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Strategic Reading Groups

Strategic Reading Groups
Guiding Readers in the Middle Grades

Foreword by Donna Ogle

Additional resources:

March 2012 | 136 pages | Corwin

Differentiated reading instruction: An effective model for the middle grades

Strategic grouping can transform reading instruction in the middle grades from a hit-or-miss learning experience to a targeted, responsive one. This book features a practical and field-tested model for small-group differentiated reading instruction in Grades 4–8. Jennifer Berne and Sophie C. Degener offer a clear, detailed discussion of how to position this instruction inside middle school language arts or reading classrooms and simple, effective strategies for classroom management, groupings, and assessment. The authors explain how to

  • Balance brief strategic reading lessons with whole-class work
  • Structure and guide reading groups consistently
  • Assess students before and during reading groups
  • Cue students and gauge understanding as they read

Differentiating instruction is not the flavor of the month in education; rather, it is the essential orientation for maximizing student success. Strategic Reading Groups gives teachers the tools they need to differentiate reading instruction in the critical middle years, as students begin to read more complex, content-filled narrative and informative texts.

List of Online Resources
Foreword by Donna Ogle
About the Authors
1. Introduction
2. Fitting Strategic Reading Groups Into the Middle School Literacy Block
3. A Detailed Look at Strategic Reading Groups
4. Listening to Fluent Readers
5. Teacher Cueing During Informational Text Reading
6. Teacher Cueing During Narrative Text Reading
7. Materials for Strategic Reading Groups
8. Assessment Prior to and During Strategic Reading Groups
9. Managing the Rest of the Class During Strategic Reading Groups


“This is an excellent study of a heretofore under-used strategy for improving reading instruction in the middle grades. The writing is honest, accessible, and engaging. The content is authoritative, relevant, and detailed. I intend to acquire a copy for every teacher on my team.”

Joseph Staub, Resource Specialist Teacher
Thomas Starr King Middle School, Los Angeles, CA

"As general education teachers are being tasked with making sure all students are reaching standards, the step-by-step guide provided in this book makes providing one-on-one reading support to each student a reality."

Michelle Strom, Middle School Language Arts Teacher
Fort Riley Middle School, Fort Riley, KS

"This book clearly defines how teachers of all content areas can benefit from using Strategic Reading Groups in their classes."

David Callaway, Seventh-Grade Social Studies Teacher
Rocky Heights Middle School, Highlands Ranch, CO

"The contents of this book provide useful information for an area in dire need of attention at the middle school level."

Rachel Hanson, i3 ELA Content Specialist
Forsyth County Board of Education, Cumming, GA
Key features
  • Provides information on cueing, organizing the class, assessment, and materials that middle grade teachers will need to take on small group, differentiated literacy instruction.
  • Includes a chapter that looks exclusively at strategic reading in the content areas. Additionally, sidebars throughout the book highlight the perspective of content area teachers.
  • Presents examples and strategies for working with middle school students who are performing below, at, and above grade level.

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781452283845

ISBN: 9781452202860

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.