Improving Reading Skills; At Risk Student

2543 words - 11 pages

Meghan A. Scully October 30, 2014Teaching Students At-RiskImproving Comprehension While ReadingProviding effective literacy instruction to struggling and at-risk students is a critical condition in today's educational institutions. The At-Risk Institute (U.S. Department of Education, 1998) reported that students were at risk of educational failure because of limited English proficiency, poverty, economic disadvantage, or specific race or geographic location. Children who do not read well are more likely to be retained a grade in school, drop out of high school, become a teen parent, or enter the juvenile justice system. Mainstream views hold that academic deficiencies are primar ...view middle of the document...

Reading comprehension is a pillar of academic success as it is needed for understanding of all content area subjects. There are a variety of strategies that can be used with elementary school aged children to increase student achievement in the area of reading comprehension. These strategies include activating prior knowledge, utilizing the Assisted Reading Method to model reading behaviors in a fading approach. Another important strategy that can impact a student's literacy success is allowing them to read for pleasure and encouraging them to become engage readers. These strategies can be useful for developing successful instructional procedures to teach elementary students and build reading skills. [4: Brownell, 2000; and Brooks, 1997]Prior knowledge is generally defined as the sum of an individual's previous learning and experiences. Research tells us that learning is enhanced when new information is integrated with the learner's existing knowledge. The connection between an individual's prior knowledge and reading comprehension has been clearly established and can have a significant impact on their success in a classroom. Students often profit from guidance and support as they access their background experiences related to the information in a reading selection.To increase comprehension among students, specifically students at-risk, there are effective strategies to activate prior knowledge, allowing students to prepare for taking in new information.[5: Adams and Bertram 1980; Rumelhart 1980.][6: Carbo, Marie; Educating Everybody's Children: Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners]In Educating Everybody's Children: Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners, Robert Cole suggests a few effective strategies that promote reading comprehension. He suggests teachers should ask students to draw on their personal experiences, inviting them to think about how they connect to a specific topic through their life experiences (p.110). To effectively do this, a teacher should use pictures, graphics, objects, books, or media clips. Using images and objects engages students, forcing them to think about each item and either remember a connection or begin to develop questions about the topic if they have little experience with it. Activating prior knowledge with visuals and objects is a great way to engage, center, and promote future learning.This strategy can be used across grade levels and content areas. Specifically looking at this approach in fourth grade classroom, it can be noted as an effective practice. When beginning a unit on Iroquois and Algonquian Native Americans a teacher may look at the vocabulary in the unit and decide to proactively provide activating activities that would promote vocabulary acquisition to increase the comprehension of the content. The teacher could up an artifact dig where students uncover a variety of materials that may have been used by Native Americans. Students could explore these materials, brainstorm...


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