10 Ways to Motivate Struggling Readers

reading

Terri Noland, Vice President of Learning Ally gave a webinar earlier this school year. I finally found the time to watch. Here is what she presented:

Stories leave endorphins in the brain. This can motivate a struggling reader.

Students need to work on skills, but we must still give them grade level content. Sometimes that means audio books (Learning Ally provides human-read audiobooks) or graphic novels. (We also have access to ‘high interest- low vocabulary books’ – google that phrase and see all that is available.)

Reading achievement is directly linked to motivation – which one causes the other is not clear.

Terri presented these research-based strategies:

1. Provide access to audio books.

2. Model Reading and Reading Behaviors

(Use the 5-Word Rule – reading the first page of a book, if the student cannot read or understand these first 5 words, the person cannot read it independently. Further, if the struggling reader can understand, but not read, he can enjoy it as an audio book.)

3. Reading Aloud – Many students consider this their favorite part of the school day. Reading aloud allows you to provide your child with a variety of content.

4. Incorporate goal setting. Help the child create personal and manageable goals.

5. Provide access to a wide array of materials. They say that a classroom library should have 7 books per student and a school library should have 20 books per student. At home, we must provide children a variety of reading materials.

6. Create time and Space – a worthy goal consists of 20 minutes per day.

7. Opportunity for Self-Selection – a must.

8. Allow time for discussion.

9. Reading has to be relevant.

10. Provide specific feedback such as: “I really like how you do…..” rather than, “Good job.”

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