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January 30. 2018

7 Tips for Engaging Struggling Readers in Independent Reading

As they engage in independent reading, students have many opportunities to process texts with ease and understanding. You'll want to guide struggling readers as they select books for themselves, but ultimately they must have the motivation of choice. Initially, they may wish to pretend to read harder books, but this is completely non-productive. Of all the students in the class, it is most important for struggling readers to successfully engage in independent processing. Here are several suggestions:

  1. Determine students' reading levels.
  2. Include in the classroom collection a good selection of books that are within students' reading ranges. Look for books that are interesting, and include a good variety. Informational texts may be especially helpful.
  3. Emphasize in minilessons the importance of selecting books that are interesting and "just right" for readers at the time.
  4. Create a supportive social environment in which individual selections are valued.
  5. Present both higher- and lower-level books in your "book talks" (short reviews to interest students in books).
  6. For students having special difficulty, pre-select some books from which these students then have a limited choice.
  7. Use individual conferences to support student reading and help students "rehearse" what to write about or talk about relative to their reading.

From When Readers Struggle: Teaching That Works by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (C) 2009 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

Comments (1)

  • Katrina Rutherford

    1/30/2018 9:08:12 AM | Reply

    Good morning!

    When giving the benchmark assessment or a running record assessment in LLI, can the teacher use a Try That Again if a child is muddled at a part of the text and count that TTA as an error?

    Thank you!

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