Passion. Voice. Soul. Reality. This book has all of this and more. It has substance. I wish I had been given this book when i was teaching Middle School and High School. I wish I had known then what I have now learned, now that I am a retired teacher after 37 years of teaching.
This is a book that makes sense in all its many pages, as to what teachers can and ought to do, WHEN KIDS CAN'T READ. I loved the idea that 'it's okay to reread a book!' duh. (Why didn't I think of that?) I loved 'think-alouds'. I loved 'say something'. I loved all the methods given because I know they work—she presents the word for word classroom dialogue to show how they work.
Here is a book that reaches out and touches you, no, more, it reaches out and grabs you by the eyeballs to look, to look again; to read, and read again; to model the methods and model them again.
Am I being paid for this to say this? No! Do I even know Kylene Beers? No. Do I love this book and think it is a savior to poor adolescent readers everywhere? A resounding YES !!!
R. ebook Writing G. Hedrick,(Reno, NV), December 18, 2002
This is one of my favorite books about reading. There are some great reading strategies here—for struggling and strong readers alike—that teachers can take with them and implement the next day. Also, Beers does a fantastic job of helping us break down “reading” into its component parts so we can better understand exactly what the reading problem is and how to address it. Every time I read this book I am encouraged that teachers can make a difference for struggling readers at the secondary level and they don’t have to be reading specialists to do so. The stories she tells about students and teachers to illustrate each strategy make this book eminently readable and enjoyable. This should be in the hands of every secondary English teacher—ask your teachers, department chairs, and literacy coaches if they want to read it (if they haven’t already).
This isn't just revolutionary; it's revelationary. This is a book to make any teacher who has ever taught from 6th grade on up have hope once more. It arms you with weapons of mass instruction, specific mass instruction. It brings a reader to the land of read and reread, much as the writing project brought the writer into the land of rewrite. So many techniques, so many strategies, so many ok methods that beguile the mind and break the heart of the retired teacher: 'where were you when I needed you'??????
One of the reasons I floated slowly downward in the grade levels the longer I taught was the diversity of reading levels. Had I known that it's okay to reread, to real aloud, to think aloud, to say something aloud about what you are reading, I might still be teaching.
Kylene's book is full of devotion and passion and subtle but strong excitement: there is hope for the adolescent reader, the dependent reader, the below grade level reader. There is hope.
Read Kylene's book and share the hope!
Anonymous, December 18, 2002
Beers provides personally researched practices, with anecdotal notes, showing ways she was able to reach students and overcome a multitude of non-readers' difficulties. I have used some of her ideas in my classroom and I will attest that they do, indeed, work. Some of my favorite strategies are Say Something, the Anticipation Guide, Probable Passage, and Tea Party.
5-Star Review at ReadingForSanity.blogspot.com
One day, while at a bookstore, I was looking for a resource book that could help me with our struggling sixth, seventh, and eighth grade readers. In my hands, I held two books and planned to buy one. One book was When Kids Can't Read—What Teachers Can Do written by Kylene Beers. I honestly don't remember the name of the other book for, I as looked through the two, it was clear which would be the more useful. I bought Kylene's book and have never looked back! Kylene explains a variety of reading strategies to help readers make meaning of text before they read, as they read, and after they read. Her ideas on vocabulary instruction are some of the most useful I have ever encountered. Kylene addresses how struggling readers also have difficulty with spelling and gives us concrete suggestions to help our readers improve their spelling skills. "Sound it out" does not often work for the struggling reader; a chapter on word recognition is very helpful. Most importantly, Kylene addresses the need for us to create confidence in our struggling readers and she offers suggestions as to how teachers can do this. When Kids Can't Read