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.

Teacher Cueing During Narrative Text Reading

Teacher cueing during narrative text reading

Many of the concepts related to cueing for informational text are also relevant to narrative fictional texts. Though we recommend that a large percentage of time spent in strategic reading groups focuses upon informational text, there is absolutely a place for cueing students as they read fiction.

Examples of Cueing Narrative Texts in Strategic Reading Groups

Consider this example from eighth-grade teacher Ms. Martin working with a group on Shirley Jackson's (1948) short story “The Lottery.” Ms. Martin has selected this text because it is brief, requires enormous inferencing skill, and will be a good challenge for the students. While it is a piece that Ms. Martin herself enjoys and appreciates, she believes that struggling through ...

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