Literacy Coaching in the Secondary Grades

Helping Teachers Meet the Needs of All Students

Jade Wexler, Elizabeth Swanson, and Alexandra Shelton

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
July 5, 2021
ISBN 9781462546701
Price: $82.00 $61.50
244 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
July 5, 2021
ISBN 9781462546695
Price: $32.00 $24.00
244 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
July 5, 2021
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $32.00 $24.00
244 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $64.00 $35.20
244 Pages

Too many adolescent learners still struggle with reading. This much-needed guide shows how to support teachers in providing effective literacy instruction in the content areas, which can be intensified as needed within a multi-tiered framework. Adaptive Intervention Model (AIM) Coaching was created for grades 6–8, but is equally applicable in high school. The book gives instructional coaches an accessible blueprint for evaluating, developing, and reinforcing each teacher's capacity to implement evidence-based literacy practices. User-friendly features include case studies, end-of-chapter reflection questions and key terms, and reproducible tools. Purchasers get access to a companion website where they can download and print the reproducible materials—plus supplemental lesson plans and other resources—in a convenient 8½" x 11" size.

This title is part of The Guilford Series on Intensive Instruction, edited by Sharon Vaughn.

“In secondary education, all teachers are reading teachers, and many can benefit from the help of a skilled coach. That’s where this book comes in! There are few professional development resources to provide coaches with a systematic approach to support teachers and improve academic outcomes. Featuring clearly articulated research and well-crafted graphs, diagrams, graphic organizers, and worksheets, the book is both informative and practical. Educators will feel empowered as they acquire a deeper understanding of research-based literacy practices while also developing an arsenal of tools they can use right away across all content areas.”

—Whitney Stuart Anderson, MEd, Literacy and Content Instructional Coach, Hardy Middle School, Washington, DC

“This is a high-quality, practical guide that secondary literacy coaches can use to enhance their own practices and those of their teachers, ultimately enhancing the literacy achievement of students who need additional supports. The authors have done an excellent job of translating recent research findings into clear recommendations that can be applied in schools immediately. The focus on ongoing professional development and coaching is innovative and has high promise of increasing literacy outcomes. This book will be great for both preservice teacher training programs and inservice professional learning communities; I look forward to integrating it into the teacher preparation program at my university.”

—Christopher J. Lemons, PhD, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University

“Wexler, Swanson, and Shelton provide outstanding information and tools for addressing the content literacy needs of secondary students with reading difficulties. The user-friendly explanations and examples of how to implement AIM Coaching will prove invaluable. The book provides concrete, research-based strategies for supporting individual teacher learning schoolwide. This is a useful, highly relevant resource for university courses and professional development efforts that deal with improving content literacy instruction.”

—Mary T. Brownell, PhD, Distinguished Professor, School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies, College of Education, University of Florida

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

1. The State of Adolescent Literacy

2. What Do We Do About These Poor Outcomes?

3. Common Schoolwide Support Models

II. Instructional Practices Every Secondary Literacy Coach Should Know

4. Using Data

5. Challenges in Choosing Text for Intensive Instruction

6. Features of Effective Instruction

7. Evidence-Based Content-Area Literacy Practices to Support Students with Intensive Needs

8. Fidelity of Implementation

III. An Adaptive Coaching Model to Improve Literacy Instruction for All Students

9. An Adaptive Approach to Literacy Instructional Coaching

10. A Guide for Implementing AIM Coaching

11. AIM Coaching: Part 2

12. AIM Coaching: Part 3

13. AIM Coaching Case Study



About the Authors

Jade Wexler, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education at the University of Maryland. Her current research focuses on designing reading interventions to support adolescents with reading difficulties and disabilities in the content-area and supplemental intensive intervention settings. She also designs and evaluates professional development and schoolwide service delivery models to support the implementation of evidence-based literacy practices in middle schools. Dr. Wexler has over 40 publications focusing on adolescent literacy interventions. She is a former high school special education and reading teacher.

Elizabeth Swanson, PhD, is Research Associate Professor at The University of Texas at Austin, and has served the field of education since the 1990s as a special education teacher, researcher, public speaker, and writer. Currently, she focuses on improving educational opportunities for struggling readers and students with disabilities. Dr. Swanson has worked closely with teachers to co-create and test the effects of multiple sets of instructional practices focused on infusing the content areas with vocabulary and comprehension practices to improve outcomes for struggling readers. She has published more than 55 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Alexandra Shelton, PhD, is a Faculty Specialist and Project Director in the Special Education Program within the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education at the University of Maryland. She focuses on professional development for middle school teachers aimed at improving literacy instruction and intervention for secondary students with and at risk for reading disabilities. Dr. Shelton is the author of multiple publications related to secondary literacy instruction and intervention. A former high school special education teacher, she served students in general and special education settings in English language arts and science.


Literacy coaches and specialists, special and general educators in grades 6–12, and school administrators; teacher educators and students.

Course Use

May serve as a text in graduate-level courses in adolescent literacy or literacy leadership.