This semester students in READ 6325 explored professional resources on a variety of topics.
By Mayra Padilla
Because of the fact that struggling readers can be found in every school and/or grade level, it is important for educators to be aware of professional resources that can provide more information on struggling readers. One advantage of being familiar with these sources is that teachers will be able to identify characteristics of a struggling reader and may even help prevent a student from becoming one.
After searching for such resources, I have come across a professional journal titled Reading Improvement that I feel is an excellent source for this topic. This peer reviewed journal provides different articles dealing with struggling readers such as; Strategies for Improving Reading Skills, Implementing Peer Coaching Fluency Building to Improve Early Literacy Skills, and the one that impacted me the most was Struggling Readers in High School. I thought this article was very interesting because it provides educators with information as to what actions to take when dealing with struggling readers. It mentions the importance of becoming knowledgeable in the subject matter, being an advocate for these students so that they may not be forgotten, and providing them with interventions that will focus on their individual needs. This article was great and I encourage every high school teacher to read it. Another journal that I felt was an excellent source was Teaching Exceptional Children. This journal provides information on how to improve struggling learners/readers and identifies different issues that can cause this. These issues include a specific learning disability, autism, lack of experiences, and diversity in culture. The article that dealt specifically with struggling readers was titled Technology for the Struggling Reader: Free and Easily Accessible Resources. This article is extremely helpful for teachers that have struggling readers in their classroom. It provided information on different computer programs that will assist these students. Such programs include; Microsoft Readability Statistics Tool that will provide teachers with information to determine whether or not students need modified texts, and Microsoft AutoSummarize is a tool that assists students by summarizing important information from the text and providing key points.
When looking into organizations that support struggling readers, I found the Iowa Reading Association. This association is an interactive group of individuals that are interested in reading and promote literacy through leadership, educational programming, and legislative endeavors. Their website provides members with excellent reading strategies that teachers can use in their classroom. These include; Say , Four Square Writing Method, Bookmark Technique, Character Retrieval Chart, Words to Fluency Something, Four Star Sentence, Hula Hoop Words, Literature Circles, Using Prop Boxes, Retelling: A Comprehension Strategy, Retelling: One of Many Comprehension Strategies, Search Strategy and Strategy Hand. These strategies are helpful and I have personally used two of them in my classroom.
The Struggling Reader Interventions that Work textbook is a great resource for struggling readers. It gives a clear explanation of the reading process. It talks about the importance of oral language development and the fact that it is the foundation of all literacy, phonemic awareness, word recognition, vocabulary, reading fluency, comprehension, writing and the importance of teachers staying up to date with new research in reading.
All of these professional resources are excellent and I hope that this blog is helpful to all educators because at one point in our teaching career, we will have to assist struggling readers.