Part 4: High Impact Strategies for Struggling Readers, Years 3 to 6 – Effective Book Selection (2)

Part 4: High Impact Strategies for Struggling Readers, Years 3 to 6 – Effective Book Selection (2)

Welcome back to the fourth part of our podcast series on supporting struggling readers in Years 3 to 6. In this episode, we delve into high-impact strategies that teachers can employ to foster student agency and success in reading. From selecting just-right books to implementing innovative techniques like the language experience approach, we explore various approaches to empower struggling readers.

Selecting Just-Right Books:

Understanding that struggling readers may face different challenges, it’s crucial to select books that cater to their individual needs. Rather than limiting them to simplistic texts, expose them to complex yet engaging literature. By offering texts with manageable decoding challenges but rich in content, like Chris Van Allsburg’s works, students can experience success while expanding their reading abilities.

Empowering Through Literary Devices:

Engaging struggling readers with texts that employ literary devices elevates their reading experience. For instance, exploring alliteration or other literary techniques in texts can enhance comprehension and critical thinking skills. By acknowledging their strengths in grasping complex elements of literature, teachers provide struggling readers with a sense of accomplishment and motivation to tackle decoding challenges.

Building Reading Repertoire:

Recognising that reading is multifaceted, teachers must guide struggling readers to develop a diverse reading repertoire. This involves exposing them to various genres, including poetry, which offers rich language structures and opportunities for repeated reading. Through consistent engagement with a range of texts, students enhance their vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency.

The Language Experience Approach: An innovative approach to support struggling readers is the Language Experience Approach (LEA). This technique involves transcribing a student’s oral storytelling into written text, creating personalised books. By actively involving students in the creation process and incorporating illustrations, LEA fosters engagement and ownership of their reading materials.

Harnessing Poetry’s Power: Poetry serves as a potent tool for nurturing struggling readers’ literacy skills. Its compact yet intricate nature provides opportunities for language exploration and repetition, reinforcing comprehension and fluency. Integrating poetry into the curriculum exposes students to diverse linguistic structures and cultivates a deeper appreciation for language.

Fostering Reading Agency: Central to empowering struggling readers is fostering their agency in the reading process. Encourage students to actively participate in book selection, journaling their reading experiences (Reading Journals, Reading Calendars), setting goals, and reflecting on their progress. By involving students in decision-making and providing opportunities for self-assessment, teachers cultivate a sense of ownership and confidence in their reading journey.

Conclusion: Supporting struggling readers requires a multifaceted approach that prioritizes student agency and engagement. By carefully selecting just-right books, leveraging literary devices, and implementing innovative techniques like the Language Experience Approach and poetry integration, teachers can create enriching reading experiences for students. Through ongoing support and encouragement, every struggling reader can unlock their full potential and thrive in the world of literacy.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST here.

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