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I Read It, But I Don't Get It (2000) is full of anecdotes and personal testimony from its author concerning her struggles to get her secondary school resistive readers reading. She walks the reader through her initial interactions with students, their struggles with reading,  and ways that she built a classroom community based on trust rather than "teacher-as-provider-of-knowledge." She also sprinkles teaching strategies throughout the narrative, and includes copies of handouts as appedices.    
 
Tovani does a good job of showing the growing population of non readers, and provides strategies to (re)engage them with books. Unfortunately, she spends a lot of the text reminiscing about conversations or struggles she faced with particular students rather than providing effective teaching strategies. The ones that she does include are helpful and easily accessible; however, nothing in her book is profound. In fact, teachers who keep up on professional
development won't glean any new information, but this would be a great book to share with novice teachers.


 
 
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As always, Burke provides pre-service and practicing teachers with realistic
guides to make literature more meaningful to students. The reality is that  schools have required reading lists, and on those lists are canonical titles  that every teacher struggles with getting students engaged. By accessing  students' prior knowledge, the texts become more meaningful to them and allows  for more successful connections. Like many great ideas, however, he encourages
teachers to know the needs of their students and make the proper modifications  based on those needs as well as the teacher's strengths. Not only that, but his  rubrics and sample lessons are only meant as guides, not lock-step criteria that  has to be covered exactly.

Something that I really appreciate about  Burke is that he does a really good job of incorporating current research within  his texts to show the validity of his approaches to teaching literature. Not
only do I enjoy the research, but I appreciate his effortless writing style.  He's not really coming up with anything too innovative; however, he is showing  English teachers that students can learn doing activities other than  whole-class-discussions-turned-lecture. The goal should be to get students to  share how much THEY know, not showing them how much WE know. Regardless of the  Scholar Academic Ideology, students aren't sponges waiting for us to impart  knowledge; they have their own, and we need to let them construct it.