Student Reading: Finding Success and Enjoyment in Literature

Student reading seems to either go great or be a challenge. If your students or child seem to be struggling, here are some ideas that might help them to succeed.

  1. Find something the child is really interested in. Many times certain age groups and classrooms are into similar stuff, like Minecraft, Legos, Disney. Find what the children are interested in and teach using that. With this in mind, remember that not all children in the classroom are the same, so if one child is truly struggling, ask them their interests. Look at who is on their backpack or shirt if they are having a hard time coming up with ideas.
  2. Choose material slightly below their level. Although a challenge can be fun, it can also be exhausting. If the child has to stop too often because the words are not in their vocabulary or if they can barely read the words at all, the idea of reading is going to become a task.
  3. Do not over test. Tests can be stressful, and you do not want the child to associate reading with stress. It’s a daily skill that they are going to need to have, so making it stressful is less than ideal. Yes assessments are necessary to see progress, but don’t make every book about that or the student is likely to shy away from letting their imaginations dive into the book.
  4. Set goals. Clear objectives not only define where you are at, they also motivate you and reward you when you accomplish great things. Let the child enjoy their success by pre-defining a student reading goal.
  5. Make Reading Fun. Make student reading enjoyable, add variety, and truly enjoy it. Reading is full of many different parts (like phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, retell, and more) each with its own challenges. Embrace the struggles and persist on understanding the books. If you are having fun, it is more likely so is the student. Games are also great like making silly sentences or playing a game and simply understanding what the cards say.

Hope these ideas help. Feel free to share some of your own ideas.

Articles Related to ‘Student Reading: Finding Success and Enjoyment In Literature’

Get Child to Read: An Early Start

Book Facts: Reading is a Gateway to so Much More

Reading Comprehension: Helping Kids Succeed

Reading Books with Kids: Phonological Awareness

Get Child to Read: An Early Start

How do you get a child to read and why is it important? Early speech is correlated with better math and reading, as well as, less behavioral problems. Research also shows that early literacy is correlate with better school and overall career success. But how do you get kids to talk, and how do you get kids to read?

Opportunity is key. Having resources like books of the right age range is so critical. It doesn’t take a lot of money, only a library card. Our local libraries also offer a kids time. This is a time where songs and other brain engaging activities are going on. If your libraries don’t offer this, check other resources like Barnes and Noble. Puzzles, paints, play dough, shape sorters, and other engaging problem solving toys also allow your children to explore the world around them. These skills can be helpful for both math and reading.  

Ask your kids questions. At an age that would of seemed silly to most, I would turn to my child at the dinner table and say, ‘tell Daddy about your day.’ Then I would eventually say that’s right and fill in the blanks, but it’s important to let your kids know they are important. It is also important that they learn to question things. It is a skill that is necessary for reading comprehension. Starting with the real world and simple board books is a great place to begin.

Listen to their interest. It is so hard to read a book even as an adult when you are simply not into it. the same holds true when you are a child. Think about what the child likes. Let them pick a book, and help them pick a book (or ask a librarian for help) about something that would truly help the child fall in love with reading.

Imagination is the key to building beautiful stories in your mind. Imagination starts by simply playing dress up or store or any of the number of things kids love to play. So while the kids look like they are doing nothing but being silly, they are preparing themselves for a great adventure ahead. Appreciate that.

Here’s a youtube video I found all about the importance of early reading


Articles related to ‘Get Child to Read: An Early Start’

Teaching Phonics: Helping Kids Read

27 Great Picture Books: What to Read with Your Kids

Book Facts: Reading is a Gateway to so Much More

Reading Comprehension: Helping Kids Succeed


gifted children

Gifted Students: Bridging the Gap

I came across this interesting article on gifted students yesterday.  It covers a 45 year study on gifted children. There are some important things to note if you have or regularly encounter gifted children:

  • Within the school system they have extra needs
  • They might also have additional sensory or learning issues
  • They are often over looked or under supported
  • As the article points out, they are an untapped resource…it is often these children that will solve the world problems for future generations. Why aren’t they supported more?

The article suggests that a good percent of these children in the top 1% go on to have influential jobs in science, business, law, and politics. The children, however, do not benefit from being called gifted. They do benefit from having access to advanced curriculum. The article states this about different countries approaches:

In the Middle East and east Asia, high-performing STEM students have received significant attention over the past decade. South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore screen children for giftedness and steer high performers into innovative programmes. In 2010, China launched a ten-year National Talent Development Plan to support and guide top students into science, technology and other high-demand fields.

In Europe, support for research and educational programmes for gifted children has ebbed, as the focus has moved more towards inclusion. England decided in 2010 to scrap the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, and redirected funds towards an effort to get more poor students into leading universities.

The article also states that the study found spatial ability impacts technical and creative innovation. The study also supports grade skipping. It shows the children who do this are more likely to advance their education to PhD s and have patents. It also says that just having accessible appropriate materials can help to motivated the children, but to take into account individual personality differences.


More Articles Related to ‘Gifted Students: Bridging the Gap’

Gifted Children: Existential Depression and Other Challenges

Autism Research: Finding the Cause and Cure


Teaching Phonics: Helping Kids Read

Teaching phonics starts at a young age, but even if kids come into your classroom at any age it’s not too late.

First: Address where the child’s at

Data heads most schools, but sometimes when there’s language barriers, it makes these tests harder for students. No matter what additional factors are at play, simple one on one should allow you to know: does the child know their alphabet, do they know sounds, are they starting to get sight words, or just at what level they can read.

SECOND: Create a Goal and A Plan To achieve it

Nobody reaches the finish line without first figuring out where they are headed. Future readers likewise need to have achievable goals, so they can feel the success, and build on it. Notice nuance in each child. If the child is older, they might not be grasping why they even need to learn to read. They need to find inner motivation if they’re going to put forth the effort to master a new skill. This means they might need even more of a game type atmosphere. If you can think of a way to make learning fun, do it! The reward of it for everyone will pay off ten fold!

teaching phonics

Third: Know the Basics of Language yourself

Here is some vocabulary around reading. Although it is not essential to memorize these words, the ideas behind them are what the students and all of us need to master.

Phonemes = any distinct unit of sound that when put together with other phonemes create words (for example ‘d’ in ‘dog’)

Grapheme = the symbols we use in writing (for example ‘d’)

Automacity = For it to be automatic and natural. The more words that fit into this category for the child the easier time they’ll have collecting information from a book or a street sign

Language Structure Also Effects Sound

Closed Words = CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant)

Open Words = 1st syllabol ends in a vowel

Silent ‘e’….also the other silent letter nuances

Vowel Team Words = like ‘Chair’ or ‘Neat’

Consonant ‘le’ and ‘er’ Words = like ‘supper’ and ‘turtle’

Lastly: Start Small

Our language is immense! People get Doctorates in just English, so remember achievable goals. Maybe a third grader just needs to learn the alphabet, but until that goal is accomplished the rest of English will not make sense. Good luck and stay patient!

Articles Related to ‘Teaching Phonics: Helping Kids Read’

Book Facts: Reading is a Gateway to so Much More

Reading Comprehension: Helping Kids Succeed

Reading Books with Kids: Phonological Awareness

Individualize Instruction: Classroom Modifications

Individualize Instruction: Classroom Modifications

As we know, all kids learn differently. This means individualized instruction with possible classroom modifications. Some are the ‘easy’ kids who want to please, and have the capability to keep their bodies in check. Some kids simply need modifications. Even if this means they are simply sunning extra errands for the teacher so that they can get their wiggles out. I recently came across this video, which so greatly encompasses the students’ needs. It is great what you can learn by simply talking to the students’ needs. It is also great to help them gain some self-prospective on their own needs. This means that every year they can work toward reaching the goal of filling their own needs, so that they can get the most out of the classroom experience to truly learn. Here’s the video with kids who really know themselves well.

Some basis modifications in a classroom can include (but are not limited to):

  • Listing things on the board, so students do not have to remember it all
  • A wiggle seat
  • A phone book on the floor so that they can truly plant their feet on the ground
  • A squishy ball or something to keep their hands busy
  • Not requiring eye-contact but simply modeling
  • Highlighting important information
  • A visual schedule
  • Extra exercise throughout day to get the wiggles out
  • Limitations of distractions
  • Preferred seating (whether closer to the teacher, materials, or off by self)
  • Role-play
  • Communication book home
  • Limit talking-time
  • Be patient
  • Shorter reading/writing assignments
  • Explain why material is important to learn
  • Use large text, braille, sign, whatever the student needs

It is important to individualize the instruction to each kid. No this does not mean redoing the whole lesson, but it does mean taking everyone’s abilities and struggles into account. This also means getting to know the students.

Articles Related to ‘Individualize Instruction: Classroom Modifications’

Emotional Behavioral Disorder: Accommodations and Modifications

Behavior and Cognitive Interventions: Finding the Best Solution

Homework Help: Bridging the Gap from School to Home

Self Advocacy: What It Is and How to Teach It