary School, Cleveland Municipal School District, Cleveland, OhioTeachers, students, and parents at Watterson-Lake Elementary School in Cleveland have worked with the Institute for Educational Renewal (1ER) for six years to create...
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Virtual Classmates E-Mail about Cold Mountain
BackgroundSummer is over. We feel that surge of restless energy that comes every August, the urge to make a bonfire of last year's lesson plans. We find a stack of old student dialogue journals and spend a lazy afternoon reading through them on the deck....
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