Nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing a student who struggles to read words and sentences, despite his best efforts. It pains me to watch them hardly pronounce simple words.
As teachers, we are aware of the presence of struggling readers in our classroom who need our best assistance in order to improve their reading proficiency level.
The key to helping our struggling readers is by adopting and employing proven reading intervention tactics. Our reading interventions must be embedded in our instructions to make a huge impact on student learning.
In this post, it is with great enthusiasm to share reading interventions that you can use to assist struggling readers in your class and cater to their literacy needs.
I can’t wait to work with you to improve the reading skills of your struggling readers.
Are aiming to go further with your teaching career? Check out the 20 best books for new teachers and delve into experts’ advice.
What Are Reading Interventions?
Reading interventions are activities and strategies that help students develop their reading skills to achieve reading proficiency and gain confidence in reading texts of varied texts.
These are reading instructions that aim to remediate the reading difficulties of students. Furthermore, reading interventions are critical school activities that need the allocation of proper time and resources to ensure the achievement of goals and plans.
How to Implement the Reading Interventions?
A. Make a reading intervention plan
Planning is an important aspect of reading intervention. You have to craft the rationale to point out clearly the goals to be achieved and the ways to assist students. Plot the dates and the reading activities to be done.
Moreover, in your plan, you have to indicate the persons involved, the resources needed, and the success indicator.
B. Identify the reading skills of your students
To identify students’ reading proficiency levels, you may use or adopt the standard pre-reading activity used in your district or school. It’s a critical stage of the program to know who are the students reading below grade level.
An inventory of reading skills is a gauge for the identification of who will undergo the reading intervention program. The reading proficiency level of your students is the basis of your reading intervention program.
C. Map target reading skills
After careful analysis of the data gathered during the pre-assessment stage, you can now identify the target reading skills that need to be developed.
In order to accelerate students’ reading skills to proficiency, you should clearly identify what particular reading aspects students need to improve on. Should they begin with the basics of phonics or they can leap to reading comprehension?
D. Design or gather reading materials
There’s joy in reading and your students must feel it. At this point, it’s essential to consider students’ interests and preferences. Do they love reading stories with images and illustrations? The graphics and images somewhat excite students, especially visual learners.
Using pictures related to the topic can encourage students to practice more and enjoy reading. Likewise, the quality reading materials should be designed for their levels so your reading intervention program is a success. Just make sure that the reading materials won’t intimidate students and make them hate the activity.
These reading materials should capture students’ interest and enliven their imagination. In short, reading should be made fun and engaging by developing and using appropriate reading materials.
Effective Reading Interventions
1. Word Recognition
According to research, effective word recognition strategies help children swiftly and instinctively convert the written letters or the spelling patterns of words into audible distinctive sounds, making it possible for them to pronounce the words correctly and recognize their meanings.
In this activity, you are to provide instructions and activities on word families such as the Consonant-Vowel-Consonant pattern (CVC), initial and final consonant blends, consonant digraphs, words with long and short vowel sounds, and words with diphthongs.
Basic Tactic: Introduce consonant sounds first. Because each vowel can represent more than one sound, the vowels are not taught separately. Then, the alphabet is taught beginning with the letter that is easiest to learn like the letters Mm, Ss, and so on.
When helping struggling readers in your class, you can’t skip phonemic awareness exercises for a strong foundation in reading.
An essential aspect of reading intervention, phonemic awareness, provides the foundation for proficient reading. Hence, as you implement your reading intervention program, you should specify activities for phonemic awareness.
As your beginning and struggling readers deal with the sounds of letters and words, they’ll be able to familiarize the individual sounds of letters which is one of the basics of reading. It’s the thing from which all the other reading skills spring.
Spelling and Syllabication
In studies, spelling, reading, writing, and comprehension skills have all been related. Research has it that spelling increases reading fluency since it fosters students’ knowledge of the alphabet.
Through spelling and syllabication drills, struggling readers learn about the meaningful relationships between letters and words which is likely to help with vocabulary development and reading fluency.
When students learn to spell and syllabicate, they develop a strong connection between letters and their sounds.
2. Drills on Fluency
Fluency is characterized as the capacity to read quickly, accurately, and correctly. In this activity, you can take the words from the story read and write them on cards or on the board. By and by, you can let them read words, phrases, and sentences.
These fluency drills can be done independently, rereading a text, reading with a partner, and so on until they can read smoothly, whether aloud or quietly.
Reading sight words is a great help for your struggling readers. These high-frequency words aid in the literacy intervention program. So you can actually spread sight words on your reading bulletin boards or anywhere in your classroom.
Another way is to print sight words on index cards and use them in your reading drills. This instructional practice can delight struggling readers achieve reading fluency.
For more strategies on sight word reading, click here.
3. Drills on Comprehension
This activity involves decoding unfamiliar or difficult words and answering comprehension questions. There can be varied strategies for reading comprehension and choosing the most appropriate ones can make a big difference.
Struggling readers tend to be passive readers. They just literally read the words without extracting their meaning. In other words, students should be taught to make inferences, predict outcomes, and analyze a text.
According to research, before students are introduced to reading comprehension activities, they must first be able to read proficiently. Hence, the activities mentioned above are to be done initially before giving explicit instructions on reading comprehension.
Effective reading intervention strategies and activities can make all the difference in the world when it comes to teaching students to read and pronounce words correctly, especially those students who have trouble catching on.
Make a difference in your student’s reading lives by providing the support they need right now. Our mission is to foster a lifelong love of reading and learning in children by encouraging them to read widely and deeply.