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10 Essential Instructional Elements for Students With Reading Difficulties

A Brain-Friendly Approach

This book details how the brain creates meaning from print, and how educators can leverage the latest neurocognitive research to help students struggling with reading.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781483373775
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2015
  • Page Count: 256
  • Publication date: October 28, 2015

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.



Brain-friendly strategies to help all students become lifelong readers

Learning to read is more than just an educational issue; it’s a social justice issue. Did you know that struggling readers are twice as likely as their peers to drop out of high school? Through time-tested, research-based neurocognitive teaching strategies, 10 Essential Instructional Elements for Students with Reading Difficulties will enable you to hone readers’ skills and help students from all grade levels develop their ability to create meaning from print.

Drawing from five key areas of neurocognitive research, Andrew Johnson provides a ten-point teaching strategy that encompasses vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, writing and more. A key resource for creating intervention plans for struggling readers, features include:

  • Information on the often-overlooked importance of emotions in the process of overcoming reading struggles
  • Strategies to promote voluntary reading, even for the most reluctant students
  • Useful resources such as graphic organizers, additional reading and writing activities, and QR codes that link to videos
  • Use these strategies today and you can count on more students leaving your classrooms as fluent, lifelong readers.
“Dr. Johnson tells the story of reading in a logical and clear manner with a book that is excellently researched, immaculately referenced, and full of practical tips for the practitioner.”
Terry Bernstein, Former Senior Literacy Difficulties Specialist
London Boroughs of Camden and Westminster, UK

“This is the text I wish I had when I began to teach. Dr. Johnson clearly illustrates the process our brain uses to create meaning from text.”
Marty Duncan, Ed.D., Author and Former Educator

Key features

This text includes the following:

  • Advanced organizers, charts, and figures that will be used to demonstrate exactly how each strategy is used and applied
  • References to a website that contains a wealth of teacher resources that they can use (www.OPDT-Johnson.com)
  • Links to short, video mini-lectures that the author has prepared. These are between two and eight minutes in duration. See the example at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuwLTDYIRNM
  • Appendices for graphic organizers, examples of authentic assessment, and additional reading and writing activities


Andrew P. Johnson photo

Andrew P. Johnson

Dr. Andy Johnson was a 1976 graduate of Grantsburg High School in Grantsburg, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin, River Falls where he graduated with a B.S. degree in Music and Speech-Communication. After earning elementary teaching licensure, he taught 2nd grade in River Falls, Wisconsin from 1983-1986. He went on to teach in elementary schools in the Twin Cities area and also spent three years working in the Grantsburg School District as A 5th grade teacher and the Gifted Education Coordinator.

He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Literacy Education in 1997. He is currently working at Minnesota State University, Mankato as a professor of literacy in the Department of Special Education where he specializes in literacy instruction for students with reading difficulties. He is the author of 10 books and numerous academic articles related to literacy, learning, teacher development, and the human condition.

He lives in North Mankato with his wife, Dr. Nancy Fitzsimons and his dogs Mickey and Emmet.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Code First or Meaning First

Tools in Your Teaching Toolbox


Section I. Understanding the Reading Process

Chapter 1. Creating Meaning With Print: The Neurocognitive Model

Understanding Reading

Reading: A Neurological Perspective

The Neurocognitive Process

Last Word

Chapter 2. Eye Movement and Neural Pathways

Eye Movement During Reading

Understanding Our Learning Organ

Last Word

Chapter 3. Understanding Reading From a Cognitive Perspective

The Difference Between Brain and Mind

The Information Processing Model

The Two-Way Flow of Information

Last Word

Section II. Diagnosing Reading Problems, Documenting Progress, and Planning Instruction

Chapter 4. Diagnosis and Documentation

Diagnosing the Problem

Graded Word Lists

Graded Reading Passages

Assessing Comprehension

Putting It Together

Last Word

Chapter 5. Reading Lessons

SRE Lesson

Guided Reading Lesson

Shared Reading Lesson

Last Word

Section III. 10 Instructional Elements

Chapter 6. 10 Elements of Reading Instruction

No Magical Programs

Comprehensive Reading Instruction

Teaching Reading With the Brain in Mind

Last Word

Chapter 7. Emergent Literacy: Concepts of Print and Phonemic Awareness

Approaches to Early Literacy Instruction

Creating the Conditions for Early Literacy Learning

Concepts of Print

Phonemic-Phonics Hybrid Activities

Last Word

Chapter 8. Emotions and Motivation


The Value-Expectancy Theory of Motivation

Some Basic Strategies

Last Word

Chapter 9. Literature and Instructional Approaches

Strategies for Promoting Voluntary Reading

Instructional Approaches

Last Word

Chapter 10. Phonics


14 Strategies

Last Word

Appendix: Phonics Checklist

Chapter 11. Strategies for Developing Word Identification Skills

Terms and Concepts Related to Word Identification

Context Clues: The Semantic Cueing System

Word Order and Grammar: The Syntactic-Cueing System

Word Parts

Morphemic Analysis

Sight Words

Last Word

Chapter 12. Fluency

Reading Fluency

Neural Pathways and Networks

Strategies for Enhancing Reading Fluency

Avoid Round-Robin Reading

Last Word

Chapter 13. Comprehension of Narrative Text

Comprehension Basics

Teaching Tips

Activities Organized by Cognitive Process

Last Word

Chapter 14. Comprehension of Expository Text

Expository Text

Teacher Pre-Reading Strategies

Study-Skill Strategies

Pedagogical Strategies to Develop Cognitive Processes Related to Comprehension

Last Word

Chapter 15. Vocabulary

Attending to Vocabulary

General Principles for Developing Students’ Vocabulary

Strategies for Developing Students’ Vocabulary

Visual Displays and Graphic Organizers

Last Word About Words

Chapter 16. Writing

The Why and How of Writing

Specific Strategies

Last Word




Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.