Top Strategies for Improving Your Students’ Reading Skills
Fostering a love of reading in your students is often seen as essential. Loving to read can help them love learning. They can expand their worldview and nurture their imagination. However, it is hard to get kids to love reading if they feel they’re not very good at it. A lack of confidence in reading can make them reluctant to read, whether it’s for school or fun. Focusing on reading skills helps your students in many areas of their life. There are lots of strategies you can use to help them improve their reading and comprehension. Try some of these tactics to get them reading more and better.
Create a Reading Program
If you don’t already have a reading program in place in your classroom, you should create one. It gives more structure to your efforts to improve your pupils’ reading skills. Rather than just creating one for your classroom, it’s ideal to work with your principal and others to create one for the whole school. A reading program should help children at every level. It should give them the assistance to progress through the school. All students should receive education in reading that’s appropriate to their age and ability. Reading should cover the whole curriculum and not be limited to English skills. For example, students should learn how to read in science too.
Set Goals and Monitor Progress
Whenever you want to make improvements in any area, it’s important to set goals. If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, you won’t know whether you’re making any progress. You should try to set measurable goals for individual students and on a group level too. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to test them. You can find ways to monitor their progress without making them sit tests all the time. Try to set high standards but make sure that you don’t turn your pupils into numbers. You still need to take into account their individual abilities.
Use the Books They Love
Children are much more inclined to read a book if they enjoy it. Many parents and teachers are surprised when they find their previously book-hating child engrossed in a new book. Finding what they like to read is essential to helping them improve their skills. That’s why many experts see it as important not to be elitist about what children should be reading. If they enjoy reading a magazine, it’s better than not reading anything at all. You can find reading comprehension materials designed for use with popular children’s books. Try BookPagez and similar sites to find what you need. You can also make your own materials. Find out what your students are reading at home and use it to your advantage.
Improve Your Skills
When you’re trying to work on your pupils’ skills, it’s important to focus on your own too. There are always ways you can build on your training and learn how to help kids with reading. Again, you should work with other faculty and administration to be able to do this. Your employer should allow you time to refine your skills, and even offer you training. You can share your knowledge with other teachers too, whether you work with them or not. You can learn new techniques and strategies and find ways to put them into place in your own way.
Get Everyone Involved
Getting your kids reading is about more than them just having your encouragement. It’s important to take a community approach where everyone is involved. Parents should play a part in helping them to improve their skills. Students should work to build on their own abilities, as well as help each other out. Teachers should work together to help each other and pupils other than those in their class. You need to create a culture that encourages continuing improvement in reading. The responsibility for improved results shouldn’t just rest on one person.
Make Time for Reading
It’s difficult for children to improve their reading skills if they don’t get time to practice. They have opportunities to read in their lessons, but you should also make time just for reading. You can choose half an hour during the school day when everyone can get out a book. They can all bring whatever they want to read, or you could take a trip to the library. Making time to read aloud and to read to your pupils is also important. Reading should just be fun sometimes, and not always part of a structured lesson.
Provide Parents with Help
Many parents are keen to help their children improve their reading but might be unsure about how to do it. One thing you can do is create a literacy program for any parents who have their own literacy needs. This might include parents who speak English as a second language. Or it could be those who feel they need to improve their literacy skills. You can provide them with information about reading with their children and how they learn at school. When you send your students home with homework, make sure their parents know what they need to do. Set clear expectations from your pupils. Show parents how they can help with assignments.
One-on-One Tutoring and Mentoring
Getting special attention from one person can help students grow in confidence. Creating a program that allows them to read with someone can let them build their skills. It’s difficult to do if the only person they have to read with is you. However, there are other people who can read with them. If you want to do something within the school, older children can read with younger children. This can help both of them hone their reading skills. Another option is to find volunteers who want to come in and read with your students. They could be parents and guardians, or they might be members of the public.
If you want to improve your pupils’ reading skills, you need use time in and out of the classroom. Everyone needs to work together to reach your goals.