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Reading Better, Reading Smarter

Designing Literature Lessons for Adolescents

By Deborah Appleman, Michael Graves

Deborah and Michael provide a smart, practical, and flexible model for using SRE, Scaffolded Reading Experience, with secondary students.  They offer approaches that engage students in powerful discussions and foster a love of thinking as well as reading.


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"Wow, wow, and wow! At the time when we most need it, with the advent of the Common Core State Standards and in the midst of a documented crisis in adolescent literacy, here come Deborah Appleman and Michael Graves with a very smart, very practical, very flexible model for professional, responsive, critical teaching of reading called the SRE (Scaffolded Reading Experience)." Jeffrey Wilhelm, author of Going with the Flow

"I wish I could change one thing about Reading Better, Reading Smarter: I wish I could have demanded that Appleman and Graves had written it sooner. When you start using their SREs (Scaffolded Reading Experiences), it won't only be that your students are reading better and most certainly reading smarter, it will be that your teaching changes. This won't just be a book you read; this will be a book you use." Kylene Beers, author of When Kids Can't Read, What Teachers Can Do

"Everyone preparing students to meet Common Core Standards needs this book. Appleman and Graves explain how to scaffold instruction for challenging readings without taking the pleasure out of teaching. They demonstrate classroom approaches that engage students in powerful discussion and foster a love of thinking. Let's keep our eye not on the test but on the text!" Carol Jago, author of With Rigor for All, Second Edition

"Our purpose in writing this book is to introduce the SRE approach to both preservice and inservice English teachers so that students in all secondary language arts classrooms can become better, smarter readers." Deborah Appleman and Michael Graves

Reading Better, Reading Smarter addresses all areas of planning and implementing Scaffolded Reading Experiences and prepares teachers to create their own SREs to scaffold their students' reading. An SRE is a flexible instructional framework composed of pre-, during-, and postreading activities tailored to a specific instructional situation.

Deborah Appleman and Michael Graves combine the theory and research behind the Scaffolded Reading Experience (SRE) to create this very practical guide showing preservice and inservice teachers how to use this flexible approach to ensuring that each and every student can read, learn from, and enjoy each and every text he or she reads.

By considering the text, their students, and the purpose of the lesson, teachers will be able create appropriate scaffolding for each reading experience their students face. This widely applicable text includes:

  • Twenty two types of pre-, during-, and postreading activities designed to lead students to success
  • Examples of each activity along with information on how to create each type of activity
  • Detailed classroom lesson plans and explanations of what an SRE is and what it is supposed to do as well as what it is not supposed to do
  • Guidance for evaluating and assessing the difficulty of text and formal and informal ways for evaluating student performance.

Additional Resource Information

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