Creating Literacy-Rich Schools for Adolescents

Creating Literacy-Rich Schools for Adolescents

Creating Literacy-Rich Schools for Adolescents

Creating Literacy-Rich Schools for Adolescents


We know that literacy is the key to learning in school, yet millions of middle and high school students lack the literacy skills they need to succeed. What can educators do? Authors Gay Ivey and Douglas Fisher make a compelling case that all teachers-across the content areas-have a role to play in students' development of literacy, which they define as reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing. Rather than focusing solely on reading instruction and the cliche that says "all teachers are teachers of reading," they urge teachers to incorporate rich literacy-based learning experiences into their classrooms, with the goal of helping students to learn and think across the curriculum. With research-based findings, engaging examples, and extensive lists of resources, Ivey and Fisher encourage readers to-: Reexamine the materials, experiences, and expectations of the English/language arts classroom, Use strategies to improve literacy in all the content areas and alternatives to the traditional textbook, Make independent reading an important part of students' ongoing literacy development, Design and use interventions that really work for struggling students; and, Consider the schoolwide elements-professional development, peer coaching, leadership, and assessment-that should be in place to support teachers and students.


by Donna Ogle

There is no more appropriate time for this pertinent and useful book to be published. Literacy levels of middle and high school students in the United States have not improved over the past 20 years, according to the 2004 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Schools are being held accountable for students' growth and are now obligated to look at the literacy development of all their students. Even as this focus has created discomfort, it has opened a window of opportunity to address literacy more deeply.

The good news is that excellent schools are stepping up to the challenge. In Creating Literacy-Rich Schools for Adolescents, Gay Ivey and Douglas Fisher introduce us to schools where teachers and administrators have developed a common approach to literacy focused around a small set of transportable and transparent strategies. They know how difficult it is to get teachers to add more to their priorities and they provide evidence that a whole-school effort has a much greater impact than the efforts of individual teachers. By sharing a clearly defined set of key strategies, teachers across all content areas can be part of the literacy effort. This book is filled with concrete examples that illustrate how a shared approach to literacy learning can become a central part of teaching strategies.

As literacy becomes more multifaceted and intellectually demanding for secondary school students, Creating Literacy-Rich Schools for Adolescents will help schools rethink their commitment to literacy. Schools now have the charge of teaching students to effectively use visual and electronic literacy.

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