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Stuck in the Middle (eBook)

Helping Adolescents Read and Write in the Content Areas

By Roberta McManus, Donna Topping
Foreword by Rick Wormeli

Want to know how to help struggling adolescent readers make sense of the textbook? Need help differentiating? Donna and Roberta can help with immediately useful middle school teaching strategies for content-area literacy.


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List Price: $26.88

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Full Description

Don’t get stuck when students struggle in the content areas. Get Stuck in the Middle

"Over the past thirty years, we have been developing and implementing teacher-friendly, student-oriented strategies to help all students learn through reading and writing—especially those who struggle. In these pages, we share with you ways to differentiate instruction so that all students learn more content, more effectively, while simultaneously improving the reading and writing abilities they bring to our classes." Donna Hooker Topping and Roberta McManus

When students are Stuck in the Middle you need the very best strategies to help them move forward—strategies that pass the test of real teaching, to real adolescents, in real time. Fortunately, the teaching that helps them most is good for everyone in your content-area classroom.

Donna Hooker Topping and Roberta McManus help you support struggling middle school students with page after page of immediately useful, ready-for-differentiation teaching. These strategies work by making the process of content-area literacy transparent and repeatable.

Without interrupting the flow of instruction, Donna and Roberta’s strategies help adolescents:

  • not only read texts but understand them too
  • make crucial subject-area vocabulary stick
  • grapple with themes, ideas, and content through writing
  • find ways into content that fit individual learning styles.

“Content-area teachers have a unique opportunity to help students not only learn the material but also improve their overall literacy,” write Donna Hooker Topping and Roberta McManus, “so we offer our best strategies to you.” If you want to know how to help struggling readers make sense of the textbook, if you need help differentiating, or if you are overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of learning styles in your classroom, trust Donna and Roberta’s decades of experience. Pick up Stuck in the Middle and start getting students unstuck now.


1. The Nonnegotiables: Six Principles for Teaching

2. Demystifying Reading: Helping Every Reader Tackle Texts

3. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? Strategies That Help Students Retain Vocabulary

4. Inviting Writing: Helping Students Understand Content

5. Many Paths, One Destination: Tapping into Different Learning Styles

6. Who Is Responsible for Students’ Learning?


Companion Resources


“Often when I walk into a home center I mentally hyperventilate. My heart skips a beat, and my creative muse goes into happy shock: All those tools and ideas! My imagination launches a rocket of opportunity, and I’m strapped to the tail fin, wondering where my mind should go first, second, and beyond. It’s always a 3:1 ratio at these stores: I buy three additional items for every one item on my original list; I get three new ideas for every one idea I had prior to entering. That’s darn close to the feeling I had as I read Stuck in the Middle by Donna Topping and Roberta McManus. Wow, so many tools! So many ways to make learning come alive for struggling students and help teachers in their cause! Clear a path—I’m stuffing my shopping cart with all that I see.”

Rick Wormelli