Part 1: High Impact Strategies for Struggling Readers, Yrs 3-6 – The Reading Workshop

Part 1: High Impact Strategies for Struggling Readers, Yrs 3-6 – The Reading Workshop

Teachers often find themselves grappling with the challenge of teaching struggling readers, particularly in the intermediate grades (years 3-6). Literacy expert Sharon Callen and her colleague Phil delve into this common struggle, acknowledging that it’s not unique to these years but requires specific strategies tailored to this age group. They emphasise the need for motivation, growth, and access to grade-level curriculum for these students.

Broadening the Scope: Secondary Settings and Differentiation

While the discussion centres on years 3-6, Sharon notes that the strategies discussed are adaptable across both primary and secondary settings with appropriate adjustments. Differentiation is key, not just for struggling readers but for all students in the class. The goal is to ensure every student’s needs are met and that all students can grow and be extended in their learning.

Purposeful Reading: Setting the Stage

Sharon highlights the importance of understanding the purpose of reading in the classroom. Beyond mere comprehension, she emphasises the need for students to engage in independent reading with accuracy and understanding daily. This intentional reading time fosters growth and significantly impacts reading outcomes, as evidenced by research conducted by Fielding, Wilson, and Anderson.

 Introducing a Reading ‘workshop’

Central to effective teaching is the implementation of a ‘workshop’ model for reading instruction. This model mirrors the scientific method, with clear intentions, actions, and evaluation built into each lesson. Teachers set specific learning intentions, model thinking processes through think-alouds, and provide opportunities for students to practise and apply these strategies independently.

Live Demonstration: Phrasing in Fluency

Using fluency as an example, Sharon demonstrates how to incorporate the Reading ‘workshop’ into teaching. By enlarging text on the screen and modelling phrasing through think-alouds, she guides students in understanding the thought processes behind fluent reading. This interactive approach fosters student engagement and comprehension.

Looking Ahead: Enriching Literacy Learning

In future podcasts, Sharon and Phil will delve deeper into strategies such as developing book selection strategies, implementing read-aloud sessions, and facilitating paired reading. These additional strategies complement the workshop model and contribute to highly effective literacy learning in the classroom.

By prioritising purposeful reading, implementing the workshop model, and incorporating diverse strategies, teachers can effectively support struggling readers and promote literacy growth for all students in years 3-6 and beyond. Stay tuned for more insights in part two of our podcast!

Go to the podcast, part 1 here

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FURTHER INFORMATION

Tune in to “Teacher’s Tool Kit For Literacy,” a free podcast where accomplished literacy educator Sharon Callen and her team share valuable insights and tips. With over 30 years of experience, they provide strategic learning solutions to empower teachers and leaders worldwide.  Subscribe on your favourite platform for exclusive literacy learning content.  AppleSpotify,  GoogleYouTube

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