Any suggestions for 2nd grade struggling reader?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by srh, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jul 23, 2007

    I'm tutoring a "gonna-be" second grader through the summer (reading, particularly fluency). I started with him in the spring, and he has made some progress with me. But I'm noticing some specific issues with him. If anyone has any suggestions about this, I'd love to hear them!

    First of all, he has recently been diagnosed with seizures, but we don't necessarily know the cause yet. He is otherwise healthy. He is quite a talker, and at times, diverts attention from his struggles by changing the subject! He is very intelligent, quite articulate, and has great family support.

    We've been working on reading strategies other than sounding out words, since his over-dependence on that strategy negatively affects his fluency. He is getting a little better. But I've noticed he does not have command of simple sight words, even some Kinder level, although he has "passed" the lists through first grade. When I gave him some homework practice with them (I leave explicit instructions for mom, and she's great to do everything) she said he did well. But when I checked him for reading and writing them, he couldn't read most of them....I was pointing to them in a different order than the way they were written! He could only do them well if they were given in the order he practiced them! This ties in with some other OCD-type behavior I've seen, so I asked mom about it. She is aware of some similar personal habits of his, and he was actually already scheduled for an appointment to talk about that with his doc.

    My question...how do I work with him at improving his reading when he is stuck in a rut like this? It seems to me he HAS to learn how to read words wherever they are--I gave them as homework to practice because they cause him trouble even in the context of stories. I know the sight word problem is holding him back quite a bit and is a factor in his reading struggles.

    Excuse the length of this--I thought the background was important! Any ideas? Anyone ever deal with this specific problem before? HELP! I tutor again tomorrow, and I feel bad that I don't know how to handle this situation, other than to persevere and "make him" practice more. Drill and kill I hate!! THANKS for listening!
     
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  3. Mrs.A

    Mrs.A Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2007

    One strategy I've found useful for students with poor fluency is having students do a cold reading and time them. Then have him read the same passage while listening to a cassette. Do this 3-4 times and then have him do another reading. What amazed me with this approach is that not only did the students I work with improve on that piece, they also improved their fluency on their next cold reading. The program that this is from is called Read Naturally and I had real success with my learning support students when I used it. I'm not sure if you could adapt it for your student or not. Hope you have some success!
     
  4. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jul 23, 2007

    Great idea, Mrs. A! In fact, I went to the library last week and picked up three books with tapes for his homework use. But I could adapt that and use it during our tutoring time...at least I can try it! Thanks!

    Do you have any ideas about the sight word issue? I know from his teacher that he passed nearly all the lists he needed to pass--but he's not retaining the knowledge. And that is definitely slowing down his fluency!
     
  5. Mommy2wad

    Mommy2wad Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2007

    I taught second grade this past year and we used poetry for our fluency. My whole team believes strongly that when a child's fluency improves, so to will his/her comprehension. So, each week our second graders were given a poem or poems to practice for homework. Then, on Friday, we timed them to check if fluency was improving. Every so often we would have the children do an on-level cold read to check for improvement as well.
     
  6. gab

    gab Comrade

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    Jul 23, 2007

    I give my second graders flashcards listing their vocab for the week as well as high-frequency/sight words. Students cut them up and practice reading them. Once they are able to read them they practice spelling them and then write them in sentences.

    You could have the child practice a few words, repeatedly, mixing the order, then adding 1 or 2 more and reinforcing those practiced with those new ones to learn. Do a handfull one day and review and more the next time if ready.

    *I have the kids practice with different activities:
    -Oh, No!-this game is played with the words to be learned and some already known. The cards go into a bag along with a few same size blank cards. Players take turns pulling a word from the bag. If they read the word correctly, they keep the card. If they don't know the word they get help from the other players and the card goes back in the bag. This is a never ending game because of the Oh, no! black cards. If a player pulls out a blank card everyone says "Oh, no!' because the player loses all cards already earned. My students love this game and love when I get the Oh, no card.
    -Word Snake. We play this 2 ways. ! Way-students choose a card from their collection, if they can read it goes down on the table or floor. They choose another card, if read it goes next to the first card in a line, staight or curved. Read all words in the line and continue. This continues with all cards only putting down the ones they know. Peers help with unknown words that then go back into the collection to try again another time. Way 2-Line up the words. Have student start with first word reading all words in order, moving words unknown to the end after reviewing, start at the beginning again, etc. Choose a smal amount of words to start with would be best.

    -Word Jump. Make a trail of word cards, 1-2 feet apart. Children read a word, if correct they jump over it, read the next, jump over it, missed words reviewed and put to the end.

    These are some of the ways I try to make learning and practice fun. Order can change every time and words can be added or removed depending on needs.

    I have one other I can tell you about if you want another but I don't know if this is what your were looking for to help your studetn. Good luck!
     
  7. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jul 23, 2007

    No, this is GREAT STUFF! Keep it coming! I try to be inventive, but sometimes I'm afraid I get too carried away, especially since I'm in someone else's house! But any of these are totally doable and fun. I have sight word flash cards...I can start with those and maybe do some cut-up cards for next week...
     
  8. gab

    gab Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Here's the other. I hope it's not too confusing because this is also a lot of fun!

    I modified a math came galled Bump into Word Bump. We play with 10 words of focus. The words are written in one of 10 rectangles on a game mat. We take the same 10 word cards and put them in a bag. You can choose the number of words you'd like to focus on. Our reading coach modified this for K students using 5 words.

    Each player has 10 counters...we use unifix cubes because they stack easily. Players take turns pulling a card to read. If read correct they put a cube on the word on the mat and word card goes back in the bag.

    That word may come up again for the same player or a different player.

    The next player has a turn. If the word is read correct, they mark the matching word on the mat. If the word is a word already marked they can BUMP the other players cube if they have only one cube on the word. A player ‘owns’ the word if they have more than one cube stacked because they have read the same word more than once before any other players have read the word. Owning a word means you cannot be bumped and is like losing a turn for the person who pulls a word which is owned. As with other activities, unknown words are reviewed and returned to the bag, no cube is placed. The kids get a kick out of bumping other players single cubes and also building towers by getting a word repeatedly correct. Towers can be very tall. The game ends when one player has placed all their cubes on words on the mat...single cubes or towers

    So if I read the word ‘could’ correctly once and another player reads if correctly before I get the word could again they could BUMP me but I own it if I read it twice before another player gets the word. It’s the luck of the draw as well as ability to read the words.

    I have laminated blank mats so I can change the words as needed. I also make copies for students to take home for additional practice.

    I’ll try to recall some others but most of my ideas are in my classroom.
     
  9. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Thanks again, Gab...I think I can use ALL these ideas, one way or another. I'll go simple for tomorrow and then plan out some fun! Glad you joined the forum!!
     
  10. gab

    gab Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2007

    You're welcome...I too have been getting great ideas from contributors.

    One last one I just remembered is Word Spill. Words to be practiced are placed in a bag or basket or another container. The student spills the cards. They read the words that land face up. Those read correctly are kept by the student. Those not read correctly are reviewed and returned to the container along with the words landing face down. Play ends when all cards have been read or as time allows. I try not to focus on a winner, I tell the kids they are all winners because everyone is reading. Or, I roll a die with L and M written on different sides. If it lands on L the winner is the one with least, if it lands on M, the one with most. They don't always agree buy c'est la vie.
     
  11. Touchthefuture

    Touchthefuture Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2007

    You also might consider dolch phrases. They are on the dolch website. These are common words that usually are seen together in text and that may help with fluency as well.
     
  12. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Thanks for that site idea...I'll be checking that out when I get back home today! I appreciate all these wonderful helps!
     
  13. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Jul 24, 2007

    These are all great ideas. Another thing I have done with students struggling with fluency is give them a Toobaloo. They can hear themselves reading, and try and correct themselves. The kids love it. You can get them at most educational supply stores for around $6.
     

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