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When Textbooks Fall Short

New Ways, New Texts, New Sources of Information in the Content Areas

When students can’t or won’t engage with textbooks that seem like artifacts, When Textbooks Fall Short shows how to go beyond with print and online resources that reflect how adolescents read today.

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To help students understand content, don’t throw out the old, just add the new.

Exposing students to various ways to express a thought or idea gives them the opportunity to be successful and share their experiences in ways that resonate. The range of options is expanding so quickly that it can be both exciting and intimidating. Which tools will work best for a particular assignment? How should you use them? That’s what this book is about.
Nancy Walker, Thomas Bean, and Benita Dillard

What do you do When Textbooks Fall Short? When students can’t or won’t engage with content-area textbooks that seem like artifacts filled with disconnected facts?

You stay with the old and add a little something new.

Nancy Walker, Thomas Bean, and Benita Dillard show how to go beyond the textbook with print and online resources that reflect how adolescents read today. You don’t have to spend thousands or rewire your classroom—you only have to be willing to support core texts with shorter readings that build comprehension and competency with key concepts in your content area.

Nancy, Tom, and Benita combine years of research and the experiences of numerous teachers and reading specialists to share:

  • classroom examples that model ways to go beyond the textbook to reach all students—especially struggling readers
  • research-based strategies that support deeper learning and connection with the core curriculum
  • recommendations for print and online resources proven to engage adolescents
  • ideas for collaborative activities that help content stick by putting the primary sources, articles, and other media you share with students to use.

When Textbooks Fall Short isn’t just for those who have already embedded new literacies into the curriculum. It’s also for veterans committed to their content-area textbook. It meets teachers where they are—and shows how to meet students where they are—by bringing in a little something new that can do what the textbook can’t do by itself.

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