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I Read It, but I Don't Get It: Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers
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I Read It, but I Don't Get It: Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  1,431 ratings  ·  125 reviews
I Read It, but I Don't Get It is a practical, engaging account of how teachers can help adolescents develop new reading comprehension skills. Cris Tovani is an accomplished teacher and staff developer who writes with verve and humor about the challenges of working with students at all levels of achievement—from those who have mastered the art of "fake reading" to college-b ...more
Paperback, 140 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Stenhouse Publishers
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Apr 25, 2013 Vicky rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Vicky by: It says "Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers" but I'm going to read this to learn "Comprehension Strategies for Vicky" lol
Cris Tovani writes I Read It, But I Don't Get It in this kind of patient adventure tone so that you feel like you're in Ms. Fritz's class, riding on the Magic School Bus. Her students who struggled to read were put into her Reading Workshop and felt things like, "It's too late for me to read" and I love how personal and professional Cris Tovani is, like how real she is when she describes her own reading history of fake-reading for classes up to the end of high school and feeling worried that she ...more
I Just Can't Get Into Books
"Pedro you better stop playing video games and start to read books ,I'm not asking you to, I'm telling you." "But mom I can't do it, I tried yet, when I'm reading I have difficulties." The major issue here is that I just can't get into books. I read, but I can't focus. When I'm reading I skip lines, sometimes chapters. Different things pop’s up in my head . "When we got outside of the duke of the New York we viddied, by the man bar's long liothed window." This quote i
Shifting Phases
Readable, well-organized, persuasive, concrete... I loved this book. Unfortunately it is a giant catalogue of things I now realize I should be doing in my classroom, but was oblivious to. On practically every page I had a face-palm moment, realizing about my students, "oh, THAT's what they're doing." I knew nothing about teaching reading, but now I have some ideas and a bit of insight. My students have no problem reading newspaper articles or novels. But when trying to read their textbooks, all ...more
My district sent me this book because I work with struggling readers. I'd planned to take it home for the summer but it ended up in the wrong box. It took me a while to find it again so I'll probably spend some time re-reading.

It's a good book, filled with anecdotes. The strategies tend to be general but I like the way the anecdotes deal with both struggling readers and "successful" readers. After all, don't we all become struggling readers when we read a topic we are unfamiliar with?

I would rec
Jul 07, 2011 Kellee rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kellee by: Amanda
Shelves: education, adult
One of the things I struggle with is think alouds and this book truly helped me with practical ways to improve my think alouds. Although I am already familiar with many of the comprehension strategies that Cris Tovani mentions in the book, I love the practical ways to incorporate them into the classroom. The only thing I found missing from this book is reading for fun.
Ryk Stanton
This is a book I was given during a reading workshop several years ago, but all I read at the time was the small section required for the class. Since I am teaching reading this year, I figured I would brush up on some of the skills and strategies for teaching at-risk readers. I found quite a few interesting philosophies that I can certainly implement in class with my students; my only criticism of this book is the same criticism I had of The Five Love Languages, which is the conversational styl ...more
Usually I like when the authors of these types of books give me concrete activities and lesson ideas I can bring to my room--it's why I love Kelly Gallagher after a colleague suggested him to me--but Chris Tovani does little of that. Yet somehow, I loved her book and it convinced me that I can, in fact, teach my sophomores to be better readers.

Tovani offers very general insights into reading problems and sets up very vague, but logical, recommendations to fix the places where comprehension brea
Dana Schroeder
In I Read It, but I Don't Get It: Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers , Tovani shares practical strategies and reading theory in an easy to read format. Throughout the book Tovani relays conversations and scenarios from her own teaching experiences with adolescents in a high school reading workshop as well as her own history as a poor reader. The emphasis throughout the book is on modeling thinking strategies and explicit instruction on the skills good readers employ.

There were many
Seth Woodley
This book is easy to read, and it utilizes some helpful strategies. There are many concepts and practices that are both beneficial and convicting.

One of my problems with the books is the reading material for the students. Tovani employs these reading strategies with substantive works, and she neglects the reality of having a significant amount of material to get through. It would be difficult for many teachers to implement these strategies in a typical English or History classroom setting. Thes
OK, this is for work, but it's very well written and I'm enjoying the reading.

Tovani, the author, was a struggling reader herself, who taught herself how to actually understand what she was reading when she was in her 30s and had "fake read" through public school, high school, and a university degree. Amazing, isn't it?

Because of this, Tovani really understands what's going on in a teen's head when he can read the words, but doesn't understand what the heck is going on in the text.

Because she
The author gives real world, workable strategies to help struggling readers with their comprehension. She gives specific examples from her own classroom that give me hope, because I've had the same experiences myself.

She says over and over again that we need to TEACH the strategies, rather than expect students to come into the classroom with this knowledge. In addition, she says admits that the strategies don't always work with every piece of text, and encourages the teacher to use multiple str
Lisa Scott
Having read Mosaic of Thought: Teaching Comprehension in a Reader's Workshop and Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement, I found that this book covered very familiar ground (reworked for older students). It would be very helpful for secondary-level teachers who have never been introduced to direct teaching of reading strategies, or who need a refresher. I liked the "teaching points" with how-to ideas listed at the end of each chapter, and will keep the book ...more
Tanya Windham
Cris Tovani, a high school language arts teacher, explains what being able to read really means. She explains the reasoning for teaching reading in all subject areas and demonstrates the connection between reading and thinking. Reading goes well beyond decoding and pronouncing words. Cris explains her own struggle to truly read. She describes her ability to read and make the grades but never able to truly understand. Some of the examples she gives of her struggles and teacher responses to those ...more
This book is fabulously useful. I don't teach adolescents (her book is directed to those who teach students in high school or below); I teach college students. But I still encounter the problems she addresses here, including students who fake-read, students who can't gain a basic understanding of texts without relying on the teacher or other students, and students who don't know how to create their own meaning from and truly interact with the text.

I took detailed notes on this book and plan to
Kristine Rier
I had to read this for a graduate course on content literacy. I thought the book was well written and encouraged strategies for good reading habits. One of the challenges I grapple with, however, is that Tovani implements these strategies in a classroom that doesn't appear to be subject to pacing. I think that is wonderful….but, in a history classroom that is subject to pacing, the book doesn't resolve for me how to reconcile the time it would take to use these strategies. I would love to be in ...more
A clear, concise, no-nonsense guide to helping adolescent readers when they can't seem to make sense of their reading.

Personal dialogues offer a human element to an otherwise dry text, and have helped me to conceptualize when a dialogue about reading comprehension is most appropriate; indeed, in my own (infrequent) teaching experiences, I have had discussions with students about the books they're reading that mirror Tovani's own classroom, and so helped me to launch into a Tovani-tried-and-true
This book is an amazing resource for anyone working with older struggling readers. It contains invaluable information, strategies, and personal anecdotes that can assist any group of older readers. This is a very motivating and hopeful text.
The best guide that I have found for teaching reading in the classroom - and trust me, I've been looking. Tovani spells out things that, as a natural reader, would never have occured to me. Not only did it illuminate for me why and how my students are struggling, but it made conscious a litant of reading skills that I never even realized I was utilizing, because they were all things I had done instinctively, without being taught.

Every secondary level teacher should read this. It behooves all of
I'm sort of ashamed to admit this, but I had only read parts of this book and not read it cover to cover until now. WOW - I was missing out! This book should definitely be required reading for any reading or language arts teacher, but I'd also recommend it for ANY teacher of middle or high school students. Teachers of other content areas can use the simple, effective strategies presented by Tovani and students will benefit with improved comprehension of the texts used.

This book was so helpful a
Rick Gilson
I found the book to be specific in its suggestions and helpful in supporting the classroom teacher's efforts in helping students experience success. Have you ever watched someone speak in English to a person who appears to understand no English? When the speaker realizes the lack of understanding how often have you seen them repeat what they said but just slower and louder? I really like the specific suggestions Tovani offers teachers, and readers, many ways to help "fix" the struggles they are ...more
When I was teaching GED classes to adult learners, I constantly had students tell me that they had a really hard time remembering what they read. Being such a natural reader, I struggled to come up with suggestions other than for them to slow down, take their time while reading, take notes, and re-read. This book is full of several valuable and usable tools to help readers of all levels start to remember what they have read and to actually "get" it. This was one of the best books I was required ...more
Wonderful ideas to implement in any classroom to ensure reading comprehension. Easy to read and enjoyable to work through.
If you teach, and are frustrated by the literacy levels of your students, I highly recommend this book. While it can feel a bit like a list of things you must do, Tovani is at pains to stress that she is providing a set of tools - not all of which can be used by every teacher, not all of which are relevant to every situation, etc. I'll admit to still being daunted, nonetheless... but I hope to be able to use some of ideas she presents, for the sake of my students.
As a teacher of middle school Language Arts, I see and deal with it everyday. Thankfully, unlike many educational books, this text gives strategies and not just theories. Teaching students to connect to what they're reading and just how to infer information based on what they read can be difficult to say the least. This book gives actual tools and prompts for the teacher to use in facilitating this type of higher level thinking. If you teach reading to middle or high school students, regardless ...more
Clear and easy read. Great book for all literacy teachers.
Great intro for hs people who teach content.
Nice professional reading for teachers of all content areas. The work features great explanations, descriptions and application suggestions of reading strategies for adolescent students. These strategies are nothing radical new, but are excellently presented from a practicing teachers point of view. They are designed to engage the student and get them to think, appreciate and understand reading. Ready made templates that can be applied directly in the classroom are also included in the back. A g ...more
Anne Thurmond
Every teacher needs to read this book.
This one has been on my to-read teacher shelf for a while. It's a good overview of how she approaches her reading recovery class, and I began to get some great ideas for how I'd like to go about teaching my support class because of her examples and guidance. Tovani really knows how to break down the multiple and complicated processes we go through when we read, and the very concrete ways she shows students were so valuable to me, both as a reader and a teacher. I expect my teaching will change b ...more
Irene McHugh
If you're looking for a succinct explanation of how to help your students with content-area reading, this book is fantastic.

Most students know how to read, but they don't all know how to read a science text book or a newspaper article. Reading and analyzing the steps in a math problem creates a whole new problem for many students. Teaching literacy is an enormous undertaking. This book helps content-area teachers incorporate reading strategies into their subject to enhance student comprehension.
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