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Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?: Content Comprehension, Grades 6-12
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Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?: Content Comprehension, Grades 6-12

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  741 ratings  ·  59 reviews
“Do I really have to teach reading?” This is the question many teachers of adolescents are asking, wondering how they can possibly add a new element to an already overloaded curriculum. And most are finding that the answer is “yes.” If they want their students to learn complex new concepts in different disciplines, they often have to help their students become better reade ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Stenhouse Publishers
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Start your review of Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?: Content Comprehension, Grades 6-12
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education, nonfiction
This book is a great tool to teach literacy in the content areas. While this book is geared towards grades 6-12, the ideas, strategies, and other tools can be adapted and modified for elementary grades as well. This book is a great resource for teachers to use to help them teach their students how to examine different types of text. This book helps the teacher to re-evaluate how they have been teaching reading to their students and to see what changes they need to make.
Eco Imp
Oct 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Just a book for class
Shifting Phases
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Exactly what I was looking for: concrete techniques for comprehension designed mainly for non-fiction, in a short book. This is reading comprehension instruction for the non-English teacher, geared primarily toward readers who can decode their texts but have trouble using it for any particular purpose. Although Tovani is writing for Gr 6-12, I don't think any of these techniques would be out of place in a first-year college classroom.

Tovani identifies these common breakdown points for dependent
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: textbooks
This book addresses the question posed in its title: do teachers of content other than language arts really need to teach their students how to read in their content areas? Not surprisingly, the author's answer to that question is a resounding "yes". Somewhat surprisingly, she makes a good enough case for that answer that many if not most readers of the book will be persuaded.

Reading a math textbook (or other math instructional material) or science, or history, or even industrial arts, all requi
Apr 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Building upon her first book, I Read It, but I Don't Get It: Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers, in which she offers techniques for developing reading comprehension and critical thinking skills in adolescents, Cris Tovani now lays out techniques for teachers to engage students in content-area reading.

How do you help students to understand a science text, or a math text, or any kind of text? How do you read differently in each subject? Why should you care? Tovani answers all of thes
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I saw this book in the Teacher Resource Center of my school and thought the title seemed engaging enough while capturing the essence of what any non-literacy teacher thinks often.

Tovani offers practical advice regarding how to improve the literacy of students in content-related ways, which I was surprised. I will note, there is a light references to mathematics courses, specifically; however, that was to be expected.

Given that the book is so short, I had to temper my expectations regarding how
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Although I gained so much from reading this as an English teacher, I believe this is an absolute MUST for teachers in subjects outside of English. For such a short volume it is bursting with intelligent insights, lessons and practical ways to scaffold and build upon reading comprehension skills that are necessary for student's success. Since it was only comprised of a mere 120 pages I breezed through it but simultaneously didn't feel that it should have been longer or that chapters lacked proper ...more
Delila Reviews Things And Stuff
While I am still somewhat at the beginning of my teacher preparation program, and I foresee many other assigned texts in my future (some in the mail as I write this), I have to say that this is probably my favorite assigned text so far. It makes sense, there's no complicated jargon that I have to decode, and it's honest and straightforward. Tovani clearly knows what she is talking about here, and there is much to learn from her and this book. I would have no problems rereading it or cracking it ...more
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
My favorite thing about this book is how genuine the author sounds when she talks about her own experiences teaching reading... Especially to students in non-language arts classes, or students who are struggling readers. I have no doubt that this woman LOVES her job. There are some very moving stories. That being said, it's still a bit on the idealistic side for a person who is teaching, let's say, strictly math. I know everything's supposed to be all about integrating reading & writing nowadays ...more
Janine Darragh
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: textbooks
This book would best be suited for pre-service or first-year teachers. The author describes various strategies that can be incorporated into any middle or high school classroom to help students who struggle with reading. She uses a familiar, personal tone, and the book is a quick read. To me, the research base was lacking, and I would have liked to have seen more strategies and fewer personal anecdotes. However, the appendix provides some great templates that could easily be copied for immediate ...more
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The reading specialists in my building recommended this book and boy am I glad they did! This book is incredibly empowering. It proves that reading is a critical part of my social studies curriculum. I always felt I was stealing the Language Arts teacher's thunder when I introduced reading instruction into my classroom. Tovani's suggestions are accessible and she has a firm grasp of the content teacher's struggles with overwhelming content. I cannot wait to establish text sets for each of my uni ...more
Mar 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
As a secondary teacher, reaching students with reading difficulties is a major struggle. Where to begin to help these students is extremely confusing. Do I stop teaching my content in order to assist these struggling readers? Do I even know how to help this type of student? Tovani's book is a down to earth approach on how to strategically begin this as a teacher. Her strategies empower the teacher to students have a deeper understanding, as well as the teacher an approach to teach effectively. ...more
Jun 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Tovani understands the plight of the modern student. She recognizes that current academic trends bombard students with content and limited time and skill instruction to digest this content. She gives sound advise to teachers on practical approaches to helping students of all ages and levels of reading grow in their comprehension and digestion of text.

Her focus on annotation as a way of capturing thinking, paying attention to the conversation you are having with text, and assigning purpose to re
Feb 20, 2008 rated it liked it
i picked this up accidentally from some teacher's desk while i was substitute teaching high school this winter. it changed my entire understanding of reading! finally i understand the reason that i can stare at pages of non-fiction and not absorb it is that i was never taught to read it and understand it... i think it comes to some naturally but i need to work to actively "get it." yay, there is hope. i can now finish something besides a novel. ...more
Mr. Brammer
Jul 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: All content area teachers whose students are not "getting" assigned readings
It's comforting to know that there are so many great ideas out there for teaching reading comprehension. I really think that teachers (especially English teachers) tend to flail around when they assign reading and their kids don't absorb much of the text. The underlying argument is that reading for speed or completion is like not reading at all - good readers take their time with texts, mark them up, write responses, etc. ...more
Mar 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ed-content
A great book for helping teachers to start using and teaching reading more effectively. It presents ways of dealing with texts that allow students to get far more out of their reading. This book is written for content teachers, but reading / English teachers will get plenty out of it as well, especially an understanding of reading in other classes.
May 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: teachers
Recommended to Baff by: Jodi Stevens
Cris Tovani describes her approaches to helping teachers understand how they can improve their students comprehension of different texts throughout academic study.
This book remains one of the best textbooks I ever used in a college course. It is the most concise sensible book of advice to English teachers that I can list.
Aug 14, 2008 added it
Debbie & I are going to CCIU in October to see Cris Tovani speak. Her other book I Read It, but I Don't Get It is a MUST for those who teach struggling adolescent readers. I'm reading this book now since one of our "new things" this year is to incorporate more literacy into the content areas. ...more
Jeanie Papiernik
Oct 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teachers of English or Reading
I heard Cris Tovani speak at a reading conference and really enjoyed listening to her so I bought her book. I don't always enjoy reading professional texts, but this book was very enjoyable with lots of practical examples. I've gone back to it more than once to refer to it. It reads more like a novel than a professional text. ...more
Jim Warnock
Jun 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Cris Tovani provides strategies for addressing the different reading skills needed to comprehend math, science or social studies textbooks and materials. This is an outstanding book on teaching reading skills across the curriculum. It gives practical strategies for immediate use regardless of the subject area.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
This book was required reading for a literacy class I took this spring. I found the book to be full of insights regarding pedagogy as well as practical examples and tools for teaching literacy in the classroom.

I strongly recommend this book to teachers who are questioning if and/or how to incorporate literacy activities into their teaching.
Eva Boehm
Jan 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Not quite as engaging as her first book - I read it, but don't get it. But a good fit for a PLC that is seeking a text to study in the area of content area reading. She has the tone and disposition of a teacher's teacher. ...more
Oct 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education, textbook
Cris Tovani's writing style is pleasant, and I liked some of her strategies a lot. As with all education textbooks that I am forced to read, I didn't really enjoy reading this. But I can see how this could be useful, and it is one that I will keep. ...more
Kristina G
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you're going to be a teacher you need to read this book. There are great routines to implement. It's very accessible and encouraging. I enjoyed it and will be reading it again as I begin teaching. :) ...more
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book has great reading strategies that you can use in any content area. It also reads more like a narrative versus a text, which made me actually enjoy reading it. I also like that there are student examples as well as blank examples that you can use in the classroom.
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent resource for all high school teachers to help them incorporate good literacy instruction into their current programs. Like her other books, very easy to read and filled with practical suggestions for improving reading comprehension of students in the content areas.
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I found this book very insightful and it presented me with a lot of different strategies to use in my classroom. I'm teaching a remediation level and a mainstream level of ELA this year, so her comprehension techniques really helped me better understand effective strategies. ...more
Neana Lueck
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I recommend it for all teachers to get a deeper understanding of reading comprehension, assessing in the classroom, and the importance of reading comprehension. It is a life long tool that not only produces great readers, but great thinkers of our future!
Jul 30, 2007 added it
starting to get ready for school...
Oct 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teachers
Recommended to cassie by: taryn
Great, engaging anecdotes and ready-to-use strategies. One negative thing: the reproducible sheets in the back of the book are not 8.5 x 11. Weird.
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