Ten Tips to Engage Early Readers

Learning to read is a requirement for all children by the time they are finished primary school. All teachers hope to have a class full of students who enjoy reading and do it effortlessly and enthusiastically. In the real world, we often find some of our students to be struggling, frustrated and discouraged. When this happens, these children will benefit from explicit instruction, a teacher’s knowledge and patience, and the use of online elementary reading programs to provide extra motivation and fun.

Here are some tips that apply to all beginning readers but may make the biggest impact on those who are struggling:-

1. Teach reading skills together. Fluency and phonemic awareness work together, and children will learn more quickly if they are acquiring both simultaneously. Essential Skills Reading programs for elementary schools are used in the USA and Canada to gradually increase students’ phonemic awareness and develop reading fluency.

2. Explicitly teach reading strategies, model them throughout the day, and include visual posters to refer to in your lessons. Essential Skills’ online reading programs for schools provide direct instruction in a structured format and can help to reinforce these strategies.

3.  3-2-1. This simple strategy can be applied to any subject area and helps keep students attentive to what they are reading. When reading a passage have students record three things they learned, two things they found interesting and one question.

4. Metacognition is the way you think about thinking. You can activate students’ metacognitive processes by having them ask questions about what they’re reading, why and even how. Do this before, during and after reading a passage and add plenty of input until they get the hang of it.

5. Make connections between text and your students. Have them do the same. Ask questions like “How is this character the same or different from me?” or “Why does this matter to me?”. When students feel a personal connection, they will be more motivated to continue.

6.  Word walls are an important part of classroom elementary reading programs. They provide visual reminders of words, a good way to visually express phonemic strategies like rhyming or a place to record new subject-specific vocab. Students can contribute by adding new words they’ve learned.

7. Varied reading material can encourage unmotivated students to read something that’s fun. Picture books, magazines and comic books offer students an exciting change from more traditional formats. Reading programs for elementary schools available online in the USA and Canada are often the best option to engage reluctant readers.

8. Integrate technology. Don’t throw away the pencil and paper but many lessons can be reinforced by the use of structured, well-researched elementary reading programs from Essential Skills. Kids love technology, so using these programs will make learning its own reward!

9. Correction and praise are both required of teachers and can have unintended consequences if not used properly. When correcting, during read-aloud, let the student do their best to work out the words themselves. Usually, another student will correct mispronunciations, but teachers should avoid doing this, as it can feel like harsh judgment to a beginning reader. Praise students frequently and try to make it specific to their achievements e.g., you did an excellent job sounding out the word “house”!

10. Make learning fun! Essential Skills reading programs for schools provide fun and rewarding learning games that can be played with any number of kids or individually. Successful reading always means “You win!”


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  1. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Tomas Mandy

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    1. author
      27 Aug 2019
      Britney Millner

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  2. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Simon Downey

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