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The Power of Peers in the Classroom
Karen R. Harris, EdD and and Lynn Meltzer, PhD
Guilford Press / Softcover / Jul 2015
9781462521067 (ISBN-10: 1462521061)
Special Education
reg price: $50.50 our price: $ 47.98 (may be subject to change)
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Peer support and social relationships have a tremendous influence on development, motivation, and achievement for all students, including struggling learners and those with disabilities. This highly practical book is one of the few resources available to guide classroom teachers and special educators in the application of peer-assisted instructional strategies in grades K–12. Expert contributors describe evidence-based approaches for building students' skills in reading, writing, math, and other content areas, as well as social competence and executive functioning. Sample lessons and more than a dozen reproducible tools are provided. Purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials in a convenient 8 1/2" x 11" size.

Critical Acclaim:

“An invaluable resource for classroom teachers in K–12 who are preparing their students to be college and career ready. The in-depth, research-based instructional strategies relate directly to teaching students to collaboratively problem solve, support each other in the learning process, and accomplish goals together. Teachers will take away an understanding of why each strategy works and how to put it to use in their classrooms and daily lesson planning. Harnessing the power of peers will increase students’ achievement in the classroom and in life—just what every teacher hopes for.”—Barbara Friedlander, teacher and professional development leader, Montgomery County, Maryland

“Edited and written by leading scholars, this book not only makes a compelling case for why peers should be a central element in any teaching strategy, but also shows how to make it happen. This is an extraordinary resource for practitioners, policy makers, and researchers. In a word, it's a masterpiece!”—Donald D. Deshler, PhD, Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Special Education, University of Kansas

The Power of Peers in the Classroom pulls together the very best of what works for engaging peers in the social lives and learning of students with disabilities. This compelling book outlines practical pathways educators can use to draw upon the most widely available—and often most effective—source of natural support in schools. These approaches are also promising in their impact on the peers who get involved—the opportunities they receive to get to know and learn alongside their classmates with disabilities can have a lasting influence on their attitudes, expectations, and future pathways.”—Erik Carter, PhD, Department of Special Education, Vanderbilt University


1.Executive Function and Peer Mentoring: Fostering Metacognitive Awareness, Effort, and Academic Success, Lynn Meltzer,Michael Greschler, Katelyn Kurkul, & Wendy Stacey
2.Peer Interactions in the Content Areas: Using Differentiated Instruction Strategies, Kelley S. Regan, Anya S. Evmenova, Margo A. Mastropieri, & Thomas E.Scruggs
3. “Thank You for Helping Me Write a Better Paper”: Peer Support in Learning to Write, Anne Mong Cramer & Linda H. Mason
4. Using Collaborative Strategic Reading to Promote Student Discourse, Karla Scornavacco, Brooke Moore, Alison Boardman, Cristin Jensen Lasser, Pamela Buckley, & Janette K. Klingner
5.Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies to Improve Students' Word Recognition and Reading Comprehension, Devin M.Kearns, Douglas Fuchs, Lynn S. Fuchs, Kristen L. McMaster, & Laura Saenz
6. Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies in Mathematics, Sarah R. Powell & Lynn S. Fuchs
7. Maximizing the Benefits of Working Cooperatively with Peers, Kimber L. Wilkerson
8. Peer-Supported Instruction for English Learners, Cara Richards-Tutor,Terese Aceves, & Colleen Reutebuch
9. The Power of Preschool Peers to Influence Social Outcomes for Children with Special Needs, Phillip S. Strain & Edward H. Bovey II

About the Editors:

Karen R. Harris, EdD, is the Mary Emily Warner Professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, and a former general and special education teacher. Her research focuses on theoretically based interventions for the development of academic and self-regulation abilities among at-risk students and those with disabilities, as well as effective
models of inservice teacher preparation for writing instruction for all students. She developed the Self-Regulated Strategy Development model of strategies instruction. The former editor of the Journal of Educational Psychology, Dr. Harris is coauthor or coeditor of several books and over 200 peer-reviewed publications. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Researcher Award for special education research from the American Educational Research Association and the Career Research Award from the International Council for Exceptional Children. She is President of Division 15 (Educational Psychology) of the American Psychological Association and has served as President of the Division for Research of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Lynn Meltzer, PhD, is President and Director of Research at the Research Institute for Learning and Development (ResearchILD) and Director of Assessment at the Institute for Learning and Development (ILD) in Lexington, Massachusetts. She holds appointments as an Associate in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Child Development at Tufts University. Dr. Meltzer is a fellow and past president of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities and is founder and chair of the Learning Differences Conference, now in its 30th year at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her 35 years of neuropsychological evaluations and clinical consultations with children, adolescents, and adults have emphasized the theory-to-practice cycle of knowledge. Her recent work, together with her ResearchILD colleagues, has centered on the development of SMARTS Online, an evidence-based executive function and peer mentoring/coaching curriculum for middle and high school students. She has published widely on the assessment and treatment of learning and attention difficulties.

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