Karen Wood

Karen Wood
Reading and Elementary Education
COED 397
Faculty Website

Dr. Karen Wood is a professor in the Department of Reading and Elementary Education at University of North Carolina Charlotte. Wood is a former middle school teacher, reading specialist and K-12 instructional coordinator in the public schools. She received her Ph. D. in Reading Education (K-12) from the University of Georgia; Educational Specialist’s and Master’s degrees in Reading Education from Appalachian State University.   She was the first recipient of the College of Education Teaching Award, the Harshini da Silva Award for Mentoring at UNCC in 2007, Bank of America Teaching Award finalist in 2000 and 2006 and the First Citizen’s Bank Award for Scholarship in 1999.  The author of over 200 publications, chapters and books, her articles have appeared in journals such as The Reading Teacher, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Reading and Writing Quarterly, Literacy Research and Instruction, Language Arts and the Middle School Journal, for example.  For over 14 years, she served on the McGraw-Hill author team for reading and language arts and was the author and originator of the Out of Research into Practice column for the Middle School Journal for two decades.  Her most recent books are What’s New in Literacy Teaching: Weaving Together Time-honored Practices with New Research released this year by Teachers College Press; Smuggling Writing: Getting Students to Write Every Day in Every Content Area, 2016, Mining Complex Text in K-5; 6-12 Classrooms, 2015 published by Corwin and Questions from the Classroom: How to Integrate Vocabulary, Comprehension and Writing Across the Disciplines published by the Association of Middle Level Educators.


Research Interests:
  • Content area literacy (K-12)
  •  digital literacy
  •  vocabulary and comprehension
  •  diverse learners
  •  emphasis on curricular practices in upper elementary, middle and secondary levels

  • M. A. Appalachian State University, 1975
  • Ed. S. Appalachian State University, 1979
  • Ph. D. University of Georgia, 1982

  • Readings in Literacy Research
  • Collaborative Leadership in Literacy
  • Assessment and Instruction in Literacy
  • Reading and Writing across the Content Areas
  • Current Issues and Practices in Reading


Community Involvement:
  • Makes presentations to and consults with school systems, conferences at the state, local and national levels

Awards & Honors:
  • 2007 UNC Charlotte Harshini de Silva Graduate Mentoring Award 
  • 1999 UNC Charlotte First Citizen’s Bank Scholars Award 
  • Finalist for the Bank of America Teaching Award in 2000 and 2006
  • First recipient of the UNC Charlotte Cato College of Education Excellence in Teaching Award in 1995.

Selected Publications:

Selected Books:

Wood, K., Paratore, J., Kissel, B.  & McCormack, R. (2017). What's new in literacy

teaching? Weaving together time-honored practices with new research.NY:.

Teachers College Press.

Wood, K., Taylor, D.B., & Stover, K.  (2016) Smuggling writing: Getting students to

            write every day in every content area grades 3-12.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Lapp, D., Wolsey, T. D., Wood, K. D. (2015) Mining Complex Text in Grades 2-5: Using

and creating graphic organizers to grasp content and share new understandings.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin

Lapp, D., Wolsey, T. D., Wood, K. D. & Johnson, K. (2015) Mining Complex Text in

Grades 6-12: Using and creating graphic organizers to grasp content and share new understandings.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin

Wood, K. D. & Soares, L. B. (2015) How to integrate comprehension, vocabulary and

writing across the subject areas: Questions from the classroom.  Westerville, OH: Association of Middle Level Education.

Selected Articles/Chapters:

Wood, K. D., Kissel, B. & Miller, E. (, 2016)  Safe zones: Supporting LGBTQ Youth through Literature.  Voices from the Middle.

Wood, K., Kissel, B., Haag, K. (2017). What happens after the staff development is   over? A model for self-coaching in literacy.  In K. Wood, J. Paratore, B. Kissel, and R. McCormack (Eds.) What’s new in literacy teaching? Weaving together time-honored practices with new research. NY: Teachers College Press.

Wolsey, T. D., Wood, K. D. &, Lapp, D (2017) Conversation, collaboration and the

common core: Strategies for learning together. In K. Wood, J. Paratore, B. Kissel, and R. McCormack (Eds.) What’s new in literacy teaching? Weaving together time-honored practices with new research NY: Teachers College Press.

Harmon, J., Wood, K. Smith, C.,  Zakaria, N., Ramadan, K. & Sykes, M. (2016)

Teaching and learning in high school reading classes:  Perspectives of teachers and studentsReading Psychology, 1-33. DOI: 10.1080/02702711.2016.1157536

Stover, K., Kissel, B., Wood, K. & Putman, M. (2015)     Examining literacy teachers’

use of Voicethread in an elementary, middle and high school classroom for enhancing instructional goals.  Literacy Research and Instruction, 341-362.  DOI:10.1080/19388071.2015.1059911

Wood, K., Stover, K., & Kissel, B. (2013). Using digital VoiceThreads to promote 21st

Century learning. Middle School Journal, 44(4), 58-64.

Harmon, J. M., Wood, K. D., & Stover, K. (2012). Four components for promoting literacy

       engagement in subject matter disciplines. Middle School Journal, 44(2) 49-57.


Wood, K. D., Stover, K., Pilonieta, P, & Taylor, D. B. (2012). Don’t skip the graphics! Focusing

students’ attention on the visual aids in digital and traditional text. Middle School Journal,     43(4), 60-68.

Wood, K.D., Harmon, J.M., Kissel, B., & Hedrick, W.B. (2011). Research-based  vocabulary  

instruction: Recommendations for struggling readers.  In R.L. McCormack & J.R. Paratore (Eds.), After early intervention, then what?: Teaching struggling readers in grades 3 and beyond. (2nd ed.) (pp. 66-89). New York, NY:  Guilford Press.

Harmon, J.M., Hedrick, W.B., Wood, K.D., & Vintinner, J. (2011). An investigation of current

secondary reading programs. Literacy Research and Instruction. 50(2), 105-119.

Fraga, L., Harmon, J.M., Wood, K.D., & Buckelew-Martin, E. (2011). Digital word walls and

vocabulary learning: The use of iPods to facilitate vocabulary instruction with ESL students. Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology.   http://www.rcetj.org/index.php/rcetj/issue/current

Wood, K. D. (2011) Bridging print literacies and digital literacies using strategy guides Journal

of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 55(3), 244-248.

Wood, K. D., Harmon, J., & Taylor, D. B. (2011) Vocabulary literacy: Guidelines for integrating

comprehension-based word study in content classrooms. Middle School Journal. 42(5), 57-64.

Wood, K. D. (2010). New dimensions of content area literacy: Not just for secondary teachers

anymore. Reprinted in M. Cappello & B. Moss (Eds.), Contemporary Readings in Literacy Education (pp. 205-209). Los Angeles: Sage Publications