strategies to support struggling readers

And then you have a student claiming to be finished with the writing assignment, yet it is clearly incomplete and disorganized. These word work activities are always popular and kids love these beginning sound games. Write down the words on separate sentence strips. Have you seen this before? Provide a student-friendly glossary of key vocabulary (may include words &/or illustrations) Have students read a simple article, watch a video, or read student-friendly explanations of key Find out more about The Primary Professor at:, 5 Strategies to Build Confidence in Young Writers. Does she stop at that first sound and guess the rest of the word or does she continue sounding out the remaining letters? Or give students a list of Dead Words that they should avoid using in their writing and a list of alternative words to use instead. Helping struggling readers takes extra care and attention – since every child’s brain is different, every solution is slightly different too. The more students read the better readers they grow to be. Some fun variations could involve dividing the text into parts to be read by boys and girls, assigning portions of text to various reading groups to be read separately and/or as part of a whole class activity, and assembling a reading “choir” and assigning sections of text be read by “soloists,” “duets,” “trios” and “quartets.” This strategy helps student s learn to decode, improve sight word recognition and develop oral fluency. (You can see a video of me modeling the think out loud strategy HERE.). If you know that students are going to struggle with several words in a text, pre-teach them. Just like the name suggests, you SAY all of the things that you normally THINK. Brainstorming is a powerful tool to help writers flush out all the ideas and then a Focus Storm helps them to organize and fine-tune their ideas. With that in mind we asked two literacy experts, Michael Pressley and Nell K. Duke, of Michigan State University, to answer the questions of real teachers. Help build children’s confidence by calling them readers. I had lots of ideas, but I rarely put them together in a coherent fashion. This is a critical step for helping struggling writers construct ideas. Writing warm-ups are great to help students get their creative juices flowing. Knowing which areas to target for each writer will allow you to scaffold and support each student in the area in which they could benefit the most. Reading teams can consist of as few as two students to as many as four. When there is a greater purpose to their writing, even struggling writers invest more in the assignment. By thinking aloud, this demonstrates for the struggling writers how they can approach the same situation. Sound familiar? They need: My favorite way to teach kids the ins and outs of reading a book is to think out loud. I would love to hear about any strategies you use to support struggling writers in your classroom! I’m Whitney Ebert, founder of Print awareness – knowing how to read a book and understanding that letters make words, Phonological awareness – being able to hear the sounds in words, Letter recognition – identifying the name and sound of letters. I scaffold writing instruction to support all my struggling writers from the kids who struggle with coming up with ideas, to the writers who need support. While some children may struggle to remember the sounds letters make, other students may skip lines of text, not remember sight words, forget to use picture clues…. great site – great ideas- great help – thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those are also often the students getting up to get another drink of water and staring at a blank page. Warmly, Before having your students begin a writing assignment, show them models (either teacher created, or exemplar student examples from the past). This is also helpful because it is a visual for students to see that they have lots of ideas. Many children don’t like to read because they think they just aren’t good at it. These are fun and help students with their active thinking. And when you’re reading with small groups, consider choral reading (reading at the same time just like singers sing in a choir) or echo reading (having children repeat the words after you). These words can also be used to create simple books and stories for struggling readers. Choral reading leverages the power of social interaction into a powerful learning tool. These students struggle with getting started and knowing what to write about. They may feel it is not relevant to them or they may not have the background knowledge or expertise to write on the topic. And turn reading lessons into games! I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Additionally, I have my M.S. If you haven’t already ruled out any visual, hearing and speech difficulties that might be preventing children from seeing, hearing or saying words correctly, be sure to get that in the works. 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