We all know reading is crucial to a student's education, but sometimes students struggle. They can also develop a negative attitude. In this blog post, I will share seven strategies for engaging struggling readers you don't want to miss. Here are some strategies that you can use to help engage these students and boost their reading motivation.
Make Reading Fun with Interactive Activities
Make it fun: One of the biggest reasons students may have a negative attitude towards reading is because they view it as boring or uninteresting. Try incorporating fun activities and games into your reading lessons to make them more enjoyable for students.
For example, you could have students act out a scene from a book using apps such as Puppet Pals, Toontastic, or Puppet Master. Another example is to use digital interactive notebooks with the app Book Creator or Google Slides.
Personalize Reading Assignments to Match Student Interests
Personalize the material: Engaging struggling readers can be difficult, but offering students a choice in what they read can be a win-win for both student and teacher. It is more likely that students will engage with and enjoy reading when they have a personal connection to what they're reading.
Use Technology to Engage Struggling Readers
Incorporating technology into your reading lessons can be a great way to engage students. For example, you could use educational apps or e-books to provide interactive reading experiences. However, I think it’s best to limit programs on the market that “teach” students to read. Students do not need more time to CONSUME information. They need more time creating and interacting with the material.
In the example below, students can use apps such as Scratch or Scratch, Jr. to show what they know about a book they've read. Allowing students to extend their thinking in a fun way can motivate them to read.
Encourage Group Discussions and Collaborative Reading
Encourage students to work together and support each other in their reading journeys. You can have students pair up for book clubs or discussion groups, where they can share their thoughts and ideas.
For struggling students, it can be helpful to offer them individualized support. This can include one-on-one reading conferences or working with them in small groups where they can receive extra support and attention.
Engage Struggling Readers with Oral Reading Practice
Providing opportunities for oral reading practice in the classroom is important for boosting student motivation and building reading skills. This can be done in various ways, such as through read-aloud sessions, book clubs, oral presentations, and drama activities.
To get the most out of these activities, it's important to choose material appropriate for each student's reading level and provide plenty of support and feedback.
Teachers can also encourage students to take turns reading aloud in small groups or as a class to build their confidence and fluency, but be aware this can bring great anxiety to some students. By making oral reading an integral part of the classroom experience, teachers can help students alleviate stress and develop a love of reading.
Celebrate Student Success and Foster a Love of Reading
Regularly acknowledge and celebrate students' progress and successes. This can be a great way to boost their confidence and motivation and help them see that they are progressing in their reading journey.
Here are a few ideas for providing positive feedback for students' reading progress:
- Give specific feedback: Instead of just saying “good job,” be specific about what you liked about their reading. For example, “I liked how you used expression when you read that part.”
- Encourage self-reflection: Ask students to reflect on their reading progress and what they did well. This can help them build confidence and take ownership of their learning.
- Create a display or bulletin board: In the classroom, you showcase students' reading achievements and progress, such as their favorite books or a graph tracking their reading fluency.
- Provide written feedback: Write a personal note on their reading assignments to highlight their strengths and areas for improvement.
- Offer positive reinforcement: Provide positive reinforcement for their efforts, such as giving stickers or small rewards for each reading milestone they reach.
Remember, the key is to be consistent and genuine with your feedback and to celebrate every step of their progress.
Create a Positive Reading Environment in the Classroom
Finally, engaging struggling readers can be a long process. Being patient and understanding your students is important. Remember that reading is a complex skill that takes time to develop, and it may take some students longer to get there than others.
With these strategies, you'll be well on your way to helping your struggling readers feel more confident, motivated, and engaged with their reading. Remember, every student is unique and may respond differently to these strategies, so be flexible and open to trying new things to find what works best for each student.
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Good luck, and happy reading!
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