Throughout centuries of structured and non-structured educational instruction, teachers and educators have been focused on developing strong reading skills in students. This has involved a variety of instructional phonics lessons or incorporating “sight word” instruction as a primary tool for teaching and learning. The truth is, there are many different strategies involved in the most successful elementary reading programs.
Six Strategies Used in the Most Successful Reading Programs
Learning to read is essential to student development and ultimately success in post-secondary education. Reading programs for elementary students should be designed to help students gain confidence in their reading skills and strong comprehension of what they have read. Here are six strategies that can be used in most elementary reading programs:
- Choral reading or partner reading. These strategies are more intimate and help students avoid the challenges of reading in front of a classroom without having the skills to read effectively. Reading along with the teacher and the class reduces the risk of embarrassment a student might feel. Partner reading is also a low-stakes method that teaches students both how to read and listen. This peer-to-peer strategy is a great way to improve fluency in a more direct fashion.
- Incorporate mentors from higher grades. Reading buddies are often used as part of the most successful reading programs. Older kids acting as mentors provide exceptional one-to-one attention at a critical age. Additionally, using older kids who are also struggling with grade-level reading can practice using simpler texts while at the same time increasing their confidence and inspiring younger students. This is a win-win for both students.
- Incorporate the use of audio books. Ear reading is a great way to inspire students. It also has proven benefits for students with dyslexia, who often gain motivation and show marked improvement in their reading skills when exposed to such a strategy. Ear reading is also a nice break for students.
- Frequent review of new skills with regular assessment. As the adage says, practice makes perfect! This is a vital component of the learning process that helps learners transfer new information and skills from short-term to long-term memory.
- Empower students to choose their reading materials. Being engaged in the subject content is critical to inspire a child’s love of reading. You can still incorporate those reading materials you deem necessary to properly teach your children. However, allowing students to read excerpts from a book of their choosing will instill a sense of pride in their reading accomplishments.
- Incorporate Essential Skills into your teaching tools. Essential Skills elementary reading programs offer a variety of multi-sensory learning activities that can be quickly and easily integrated into any classroom. They offer fun and engaging alternatives that can help all elementary age school students improve their reading.
Learn how Essential Skills reading programs can support your efforts in the classroom and motivate your students to learning success!