Some of My Students Still Aren't Getting it!

These are words that are often heard after the First Semester of School comes to an end. So what can we do with those students who are still not getting it? Most likely it is time to back-up in the teaching continuum and become more purposeful and strategic; targeting students at their level along the path to independent reading.

First and foremost, don't be discouraged! Children develop at their own pace, and in accordance to their prior experiences. Remember, learning to read begins long before a child enters school. It begins at birth with vocabulary acquisition, with stories, songs, and rhymes repeated time and time again. It continues as games are played, books are read, and language is spoken. But as all educators know, not all children benefit from such rich experiences; conversely, they have limited exposure to language development opportunities.

Young children who already are feeling the phenomenon of The Matthew Effect, simply need a more deliberate path along the road to reading. Our job as teachers is to keep steady to the path. Here are a few ideas as you continue down the path of strategic teaching.

  1. Provide deliberate opportunities for students to practice skills in a targeted way. Remember, deliberate practice involves repetition and strategic practice.
  2. Provide many auditory motor opportunities. Can you copy my pattern? (Clap simple patterns for the child to copy. Beginning simple and advancing as the child's perception increases). The old Simon game is a great developer of auditory motor perception.
  3. Provide opportunities for students to parrot complete sentences. (Using a puppet, have the child(ren) mimic your sentence, such as "I like to jump and run!") As students mimic sentences, remember to also model voice inflection.
  4. Count words in a sentence. "How many words are in this sentence, I can dance to music"? (If child(ren) are unable to count the words, try doing two sounds in a row and having him name the sounds heard.
  5. After students are able to mimic, parrot, and recognize that sentences are made of individual words, move through the *reading continuum as pictured. (Download it for free below). 
*Notice that throughout the continuum of teaching reading, many skills are taught in tandem. But notice that all skills have a sequential place in the continuum. Many times when students are struggling, the first thing to do is to return to the beginning of the time-line and make sure that beginning skills have been mastered. Like building a house, if the foundation is not solid, the bricks will not stay on the house.

*Notice that throughout the continuum of teaching reading, many skills are taught in tandem. But notice that all skills have a sequential place in the continuum. Many times when students are struggling, the first thing to do is to return to the beginning of the time-line and make sure that beginning skills have been mastered. Like building a house, if the foundation is not solid, the bricks will not stay on the house.

Check out some of our great podcasts on intervention, phonemene awareness, and more here: http://www.kindergartenkiosk.com/podcast/

We offer several intervention packets that contain targeted activities. A few are listed below. All of our products are available here or at our Teachers Pay Teachers Store at: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kindergarten-Kiosk


Learning To Read Timeline
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