There’s a strange phenomenon that happens in many elementary school classrooms. Young K-5 students can be very loud, expressive, talkative, and animated throughout the day; try to get some of them to read aloud, and suddenly they subscribe to the theory children should be seen and not heard. There’s always a mild bit of hesitation for a young student just trying to master the skill of reading to expose themselves to public judgement by reading in front of the class. To help students overcome such youthful fears, it’s important to incorporate evidence-based reading programs for schools.
What Elements Are in the Most Successful Reading Programs for Schools?
Reading is a fundamental skill necessary for students to learn to have future success. Literacy programs for elementary schools have to teach the foundational skills required to help students develop competency and confidence. These skills are essential; that’s where Essential Skills comes in by offering the very best online reading programs for elementary students. With its comprehensive suite of evidence-based reading programs, Essential Skills provides teachers and educators with options they can use to develop effective lessons for reading aloud. Here are few strategies that can be integrated into such lessons:
- Focus on fluency and phonics. These skills are complementary. It only makes sense that they should be taught simultaneously. Fluency helps decode text and attempts to help students read with accuracy, speed and proper expression. Phonics exercises target understanding of the connection between letters and sounds. Teaching these together is a powerful combination. Essential Skills offers several early reading programs for schools to help support strong phonics and fluency skills.
- Create an in-classroom environment that reflects your teaching objectives. Incorporating teaching strategies for reading into the décor of the classroom gives students visual reminders of lessons and skills. In times when students are allowed to study independently, having such visual tools around the classroom can be inspiring and purposeful.
- Develop a strategy to deal with difficult sounds. This is usually done through “decoding,” which is a common skill that students use when learning to read. Focusing lessons on decoding problem sounds while reading is a great way to enhance reading skills. The English language is full of problem sounds, so spending extra time on such reading elements is helpful to keep students engaged and progressing.
- Personalize the text or get reading materials that allow you to do so. By making relevant life connections to the material, students will be more engaged as they attempt to read aloud. Ask questions that make them more intimately aware of what they’re reading, such as what life events does the text remind you of or what makes this story interesting? Connecting the dots between the materials and the student’s interests is critical to ensure a student enjoys what she or he is reading.
- Allow students to read non-traditional materials. Comic books, story books from home, magazines, history related to their culture, and simply favorite books are all more likely to be read aloud with passion. Establishing a reading routine where students can showcase their favorite material to the classroom is a simple way to empower a student. A little time in the spotlight reading can go a long way to inspiring a love of reading at any age level.
- Using technology is an easy way to engage children raised in the digital age. Online reading programs for elementary students are one source of digital instruction that can motivate young children to read aloud. There are many apps, devices, and programs that can also be integrated into a school curriculum. Kids today are not intimidated by technology and in fact are probably more inclined to enthusiastically read aloud if some digital device or online platform is part of the instruction.
- Nurture the connection between writing and reading. Both skills work together and can help students develop stronger habits in both areas. Reading aloud what they’ve written will inspire a sense of pride in their ability. Encouraging kids to write and review their stories also helps build proofreading skills. Writing a weekly journal is both a good exercise but also a great way for a student to create a living record of their development through the year.
- Offering a healthy dose of praise for students who read aloud is important feedback. Such encouragement is especially important for students struggling with fluency or comprehension issues. Giving all students the opportunity to praise others who read aloud helps develop a collective sense of togetherness in the classroom as well.
Make Essential Skills Part of Your Strategy
Essential Skills online reading programs for schools will provide your students with a solid foundation in the basics needed to become fluent, confident readers. These evidence-based elementary reading programs focus on the five essential components of effective reading instruction as outlined by the National Reading Panel and support many of the strategies listed in this article.