Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Strategies for Reluctant Readers (Lauren Werch)

Dear Lauren~
You and I have worked together for almost 10 years! However, you never cease to amaze me with your patience, love, and strategies! You are a true advocate for all children!


Question~ I have seen you work miracles with reluctant readers. Please share some of your favorite and most successful strategies.
Love ya!
Christina


Christina,
Thank Goodness you aren’t asking me for math strategies because that is where I learn from you! Before I initiate strategies with our many reluctant readers, I use three “best practices” that are already used by many teachers at Chets.

The first best practice I use is to build a strong relationship with these readers. They need extra love, trust and someone that believes in them. They also need a lot of motivation!

The second best practice I use is to diagnose specifically the reader’s strengths and weaknesses using reliable assessments. Knowing what I must teach the reader is essential to helping them move forward and target interventions appropriately to the area of reading they need.

Finally, the third best practice I use is to reduce the student ratio as much and as often as possible to either small group (3-5 students) or individual instruction. In all the years I have been attending reading conferences and reading the research, it is always the instructional intervention cited as being most effective.

Once I have completed this “up front” work, the following are some of the intervention programs or strategies I have found to work the best in each area of reading (however, I am ALWAYS looking for new ideas!)

PHONEMIC AWARENESS: Although I encounter very few readers with this need, the Great Leaps program has worked really well for this area of reading.

PHONICS: I am blessed to have been trained in one of the premier reading programs called Lindamood Bell. This program gave me the best foundation for teaching this area of reading, which is a sequential, direct instruction approach combining many modalities of learning.

FLUENCY: I have found out, most recently, that the most success to get readers on the road of fluent reading is to have them read a lot. Supported reading in text and repeated readings gives them the confidence to do this independently, which is the goal.

VOCABULARY: I always integrate new words within what we are reading and only a few at a time. I chose words I believe are most relevant to my readers.

COMPREHENSION: This cannot be ignored at any level of instruction, so I focus always on the areas of thinking a reader does before, during and after reading. Many times you must force a reader who struggles to stop and do this thinking.

I hope this helps someone in someway. I would really appreciate any new or different ideas passed on to me- let’s get some conversation going!! Lauren

1 comment:

Cursillos in Christianity said...

Lauren,
Where can I get more information on Lindamood Bell. I would love to share this with the NBCT candidates that I mentor!
Cheryl C.