Foreword by: Michael C. McKenna
Publication Date: December 23, 2016
Tired of hearing about “complex text”? Bothered by the pushy messages about “challenge”? This book is for you! Unlike the many other materials on text complexity, this one focuses on specific comprehension skills that students need in order to really engage with text. This book will help elementary school teachers equip their students with practical tools and understandings of the structures and conventions that allow them to excel, including concrete tools, passages, games, lessons, and examples to teach anaphora, connectives, paragraph structure, evidence-gathering (fiction and nonfiction), and text challenge. A final chapter specifies how to stretch students in texts while attending to their stamina, executive skills, and interests.
Heidi Anne E. Mesmer is an associate professor of literacy education at Virginia Tech.
" Teaching Skills for Complex Text does an excellent job identifying invisible comprehension sub‐skills, as well as making best‐practice recommendations."
—Teachers College Record
"I readily recommend this book to practitioners and researchers alike. I learned from it and know that others will too. Among competing titles currently available on the subject of complex text, this is by far the best."
—From the foreword by Michael C. McKenna, University of Virginia
"Teaching Skills for Complex Text is one of the most practical and targeted books that I've seen on comprehension instruction. Mesmer provides real-life scenarios of comprehension breakdowns that all teachers will recognize. She then outlines potential comprehension pitfalls, followed by detailed guidelines for best practice and step-by-step directions for activities to combat these pitfalls. While the book is presented as a resource for close reading of challenging texts in a Common Core era, it will serve as a valuable resource for teachers seeking answers to the question: How do I support my students who have difficulty comprehending the texts they read? Mesmer provides answers and the tools teachers need to move forward."
—Tisha Hayes, University of Virginia
“Heidi Mesmer has created a tremendous resource for intermediate grades reading instruction. Her clear explanations are followed by explicit, well-structured lessons for scaffolding students’ learning of the most challenging aspects of close reading, enabling them to transfer these skills to authentic narrative and informational texts. I highly recommend this book for classroom teachers, reading specialists, and interventionists who are looking for ways to deepen students’ comprehension. Additionally, this book provides a rich toolkit for supporting professional development in schools.”
—Kelly B. Cartwright, Christopher Newport University
“Mesmer’s experience in working with teachers and students shines as she provides engaging activities to appropriately challenge students (rather than frustrate them), guide students as they closely read at the sentence and paragraph levels, scaffold students as they gather evidence, and stretch their minds as thinkers and readers. This book is a must-have for any teacher who strives to meet the standards in meaningful, engaging ways.”
—Jennifer Powell, Radford University