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About the Book

book cover

Early Intervention for Reading Difficulties: The Interactive Strategies Approach (Scanlon, Anderson & Sweeney, 2010)

This book presents a research-supported framework for early literacy instruction that aligns with multi-tiered response-to-intervention (RTI) models. The book focuses on giving teachers a better understanding of literacy development and how to effectively support children as they begin to read and write. The authors' interactive strategies approach is designed around essential instructional goals related both to learning to identify words and to comprehending text. Detailed guidance is provided on ways to target these goals with K-2 students at risk for reading difficulties. Assessment and instructional strategies for whole-class, small-group, and one-to-one settings are discussed in depth. Numerous reproducible forms for documenting student learning are included.





Editorial Reviews


"With the wide array of programs available for teaching phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, teachers wonder, 'What is the best way to guide development in these essential components of literacy?' Scanlon et al. present a research-tested, balanced method for designing effective literacy instruction in primary classrooms. Writing in a strong voice that reflects their extensive experience, the authors concisely outline relevant concepts, include numerous classroom vignettes that bring the information to life, and provide valuable reproducible lists, charts, checklists, and other materials. As a core text in any Foundations of Reading or Emergent Literacy course, this book provides teacher candidates with clearly explained, research-tested methodologies for guiding children's literacy achievement."--Mary Shea, PhD, Professor/Director of Graduate Literacy Programs, Graduate Education and Leadership Department, Canisius College

"This is the most comprehensive, systematic, and teacher-friendly guide to reading instruction that I have seen in my 37 years as an elementary educator. It is a 'must read' for teachers and administrators in school districts working to implement RTI and a wonderful resource for all elementary-level teachers striving to develop competent, self-extending readers."--Mary S. Ziara, Title I teacher, East Lansing (Michigan) Public Schools

"The authors have succeeded in inspiring this seasoned teacher to thoughtfully reflect on so many points. Do I understand all I need to know about early reading? Do I constantly consider my learners as individuals with a diversity of skills? Do I meet all readers where they are ready to learn? This is a book you will find yourself revisiting over and over again, whether you are a preservice teacher or a seasoned veteran. We owe it to our students to be the best informed professionals we can be--this book will continue us on that path."--Peggy Connors, MA, reading teacher, Abram Lansing Elementary School, Cohoes, New York

"The interactive strategies approach is an important new tool for an RTI toolbox. The authors provide a sophisticated approach to help children 'puzzle through' words. Teachers, coaches, and principals will consult this book to learn how to scaffold children and group them to tailor instruction. This book has extensive research support and provides activities that incorporate a continuum of whole-group, small-group, and one-to-one techniques."--Stephanie Al Otaiba, PhD, Florida State University College of Education and Florida Center for Reading Research, Tallahassee, Florida

"The authors' pragmatic approach equips the classroom teacher with the keys to successful intervention for all learners. Unlike many books that use the term 'strategic reading' yet leave the teacher guessing as to its implementation, this volume provides a road map for scaffolding and supporting reading using code- or meaning-based strategies. It should be required reading in every literacy specialist/coach graduate program. I used a prepublication version of this text in a graduate literacy course; students commented that they had never been exposed to many of the concepts presented. Inservice teachers were especially delighted by the text and ran to their classrooms to implement the approach."--Catherine M. O'Callaghan, PhD, Department of Education, Iona College

"What a wonderful book! The authors' approach highlights the importance of teachers' skills and knowledge for developing children's literacy. Throughout, teachers are supported in making informed decisions that result in exemplary instruction for all students. Each critical area of literacy is well described with effective practices that build from simple to complex, including activities that teachers can immediately bring to their classrooms. I especially appreciated the chapter on motivation. This book is a strong selection for teacher book clubs. I just finished teaching a literacy coaching course, and this would have been a perfect text."--Diane M. Barone, EdD, Foundation Professor of Literacy Studies, University of Nevada, Reno

About the Authors

Donna M. Scanlon, PhD,

is Professor in the Reading Department at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Dr. Scanlon has spent most of her career studying children's reading difficulties. Her studies have focused on the relationships between instructional characteristics and success in learning to read and on developing and evaluating approaches to preventing early reading difficulties. Findings from studies that she and her colleagues conducted have contributed to the emergence of response to intervention as a process for preventing reading difficulties and avoiding inappropriate and inaccurate learning disability classifications. Most recently, Dr. Scanlon's work has focused on the development of teacher knowledge and teaching skill among both pre-service and in-service teachers for the purpose of helping teachers to prevent reading difficulties.

Kimberly L. Anderson, PhD,

is a Research Associate and Director of the ISA Professional Development Project at the Child Research and Study Center at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Dr. Anderson has contributed to the Center's research on the Interactive Strategies Approach (ISA) by serving as an intervention teacher; by providing professional development for teachers learning to implement the ISA in the early primary grades in both classroom and intervention settings; and, most recently, by collaborating with pre-service educators from institutions across New York on enhancing pre-service teacher knowledge related to literacy instruction. She worked for many years as a school psychologist at the elementary level and has spent several years as a reading teacher at the primary level, utilizing the ISA to provide small-group intervention to kindergartners and first-grade students.

Joan M. Sweeney, MSEd,

is a Reading Teacher in the North Colonie Central School District in Latham, New York. Previously, she was a Research Associate in the Child Research and Study Center at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where she provided intervention for struggling readers, supervised intervention teachers, and coached classroom teachers utilizing the ISA to support children's literacy development.