Help for At-Risk Students Behind in Reading
This page is intended to serve as a resource for parents, educators and tutors who are trying to understand why their children or students are behind in reading and what they can do to help them. This page is also intended for adults who are trying to understand what they can do to help themselves become better readers. There is a bewildering and often contradictory flood of information regarding why individuals struggle as readers and how best to help struggling readers. The links below attempt to provide information regarding the extent of the reading problem among our population, the causes of the reading epidemic, and solutions available.
The Size of the Problem, the Cause of the Problem
How many students struggle as readers? What percentage of students and adults in the United States are behind in reading?
Why do so many children and adults struggle as readers?
What is scientifically-based reading instruction?
If science has identified what works in reading instruction, then why aren't all schools teaching a true science-based curriculum?
What percentage of our nation's schools teach scientifically-based reading instruction?
Teach Direct, Systematic, Synthetic Phonics
Parents must take action on their own for three reasons!
Teach students the sounds of the letters and basic spelling rules.
Teach students how to sound out unknown words - never allow them to guess at a word's identity.
Use decodable text (controlled lists of words, sentences and stories)to teach phonics and fluency.
Teach spelling at each step. Part 1
Teach spelling at each step. Part 2
Teach to mastery. Teach students each lesson until they can decode words accurately, read words fluently, and spell words correctly in every lesson.
Accurate word reading is not enough; provide guided and repeated oral reading practice every day to develop fluency!
Offer guided and repeated oral reading practice by using these techniques.
Systematic, synthetic phonics teaches the following elements:
(Teach each element systematically, thoroughly and to mastery.)
1. Consonant sounds / short vowel sounds
2. Beginning consonant blends
3. Ending consonant sounds
4. Consonant teams
5. Syllable patterns one, two and three
6. Syllable pattern four vowel teams
7. Syllable pattern five vowel teams
8. Syllable pattern six vowel teams
9. Syllable patterns one through six
10. Decoding procedure
11. Dividing a word into syllables
12. Consonant sounds (advanced)
13. Consonant teams (advanced)
14. Vowel sounds (advanced)
15. 80 English phonograms
16. 42 sounds of the English language