Webinar Series

(At Least) 10 Ways to Help Striving Adolescent Readers

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

While attention has increased for young readers who are striving, older readers—students in grades 5–12—need special attention to help gain the literacy skills that will serve them after their academic careers. Our expert teacher Jason DeHart has worked for much of his career with middle and high school students who struggle with reading, and he has some time-honored strategies and skills to share with other educators.

Join us for DeHart’s engaging presentation, which will focus on 10 ways to help the older reader who is still working through developmental skills. You’ll learn about new ideas and strategies, all of which are flexible enough to be adapted to meet a variety of student needs, and come from a teacher and researcher whose work has been centered around solving the mystery of how to help older readers further develop literacy. 

You’ll leave this presentation with a new understanding of how to help older readers who struggle, specifically:

  • How to simultaneously link comprehension and word work
  • Key steps in thinking about how to build literacy engagement with readers across languages
  • How to minimize background knowledge building and include more reading in instruction
  • How to develop lessons around grammar and vocabulary in context so more reading practice can occur
  • Ways to build a comfortable learning environment for the resisting reader
  • Thoughtful steps to use visuals and graphic organizers not as replacements but enhancement for breaking down words
  • Thoughtful ways to use curriculum and resources so teachers are not “reinventing the wheel”
  • Information about the value of developing fluency with older readers, including specific strategies for this work and the role of phonics for older readers
  • Ways to take what we know about younger readers and adapt this work for the adolescent/older reader


Jason Dehart
Dr. Jason DeHart
Teacher, Wilkes Central High School, Wilkesboro, NC

Dr. Jason D. DeHart is a teacher at Wilkes Central High School in North Carolina, and was an assistant professor of reading education at Appalachian State University. DeHart's research interests include multimodal literacy, including film and graphic novels, and literacy instruction with adolescents. He taught middle grades English/Language Arts for eight years and continues to work to keep current with trends in education. DeHart’s work has recently appeared in SIGNAL Journal, English Journal, and The Social Studies, and he has a co-edited the volume, Connecting Theory and Practice in Middle School Literacy, to be released by Routledge later this year. He is passionate about literacy, inclusivity, engaged reading, and authentic writing practices.

Learn more about Dr. Jason DeHart


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