Simple Strategies for Teaching Children at Risk K-5


Melissa Stormont & Cathy Newman Thomas

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Dedication

    I dedicate this book to two friends, Molly Stebbins and Lori Justice, who have been so critical in shaping my personal and professional life over the past 30 years.

    Melissa Stormont

    With all of my love, I dedicate this book to my sons, Jake and Kevin Noah for becoming such good adults and for teaching me daily about life and what isreally important.

    Cathy Newman Thomas


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    Melissa Stormont's Acknowledgments

    I would like to thank two of my daughter's dedicated teachers. Taylor has characteristics that would place her at risk if she were not given support from home and school. Mrs. Lewis and Ms. Mathes are wonderful teachers who saw her strengths above her struggles and supported her in feeling good about herself. They also both contributed valuable information to the book. I also acknowledge my husband for being so supportive of this work.

    Cathy Newman Thomas's Acknowledgments

    I would like to thank Melissa Stormont for including me in the development of this book and for her very generous and skillful mentoring of my professional writing. And I want to thank my many teacher-friends across the years who have inspired my own teaching and research. From your dedication and passion, I have seen children at risk accomplish wonderful things that others doubted were possible, and together we continue to work to discover solutions to the challenges we experience in our teaching. With my deepest respect and admiration, I appreciate all that you do to improve the lives of children at risk.

    Publisher's Acknowledgments

    Corwin gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the following reviewers:

    • Natalie S. McAvoy
    • Reading Specialist
    • Elkhorn Area School District
    • Elkhorn, WI
    • Susan Schipper
    • Elementary Teacher
    • Palmyra Public Schools
    • Palmyra, NJ
    • Barbara L. Townsend
    • Reading Specialist, West Side Elementary School
    • Adjunct Instructor, Concordia University
    • Elkhorn, WI

    About the Authors

    Melissa Stormont, PhD, is a professor in special education at the University of Missouri. She has published extensive research related to the educational and social needs of young children who are vulnerable for failure in school, including children with behavior problems, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and children who are homeless. She spent three years as a preschool teacher and has spent years conducting field research in Head Start and elementary schools. The majority of her research efforts have focused on contributing factors to early behavior problems in young children. She has collaborated with many schools to build their capacity to better meet the needs of children at risk for failure. Dr. Stormont has published more than 75 articles, books, and book chapters related to the needs of children at-risk for failure. She is currently a co-principal investigator on a large-scale group randomized efficacy trial for a classroom management intervention funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

    Cathy Newman Thomas, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Missouri. She began her career as a special education teacher, practicing in California and New Jersey. She taught in self-contained special day classes, as a resource teacher, and as a coteacher. She was an educational consultant who conducted diagnostic evaluations to determine whether a student had a learning disability. During her 10 years as a teacher, she taught students from kindergarten through high school, including students in high-need urban areas and students consigned to a court-mandated drug rehabilitation center. She earned her doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008, with an emphasis in learning disabilities and behavior disorders. Her research focuses on technology in teacher education, technology to provide access to the curriculum for children at risk for school failure, and adolescent content area literacy, including digital literacy. Dr. Thomas has authored more than a dozen articles and has coauthored two book chapters. This is her first opportunity to coauthor a book.

  • Appendix

    Description and Access Information for Educational Technology Resources Cited

    ArtikPixChapter 4 Page 40This app includes flashcard and matching activities for children with speech and language delays to improve articulation. Data collection capabilities are built in.
    Behavior Tracker ProChapter 3 Page 35This app helps teachers and others to track and graph behavior as part of assessment and intervention.
    Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)Chapter 6 Page 64 Chapter 7 Page 79CAST is a research and development organization that conceptualized Universal Design for Learning (UDL). This website provides background, information, and resources to support educators in understanding and implementing UDL.
    Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice (CECP)Chapter 5 Page 58CECP is an organization whose mission is to provide resources to support quality education for children with and at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders. A wealth of resources for prevention, assessment, and intervention are offered, including the Forced-Choice Reinforcement Inventory referenced in this book.
    Developmental Reading Assessement—2nd Edition PLUSChapter 3 Page 23DRA2+ is a criterion-referenced formative assessment tool that includes automatic scoring features and views of ongoing student progress to help teachers evaluate reading performance and improve instruction.
    edHelperChapter 6 Page 66edHelper is a teacher developed website designed to provide access to educational resources, including the graphic organizers offered in this text.
    Education PlaceChapter 6 Page 66Education Place, sponsored by educational publishing company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, offers web-based textbook supports for grades pre-K to 6, such as graphic organizers suggested in this book.
    EdudemicChapter 3 Page 30Edudemic is an education technology news site with a goal of connecting educators to technology.
    EdutopiaChapter 7 Page 84Edutopia, the website of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, has a mission to promote and improve access to evidence-based educational resources. Resources are offered by grade level and for a variety of topics and include professional development. While the George Lucas Educational Foundation does not offer grants, the website does provide a resource list to help teachers and others identify avenues of support.
    flashcard appsChapter 4 Page 39This website was created by the app developer of Vocabulary Ninja ( to document the features of all similar apps. Realizing it might be helpful to others, she has hosted this resource.
    Free RiceChapter 4 Page 40Free Rice is an online vocabulary game that asks players to identify the best synonym for each word presented. It was developed by the United Nations World Food Program and has a social justice mission with 10 grains of rice donated toward hunger relief for each correct answer.
    Holt Interactive Graphic OrganizersChapter 6 Page 66This resource is provided by Holt McDougal, an affiliate of educational publisher Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt. This web link offers access to a wide variety of interactive graphic organizers
    Intervention CentralChapter 3 Page 27 Chapter 5 Page 58This website was created by a school psychologist and educational consultant to provide intervention and assessment resources for Grades K–12.
    Jackpot! Reinforcement Survey GeneratorChapter 5 Page 58This web-based survey generator is offered at Intervention Central.
    Kid Coach: The KidTools Support SystemChapter 3 Page 35 Chapter 6 Page 74This website offers research-based tools, templates, and strategies to support students in self-management for learning, behavior, and problem solving to improve school success.
    National Center on Accessible Instructional MaterialsChapter 7 Page 77This website provides information and resources for Accessible Instructional Materials, specialized formats of curriculum to provide access to education for students with print disabilities.
    National Center on Universal Design for LearningChapter 7 Page 80The National Center on UDL supports the effective implementation of UDL by providing information and resources for UDL advocacy, research, development, and implementation.
    National Library of Virtual ManipulativesChapter 4 Page 39The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives, supported by the National Science Foundation, offers a library of interactive virtual manipulatives and concept tutorials to support K–12 mathematics learning.
    PercentallyChapter 3 Page 35Percentally is a data collection app that uses tallies and total to calculate percentage correct. This tool is useful for progress monitoring rate and accuracy of a given behavior.
    Preference and Reinforcer AssessmentChapter 5 Page 58This app, designed by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, helps teachers identify effective and appropriate reinforcers based on student choice.
    Reading RocketsChapter 3 Page 28 and 30A service of WETA, Washington's major public broadcasting channel and is largely funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Reading Rockets offers research-based strategies to help teachers and families support reading development.
    readwritethinkChapter 3 Page 30This website, supported by the International Reading Association, the National Council of English Teachers, and Verizon's Thinkfinity, provides educators and families with access to high-quality instructional materials for language arts.
    STAR ReadingChapter 3 Page 23STAR Reading, from Renaissance Learning, a technology-based educational company, is an online resource that uses skills-based assessments to help teachers screen, benchmark, plan for instruction, and monitor reading progress.
    StarfallChapter 4 Page 39Starfall is the creation of a former struggling reader. This website offers interactive activities for young readers who need practice in phonemic awareness, decoding, and fluency.
    Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavior Interventions and SupportsChapter 5 Page 52This website, sponsored by the Office of Special Education Programs, provides information, resources, and technical support to promote wide-scale implementation of the positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) model.
    Technology Integration for TeachersChapter 4 Page 39This website is hosted by an instructional technology coordinator from Chicago who has gathered a quantity of web-based resources for K–8 teachers. It is organized by content area and includes tips, resources, and apps lists for specific devices.
    Time TimerChapter 3 Page 25This app was designed by a mother who wanted to make the concept of elapsing time visual yet simple. Time timer comes in clock-, watch-, and device-based formats and can be set in second and minutes; some products come with languages in addition to English.
    WordleChapter 2 Page 14 Chapter 7 Page 82Wordle is a free online tool that creates word clouds from text that is entered by a user. It is partially owned by IBM, and its developer has described it as a toy. However, many educators have identified educational uses for Wordle to meet instructional objectives.
    WordsiftChapter 7 Page 82Wordsift is a free online tool to help teachers support the development of content vocabulary in academic disciplines. This tool was developed through a partnership between teachers and university researchers. Learning theory regarding vocabulary development and English language acquisition, and research on previewing of vocabulary for content area comprehension were used to guide development.


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