Words Their Way with Struggling Readers

  • Title:Words Their Way with Struggling Readers: Word Study for Reading, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction, Grades 4 - 12
  • Author:Kevin Flanigan, Latisha Hayes, Shane Templeton, Donald Bear, Marcia Invernizzi, Francine Johnston
  • Publication Date:May 2010
  • Grade Level:4-12
  • ISBN:9780135135211
  • Publisher:Pearson

Intended for the classroom teacher, this handy book provides specific guidance, strategies, and tools for helping struggling students, grades 4 and up, catch up with their peers in literacy. The thrust is intervention – specifically, utilizing word study with its hands-on, assessable approach to aid students struggling with the vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension load of middle and secondary classrooms. This text will help you determine student needs, provide you with the strategies to guide each student toward success in content area comprehension, and even outline ideas for fitting these strategies into your crowded schedule.

Key Features

  • Focuses on specific needs of older struggling readers in upper elementary, middle, and high schools.
  • Utilizes teacher-directed but student-centered instruction based on a developmental model of word knowledge
  • Uses a two-pronged approach to word knowledge instruction: (1) orthographic knowledge (phonics, spelling, decoding) and (2) vocabulary knowledge.
  • Highlights vocabulary activities to address needs across the content areas:  math, science, social studies, and English.
  • Teacher friendly, ready to use activities available in each of the instructional chapters


Author Bio

Donald Bear is director of the E. L. Cord Foundation Center for Learning and Literacy where he and preservice, Master’s and doctoral students teach and assess children who struggle to learn to read and write. Donald is a professor in the Department of Educational Specialties in the College of Education at the University of Nevada, Reno. Donald has been a classroom teacher. He researches and writes about literacy development and instruction.

Marcia Invernizzi is a professor of reading education at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Marcia is also the director of the McGuffey Reading Center, where she teaches the clinical practica in reading diagnosis and remedial reading. Formerly English and reading teacher, she works with Book Buddies, Virginia's Early Intervention Reading Initiative (EIRI), and Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS).

Shane Templeton is Foundation Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is Program Coordinator for Literacy Studies. A former elementary and secondary teacher, his research focuses on the development of orthographic knowledge. He has written several books on the teaching and learning of reading and language arts and is a member of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary.

Francine Johnston is a former first grade teacher and reading specialist who learned about word study during her graduate work at the University of Virginia. She is now an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she teaches courses in reading, language arts, and children's literature. Francine frequently works with regional school systems as a consultant and researcher. Her research interests include current spelling practices and materials as well as the relationship between spelling and reading achievement.

Kevin Flanigan has taught as both a classroom teacher in the upper elementary/middle grades and as a reading specialist/literacy coach working with kindergartners through middle-grades students. He has authored or co-authored articles in The Reading Teacher, The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and the Journal of Literacy Research and has presented frequently at regional, national, and international conferences.

Latisha Hayes is an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia in the department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education. She is the 2003 award recipient of the Jeanne S. Chall Research Fellowship, which encourages and supports reading research by promising scholars.

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