Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

Helping Striving Readers: Q & A with Alan Trussell-Cullen, Pt. 2 of 2

Welcome to our second installation of videos in which teacher educator and author Alan Trussell-Cullen answers questions about struggling and striving readers in the upper grades and how to best help them take an interest in and achieve proficiency in reading. You can read the first installation   here .

Click on the videos to watch. Transcripts, if preferred, are available below each of the videos.

Q: Can technology be helpful for instruction when teaching students with reading difficulties?  

A: Technology can be tremendously helpful, because it’s really a part of their world. Young people today grow up with technology. It’s cool for them. It’s something that they understand, that they’ve got facility with, and they don’t feel threatened by.

The   Download   series also comes with   a CD , which means that there are all sorts of additional material that you can use with the students. You can use it on a PC with the students, or you can use it on whiteboard, the interactive whiteboard which I think is a great resource and we’ll see more of it.

So technology can be tremendously helpful, and there is such a range of things that are being developed that we can use in our classroom. And also the things that go with technology. We can use color, we can use images. We can use things in large, in terms of putting them on big screens. We can use things that are small that we can put on PCs. We can use sound and music.

Basically there is a tremendous range of resources coming on-stream. Basically I think as teachers we’re just on the tip of a very huge iceberg as far as technology and its application in education.


Q: Can you make some suggestions for the kind of play resources that would be helpful for striving readers?

 A: All three Hameray series [ Download   series,   The Extraordinary Files , and  SuperScripts ] come with very strong teacher guide material with ideas and suggestions for student activities, opportunities for student writing, for discussion, opportunities for research, and for using other media, using the internet, opportunities for the student to compare and to use the resources in their own thinking about the world.

Q: How confident are you about teachers being able to get their striving readers to become component readers and learners.

A: I’m very confident. I can see such wonderful things happening out there. I can see some teachers doing very exciting things; trying out new approaches, using new materials. I love all the materials that are being developed, for example the Hameray materials are really exciting. They’re really supportive. I think there is tremendous value for how these are going to be used.

These series not only address reading needs, they also address writing needs. They provide opportunities for discussion and all sorts of language extension and activities. They’re not just a series of readers. They’re really a part of a comprehensive language enrichment program. Really exciting stuff for kids to work with.


The book series mentioned in this interview,  Download   series is part of Hameray's High Interest / Low Vocabulary genre, intended to encourage struggling readers to read through presenting compelling topics that they want to read about.   Download   offers facts about the exciting world of extreme sports and hot contemporary subjects such as technology and natural disasters. 

Flip through a sample from these series to see how it appeals to readers who have trouble taking an interest in reading.



If you're interested in learning more about this series, you can click on the images below to download an information sheet with highlights and key features.

- Tara Rodriquez