Understanding Reading Problems Assessment and Instruction

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-05-23
  • Publisher: Pearson
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The Eighth Edition of Understanding Reading Problemsis a thorough updating of a market-leading book written by highly popular authors Jean Wallace Gillet, Charles Temple, Codruta Temple, and Alan Crawford. Featuring classroom-based, teacher-driven approaches to effective reading assessment and remediation, this new edition covers reading processes, their assessment and their corrective instruction and includes thorough treatments of reading and writing at every stage of development. The Eighth Edition is organized by developmental levels, with explanations of reading issues at each level, approaches to assessment, and teaching methods delivered at the point of need.

Author Biography

Jean Gillet has been an elementary reading specialist in central Virginia. She has also served as a classroom teacher, staff development specialist, and university educator. Her professional interests include the diagnosis and correction of reading difficulties, children’s developmental spelling, and children’s writing. Jean’s extensive published work includes topics such as including contributing to classroom instructional materials on writing and spelling. The coauthor of several textbooks for teachers on language arts, reading, writing, and spelling, she received her doctorate from the University of Virginia.



Charles Temple teaches courses in literacy and peace studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Dr. Temple studied with the late Edmund Henderson at the University of Virginia, where he explored reading instruction, reading disabilities, invented spelling, and what was to become emergent literacy. His published books cover such topics as emergent literacy, writing instruction, language arts, diagnosis and remediation of reading disabilities, and children’s literature. He is a director of Critical Thinking International, Inc., a non-profit corporation that develops materials and fields mid-career professionals for teacher training around the world.


Codruta Temple taught English as a foreign language and was principal of a bilingual lyceum (high school) in Romania.  She taught French as a Fulbright Scholar in California before moving permanently to the United States, where she earned a PhD. in English Education and linguistics at Syracuse University. Professor Temple now divides her time between teaching ESL methods and linguistics at New York State University College at Cortland and at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva.


Alan Crawford is Emeritus Professor of Education at California State University, Los Angeles. A Past President of the California Reading Association, he has done extensive teaching, consulting, and writing on teaching reading in the elementary school, especially for English language learners. Alan has written curriculum for teaching reading in Spanish and serves on the Editorial Review Board of Lectura y Vida. He served as IRA’s representative to UNESCO for many years and was a Senior Literacy Specialist at UNESCO in Paris during International Literacy Year (1989-90). He is a director of Critical Thinking International and frequently presents workshops on a volunteer basis for international development projects in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa


Table of Contents



       chapter 1      Reading and Its Assessment                                                                    

Framing the Issues                                                                                                                      

Reading Assessment                                                                                                                   

Different Assessments for Different Phases of Instruction                                                        

Approaches to Assessment                                                                                                        

The Process of Learning to Read at Different Stages                                                           

Emergent Literacy                                                                                                                    

Beginning Reading                                                                                                                     

Fledgling Reading                                                                                                                       

Developing Reading                                                                                                                   

Mature Reading                                                                                                                         

Differentiated Instruction                                                                                                          

Response to Intervention                                                                                                          

Summary                                                                                                                                        References                                                                                                                                      

CHAPTER 2  Response To Intervention (RTI) and Struggling Readers

From a Discrepancy Model to Response to Intervention: The Origins of RTI

            Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997(IDEA)

            Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA)

            Response to Intervention (RTI)

            No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Reading First

Characteristics of RTI: What It Is, What It Isn’t

Recommended Principles of RTI from the International Reading Association

The Multi-Tiered Structure of RTI

      Tier One: General Education Program

      Tier Two: Small-Group Intervention

      Tier Three: Intensive Intervention

Approaches and Models for Implementing RTI

      Interactive Strategies Approach (ISA)

      Comprehensive Intervention Model (CIM)

The Role of Assessment in RTI

            Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) (benchmark assessment)

            Diagnostic Assessment

            Progress Monitoring

            False Positives

Evidence-Based Literacy Programs

Members of the RTI Team and Their Roles

RTI in Middle Schools and High Schools

            Middle Schools

            High Schools

Implications of RTI for Special Education

English Language Learners and RTI

RTI and the Gifted

The Role of Technology in RTI





CHAPTER 3  Assessing and Teaching Emergent Readers

            Understanding Emergent Literacy

            Aspects of Emergent Literacy

Assessing Emerging Readers

            Assessing Print Concepts

            Alphabet Knowledge

                        Assessing Alphabet Knowledge

            The Concept of Word

                        Assessing the Concept of Word

            Phonological Awareness

                        The Importance of Phonological Awareness

                        Assessing Phonological Awareness

                                    Distinguishing Rhyming Words from Non-rhyming Words

                                    Producing Rhymes

                                    Phoneme Isolation

                                    Phoneme Comparison

                                    Phoneme Addition

                                    Phoneme Subtraction

                                    Phoneme Segmentation

                        Assessing Phonemic Awareness by Means of Invented Spelling

            Oral Language Development


                                    Assessing Vocabulary

                        Syntax, or Grammar

                        Decontextualized Language

                                    Assessing for Knowledge of Decontextualized Language

                                    Narrative Comprehension

                                    Picture Walk

                                    Story Retelling

                                    Prompted Comprehension

            Widely Distributed Tests of Emergent Literacy

Teaching for Emergent Literacy

            Teaching Print Orientation Concepts

            Teaching the Alphabet

                        Alphabet Books

                        Letter-Matching Games

                        Sounds and Letters

            Teaching the Concept of Word

                        The Voice-Pointing Procedure

                        Cut-Apart Words

                        Dictated Experience Accounts

                        Morning Message

            Teaching to Build Phonological Awareness

                        At the Syllable Level

                        At the Onset-and-Rime Level

                        At the Phoneme Level

            Teaching for Many Things at Once

            Reading Storybooks

                        Reading Many Books, Repeatedly

                        Reading Expressively

                        Shared Reading

                                    Conducting a Shared Reading Lesson

                        Dialogic Reading

            Teaching to Nurture Vocabulary Development

            Teaching Decontextualized Language

                        Storytelling for Comprehension

                                    Learning Stories to Tell



CHAPTER 4: Assessing and Teaching Beginning and Fledgling Readers and Writers


Components of Beginning and Fledgling Reading

            Word Recognition

                        Sight Words

                                    High Frequency Sight Words

                                    Sight Words as Learned Words

                        Word Recognition by Decoding

            Comprehension, the Ability to Derive Meaning from Text

            Reading Fluency

Assessing Beginning and Fledgling Readers

            Running Records

                        Running Records to Document Progress

                        Running Records and Text Difficulty

            Further Assessments of Beginning and Fledgling Readers

            Assessing Knowledge of Sight Words

            Assessing Word Knowledge through Invented Spelling: The Monster Test

                        Applying the Results of The Monster Test

            Assessing Word Knowledge By Means of Novel Words: Demtup

Instruction for Beginning and Fledgling Readers

            Tutoring Lesson


                        Shared writing with individual children

                        Interactive Writing With a Small Group

                        Attention to Handwriting

            Word Study

                        Sound Boards

                        Making and Breaking Words

                        Push It Say It

                                Teaching High Frequency Words

            Reading aloud

            The Language Experience Approach

Planning and Record Keeping





CHAPTER 5: Informal Assessments of Reading

Informal Reading Inventories

Selecting an Informal Reading Inventory

                                Quality of Passages. 

                                Types of Text.  

                                Quality of Questions.  

                                Format and Instructions.  

Administering an Informal Reading Inventory

                                Where to Start

Starting with Word Lists.  

Starting with Passages.  

                                Where to Stop

Step-by-Step Administration

Reinspection and Comprehension

Retelling and Comprehension

Marking Oral Reading Miscues

Assessing Listening Comprehension

Assessing Recognition of Words in Isolation

Scoring an Informal Reading Inventory

Levels of Reading Ability

The Independent Level

The Instructional Level

The Frustration Level

The Listening Level

The Usefulness of Reading Levels

Oral Reading Accuracy

Reading Fluency

Reading and Listening Comprehension

Scoring the Word Recognition Inventory

Keeping Track of Scores

Interpreting an Informal Reading Inventory

Establishing Reading and Listening Levels

Qualitative Analysis of Oral Reading Miscues

Comparing Miscues.  

                                Scoring Miscue Acceptability.  

What Makes a Miscue Acceptable?  

Dialects and Miscues.  

What about Names?  

Analyzing Reading Comprehension

Comprehension Skill Patterns

Patterns in Listening Comprehension

Analyzing Word Recognition in Isolation

Observations of Reading Behaviors and Strategies

Observing Readers

Physical Behaviors

Cognitive Behaviors

Reading Strategies Observed

Recording Observations

Monitoring Types and Difficulty of Texts Read

Guided Reading Levels

Readability Estimates

The Fry Readability Chart


Cloze Procedures

Constructing a Cloze Passage

Administering a Cloze Passage

                Scoring and Interpreting a Cloze

Maze Tests

Student Portfolios

Showcasing Achievement

Documenting Progress

Demonstrating Effort

Fostering Self-Evaluation and Reflection

Kinds of Portfolios

Organizing a Portfolio Program

What Goes into a Portfolio?

Primary Grades

Middle and Upper Grades

Evaluating Portfolios

Teaching Self-Evaluation

Teaching Goal Setting

Teacher Evaluations

Parent Evaluations

Portfolio Conferences

Teacher-Student Conferences

Peer Conferences

Parent Conferences

Measuring Attitudes and Interest in Reading






CHAPTER 6: Teaching Developing Readers

Phonics And Word Knowledge For Developing Readers

        Word Knowledge At Different Levels

            Logographic Reading

            Transitional Alphabetic Reading

            Alphabetic Reading

            Orthographic Reading

            Derivational Reading

Teaching Phonics

        Word Study At More Advanced Levels

        Guiding Word Study

            Teaching Words With Shared Phonogram Patterns

            Teaching Words With Grammatical Affixes And Derivational Affixes

            Teaching Homophones And Homographs

        Developing Sight Vocabulary

            Dictated Stories and Language Experience

                        Support Reading: Echo Reading and Choral Reading

                        Developing Word Analysis Strategies

                        Using Context

        Approaching Word Attack Strategically

Assessing Reading Fluency

Developing Reading Fluency

        Modeling Fluent Oral Reading

        Providing Oral Support For Reading

        Providing Practice In Oral Reading

        Repeated Reading For Fluency

        Predictable Books, “Easy Readers,” And Other Easy Reading Fare

Developing Readers’ Vocabulary

        Levels of Vocabulary Knowledge

            Dissecting Children’s Vocabulary

            Approaches to Teaching Vocabulary

            Teaching the Use of Context Clues to Vocabulary

Developing Reading Comprehension

        For the Phase of Anticipation

        For the Phase of Building Knowledge

        For the Phase of Consolidation

Developing Listening Comprehension

Time Spent Reading





CHAPTER 7: Assessing and Teaching Middle and Secondary School Readers and Writers



The Reading and Writing Issues of Older Students

Why Should We Be Concerned About Older Students’ Reading and Writing Ability?

Responding to the Needs of Readers and Writers in Middle and Secondary Grades

A Range of Responses to Older Students’ Reading and Writing Needs.

Reading Strategies for Use Across the Curriculum

Strategies for the Anticipation Phase

Advance Organizers

            The Anticipation Guide

            Group Brainstorming

            Paired Brainstorming

            Terms In Advance


Free Writing

Semantic Map

K now/Want to Know/Learn. 

Strategies for the Building Knowledge Phase

            The I.N.S.E.R.T. Model

            Text Coding

Study Guides

Dual-­Entry Diaries

Cooperative Learning: Jigsaw II

Strategies for the Reflection Phase

            The Discussion Web

Academic Controversy

Providing Close Support for Students’ Reading Development

Organizing Focused Strategic and Intensive Instruction

Assessing Readers for Focused Instruction

Planning Lessons for Disabled Readers

Teaching Strategies to Build Reading Competence

            Thinking Aloud

            ReQuest Procedure


Questioning the Author

Reading and Questioning

Audio Books

Introducing  and Focusing Attention on New Vocabulary

Word Conversations


Webbed Questions  

The Frayer Model

Helping Older Students Write

Eleven Elements of Effective Adolescent Writing Instruction

Teaching Writing Strategies and Teaching the Writing Process Approach. 




Editing or Proofreading


Focused Lessons

Having Goals for Writing

Keyboarding Skill

Writing For Inquiry

                        Ten-­Minute Essays and Other Free Writes

                        The Five-­Minute Essay

Three-­Part Diaries

                                                The I-Search Paper

Motivational and Emotional Issues of Adolescent Students with Reading Problems

Guiding Principles and Theories

Establishing Trust

Providing Literate Role Models

Reducing the Feeling of Learned Helplessness or Passive Failure

Legitimizing Personal Knowledge and Experiences

Developing a Learning Environment







CHAPTER 8: Assessing Spelling and Writing

Monitoring Spelling Progress and Problems

Developmental Spelling Stages

            Early Emergent Stage

            Later Emergent Stage

            Letter-Name Stage

            Within-Word Pattern Stage

            Syllables and Affixes Stage

            Derivational Constancy Stage

Assessing Spelling Progress

            The Word Knowledge Inventory

Developmental Spelling Analysis

The Gentry Spelling Grade-Level Test

Monitoring Writing Progress

Writing Samples

Writing Checklists

Six Traits Writing Evaluation

Writing Rubrics



CHAPTER 9: Working with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

Culture and schooling

Cultural differences in the mainstream classroom

            Conceptualizing literacy

            Communication styles

                        Participation structures

                        Task-engagement preferences

                        Discourse organization

            Accommodating cultural differences in the mainstream classroom

Linguistic differences in the mainstream classroom

            Languages and dialects

                        The Ebonics debate

                        Accommodating non-standard dialects in the mainstream classroom

            English language learners

            How does English compare to other languages?





                        Writing systems

                        Accommodating linguistic differences in the mainstream classroom

            How do people learn a second language?

                        Supporting English language development in the mainstream classroom

            The role of the first language in second language and literacy development

                        Including English Language Learners’ first languages in the mainstream                                       classroom

                                    Creating a multilingual classroom environment


                                    Bilingual books

                                    Multilingual newsletters

Assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse students

Instructional suggestions

            Strategies for developing listening comprehension

            Strategies for developing phonemic awareness and phonics

            Strategies for developing reading fluency

            Strategies for developing vocabulary

            Developing reading comprehension

                        Strategies for teaching grammar

                        Strategies for developing awareness of text structure

            Strategies for supporting writing development


List of figures


Appendix A



CHAPTER 10: Understanding Formal Measures of Literacy Ability

Understanding Formal Measures

Characteristics Of Tests



Interpreting Test Results

Distributions Of Test Scores

Measures Of Central Tendency: Mean, Median, And Mode

Measures Of Dispersion: Range And Standard Deviation

Forms Of Test Scores

Norm-Referenced Tests

Achievement Tests

Diagnostic Tests

Criterion-Referenced Tests

Goals And Objectives

Benchmarks And Rubrics

State Standards And Assessment






     Chapter 11      Factors Related to Reading Problems                                                                     

Philosophical and Legal Issues Related to Special-Needs Students                             

Past Legislation Affecting Special-Needs Students                                                                  

IDEA 2004 and NCLB                                                                                                           

Student Participation in General Education                                                                             

Identifying Special-Needs Students                                                                                          

Assessment of Special Educational Needs                                                                                

Intellectual Factors                                                                                                                 

Tests of Intelligence and Learning Aptitude                                                                           

The Role of Experience                                                                                                         

Physical Factors                                                                                                                      

Vision and Visual Problems                                                                                                     

Hearing and Auditory Problems                                                                                              

Language Factors                                                                                                                  

Language Acquisition and Difficulties in Infancy and Early Childhood                                    

Language Development and Difficulties in Preschool and Primary Grades                              

Language Development and Difficulties in Later Childhood                                                    

Special Learning Problems                                                                                                   

Learning Disabilities                                                                                                                Dyslexia                                                                                                                                

Designing Individualized Interventions                                                                              

 Interventions for Phonological Awareness                                                                             

Interventions for Improving Fluency                                                                                     


References                                                                                                                                                                Index                                                                                                       

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