BOOKS

Struggling Readers book cover
Struggling Readers: Why Band-Aids Don’t Stick And Worksheets Don’t Work
Lori Jamison Rog. Pembroke Publishers, 2014. 160 pages, $24.95
****
Reviewed by Terri Lyons

As a Grade 4 teacher I have witnessed dozens of students move from the primary to the junior division. For many 9-year-olds, this is a struggle that can be compounded by an inability to read. Standardized tests give an indication of the level at which a child is reading. Depending on the class, it is not unheard of to have half the class reading below level. For many, this is an easy fix, but for some, reading continues to be a chore and, for a few, a near impossibility.

What do we do with these students? How can we help them? Struggling Readers by Lori Jamison Rog provides a number of practical strategies for grades 3 through 9. She has provided lesson plans and guided reading plans that encourage reading, teach what good readers do, build fluency and offer word study.

Each chapter title begins with “Struggling Readers Need …” with corresponding information on what needs to be taught/learned. What is particularly helpful is that each chapter also includes lesson routines and frequently blackline masters. The lesson suggestions are practical and easy to implement.

The only small concern is that not all the lessons can be adapted to grades 3 through 9. For example, in the section on word study many of the lessons seem more appropriate for the older grades, such as the one on context clues. While we work consistently on determining meaning through context clues, students in grades 3 and 4 continue to find the whole concept problematic. The younger students, particularly the struggling readers, lack the reading experience to use this strategy. They often do not have the ability to transfer knowledge from one text to another. More scaffolding would be needed for this group of students.

All in all though, this book is highly recommended.

Terri Lyons is a member of the Thames Valley Teacher Local.

MORE BOOKS

Cover of A Girl Called Echo vol. 1 and 2
Katherena Vermette, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson, by Donovan Yaciuk. HighWater Press, 2017. 15 pages, $18.95
Cover Spectacular Women in Space
Sonia Gueldenpfennig. Second Story Press, 2004. 110 pages, $10.95.
Cover of Maggie and the Chocolate War
Michelle Mulder. Second Story Press, 2007. 93 pages, $14.95.
Cover of Singing Sisters
Katherena Vermette, illustrated by Irene Kuziw. HighWater Press, 2014. 24 pages, $9.95.
Cover of Those Who Run in the Sky
Aviaq Johnston. Inhabit Media Inc., 2017. 196 pages, $13.95.
Cover of Kode's Quest(ion)
Katherena Vermette, illustrated by Irene Kuziw. Highwater Press, 2014. 24 pages, $11.95.
Cover of The Sockeye Mother
Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett David Huson), illustrated by Natasha Donovan. Highwater Press, 2017. 22 pages, $18.00.
Cover of Better Together
Nikki Tate. Orca Book Publishers, 2018. 48 pages, $19.95.

Pages