We share evidence-based K-12 learning strategies that empower you to improve education.
Teaching middle school is not for the faint of heart. But if you're called to do it, you know there's nothing else quite like it. Join us in discussing what works - and what doesn't.
What kind of reading remediation programs work best for middle school students? Each year I have 1-3 students who are barely above functional literacy. I have had those same kids later in the high school level. Even those students who have support services rarely seem to signficantly improve literacy skills. I hope to work with our local adult literacy agency to find options for these students. Do others see this in their own middle school? If so, what has worked?
Our school has a few periods of AIS (Academic Intervention Services) set aside for students that are not reading at grade level (or in most cases, are not reading any where near grade level).
Guided reading every day at the student's level has shown significant increases in reading comprehension and fluency. If done every school day, it can also increase their reading level. It is harder once the student is in middle school, though.
You are not alone!
The best way to increase reading literacy and comprehension is to practice reading. Students should have sustained silent reading time every day to read something of their choice. Never do choral(popcorn) reading in a classroom. It is very nerve racking for students to HAVE to read when called upon. They are not focusing on what is being read, they are focusing on trying to pronounce everything correctly. This will not help students at all. I do agree that guided reading is a good idea. If the teachers reads aloud to students and they all follow along, she can then probe them for answers to help with comprehension and model fluency and prosody.
All the experts I trust say that if someone isn't read well, it's probably because they didn't learn phonetically, and they have to start over and learn to do it right. (Google "42: Reading Resources" for general info.)
Make reading fun, and make it engaging! I teach special education to students in grades 5-8. This past summer, I started a summer book club with 3 of middle school girls. I took them two days a week in the summer to the library. We read the first two books in theSisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. Then, we watched the movie at the end. They all went up AT LEAST one grade level over the summer. And better yet, they actually WANT to read. So it doesn't necessarily have to be Shakespeare. Let them read Twilight, Harry Potter, etc. Let them watch the movies after reading the book. Also, check out the audiobook from your local library and let them listen as they read. This REALLY helps with grammar. They hear how things are supposed to sound when being read aloud.
Effective remedial reading programs need to be based upon accurate and teachable diagnostic assessments. Here is a nice set of free whole-class reading assessments that will allow concerned teachers to access the pertinent data and effectively plan instruction. Also, a ton on reading intervention resources... http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/free-reading-intervention-r...
If you are teaching Shakespeare, I strongly believe that it is a visual and auditory experience. What we do at Shakespeare At Play is create video representations of the plays that we embed with the text. We are a new company just starting out, but the hope is to help students learn how to read an appreciate Shakespeare. Here is our website for more info: www.shakespeareatplay.ca