Non readers and very low readers (grade 6)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by nstructor, Aug 10, 2018 at 7:25 PM.

  1. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 7:25 PM

    When not working with a special ed teacher and you're reading in class (Science, Social Studies, Novels), do you have a higher reader read to those lower students?
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 7:44 PM

    I use several strategies:
    - have students read with a partner
    - have audio versions of the text available
    - teacher reads and discusses the text with the student
    - provide a simpler version of the text
     
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  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 8:45 PM

    I use teacher read aloud a lot. They follow along. Sometimes I follow up with having them read the same thing with a partner.

    Or, I'll reverse that. I'll have them partner read or silent read, then read aloud.
     
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  5. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Aug 11, 2018 at 7:59 PM

    The nonreaders and very low readers really can't read with a partner, or do you have the partner do all of the reading?
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Aug 11, 2018 at 9:53 PM

    I guess it depends on the student. My low readers are usually just a bit slower with fluency but can still get through a paragraph (even if it's choppy reading). The higher reader helps when needed with difficult words. I don't often have complete nonreaders, but if needed I'd put the nonreader in a group of three and let two students read and the other listen.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 12, 2018 at 6:44 AM

    Do these students have IEPs?
     
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  8. Obadiah

    Obadiah Devotee

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    Aug 12, 2018 at 7:39 AM

    Several serious problems immediately come to my mind.

    This is 11-12 years old, the age when social standing becomes a prominent issue. If the difference in reading ability is the result of SLD, perhaps an Internet search of famous dyslexic or SLD people might provide encouragement and prevent taunting from peers. Actor and author Henry Winkler (Fonzie on Happy Days), Caryn Elaine Johnson (Whoopi Goldberg) of ABC's The View, and author Patricia Polacco are dyslexic. Perhaps such a person would be willing to Skype with the class or the specific students. I don't think the student's difference should be overemphasized, but trying to hide the obvious makes it seem like SLD is a shameful condition. Truth is, everyone has differences in abilities. Some are just more noticeable within certain environmental situations than others. And I personally disagree with the label, disability. A difference usually does not totally disable a person; there are workarounds to an ability difference and there are other abilities in which that person excels. Labels belong on soup cans, not people.

    I've mentioned previously in other posts my deep concern for the lack of reading practice by students (and the lack of reading among adults). I'm still hearing and reading articles blaming teachers for not being able to teach kids to read. My inward response, to borrow a popular kids' terminology, is "Duh!" No teacher can teach a student to read; a teacher can only teach a student how to read. If the student refuses to read, and the parents, for that matter, don't encourage their kids to read, that student is not going to learn to read. Two minutes of round robin per day in a reading class won't make up for thumb twiddling in a video game. And by third grade, if not sooner, lack of communication at home, especially from birth to age three, reveals the missing brain connections in languaging. Somehow, we need to expose these students to language through read-alouds, perhaps CD's or Internet sources sent as homework, teacher read-alouds in class, partner reading in class (with caution that it doesn't become a situation where the reading student exerts superiority over the nonreader), a supply of interesting books--at a 6th grade non-reading level, I think I'd be inclined, with discretion over content, to include comic books--a special activity might be to have the students create their own comic anthology series from Sunday comics, and an inclusion of age appropriate magazines. Another activity is to have the student dictate her/his own story then use that text for reading practice, sight words, and phoneme/phonogram lessons. These stories could even be included in an anthology for this and future classes to read. Hey! If the Fonz can write books, so can these non-readers.

    A final serious consideration, these students are in danger. In a few years, drug dealers will be looking for such disenchanted students. If peer abuse becomes an issue, this can lead to suicide, delinquency, a host of major issues. But a lack of reading mind building content coupled with a heavy dose of TV junk and video game goofiness enlarges and strengthens the lower brain and decreases the upper brain, (which through adolescence should be beginning its final stage of development)--not a good situation. Not to make light of yesterday's sad news story, but this is the kind of adult airport grounds worker who sneaks into a passenger plane and tries to fly it until crashing to his death.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018 at 6:11 AM
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  9. nstructor

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    Aug 12, 2018 at 6:32 PM

    I don't have them yet, but every year I have a lot of very low readers who don't have IEPS.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 13, 2018 at 6:20 AM

    Sounds like someone dropped the ball somewhere along the line.
     
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  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Aug 13, 2018 at 7:43 AM

    I'm usually in agreement with your posts, but you seem to be playing semantics with this portion of your posts. There are schools that don't teach how and there are parts of teaching how where students read and practice in class which was what was done for years and is no longer done in class. Sure, DEAR time is the great fad, but those who struggle to read don't benefit from it because they can't read and there is no way the teacher can tell if they are just going through the motions or really getting anything from it because even the teacher reads and no quiz or questioning is used because it defeats the purpose of allowing kids time to read what they would like. Those who benefit from DEAR time are those who typically read anyway.

    I know plenty of kids who were not encouraged to read but read well. I know a large number of kids encouraged all the time and still don't read well and parents don't know what to do. I also know that in my district the student's ability to read really had a lot to do with what school the students went to (I'm not talking about how wealthy the school is either) and who they had as teachers which is why tutoring centers are plentiful in our area.

    In our schools, they don't teach phonics. A lot of the kids are in 2nd grade still not knowing the letter sounds but are considered "readers". For many the language skills of the educated adults are pulling the kids along until they hit the wall where the complexity of the words outpaces their language knowledge.

    Most schools stopped student reading out loud because it was embarrassing. So, instead of tackling the problem, which was the social issues in the classroom, they decided to just remove the symptom of the social issues in the classroom.

    I do believe that many schools don't teach kids how to read or to read. They expose students to reading, but many don't teach reading completely.
     
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  12. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Aug 13, 2018 at 8:00 AM

    There are always those students who should have IEPs but don't. Maybe not at all schools but I'd imagine it is true at more schools than not. It might not be an ideal reality, but it is often a circumstance we have to face.

    OP, don't forget your should also be able to refer your lowest students for additional testing as well. Does your school have an RTI process or some type of intervention? Sometimes the ball is dropped for some kids, for sure. It is never or should never be too late for them to be referred.
     
  13. heatherberm

    heatherberm Comrade

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    Aug 13, 2018 at 10:34 AM

    If you can find the material in a different format, try using that instead as much as possible. When I was teaching gen ed and had a lot of low readers, I used EdPuzzle a lot. I don't know if you're familiar with it or not, but the short version is that it lets you upload a video and embed questions which students then answer as they work through the video. It allows students to get the content in a way that doesn't involve any reading and lets them work at a pace that's comfortable for them.

    But yes, don't be afraid to make referrals, even at this age! You never know what happened previously.
     
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  14. nstructor

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    Aug 13, 2018 at 2:50 PM

    We always have a long list of students who need to be tested and get new students quite frequently who move around a lot.
     
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  15. Obadiah

    Obadiah Devotee

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    Aug 14, 2018 at 7:04 AM

    Very insightful thoughts, especially concerning the lack of phonics instruction. Familiarity of language is essential for efficiently reading and writing in that language, and being able to use phonics, both encoding and decoding, is essential. Focusing on decoding, although it's true that a reader does not necessarily sound out each word during reading, unfamiliar words are sounded out. But more importantly, phonics understanding and application is embedded within various neurons; these neurons together with other neurons throughout the brain cooperate together to produce efficient reading.

    The same is true with playing the piano. I had to learn the notes of the scale and how to read various clefs. I rarely think d g b g b a g e d; I rarely think, this note is here on the piano or that note is there. Even when writing a transposition, I wouldn't think of the letter names; I see the chords as whole chords, the same as a reader would see words as whole words or whole phrases. Yet being able to apply the basic note names and placement on a keyboard is engrained in my brain and is part of the entire process of playing the piano.

    After I post on this forum, often my mind reflects on the discussions within the thread. Here is how my mind was wandering and wondering yesterday. I do find lack of reading practice to be a major deficiency among students, but research points to other probable deficiencies that also contribute to reading ability. Nutrition seems to be a major factor in today's society; the brain needs proper nourishment to function optimally. Exercise is important; the latest research in the Nov/Dec issue of Diabetes Forecast mentioned that for adults, sitting over 30 minutes without an opportunity to stand (or at least stretch) is harmful to bodily functions in adults. The brain functions on blood supply and oxygen and exercise optimizes reading ability. Outdoor activity seems essential for optimal brain development and influences reading and math abilities; neurons that contain mathematical learning are also called upon in reading the symbols on a page, following the order of these symbols, and scanning the entire page while at the same time reading through a sentence. Creative play develops several brain functions used in reading; in play, students imagine a storyline, imagine the setting, and creatively use symbols to represent tools for their play, (such as a twisted branch on the ground might become a monstrous snake). Creative play contributes to visualizing what is read and decoding the symbols into words. Improperly functioning neurochemicals also interfere with not just learning to read but reading itself; today's society can induce tension and stress upon students that interferes with reading. It's not just a matter of being too stressed to pay attention; under constant stress, the brain does not function as KJGHU357*&^ KABOOM! KABOOM! efficiently as possible. Please pardon my silly insertion above, but I was demonstrating how stress distracts from proper brain functioning; the sudden nonsensical and stressful insertion made reading that sentence more difficult. Overall, there are many factors influencing efficient language development.
     

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