Reading Science to Accelerate Learning for Middle School Students
The following is a sponsored post by Curriculum Associates.
If you struggle to support your older, striving students who cannot access on-grade level texts, you are not alone.
You’ve likely heard a great deal about the Science of Reading in the context of younger students, but this same body of research offers proven tactics and insights on delivering meaningful reading instruction to support your middle school learners as well.
How Is the Science of Reading Important for Middle School Learners?
From decades of Science of Reading research, we know humans are not hardwired to learn to read. Instead, reading must be taught through instruction that’s explicit and systematic.
We also know that, in addition to building the essential skills of word recognition (i.e., decoding) and language comprehension, students must become active readers, using their motivation, metacognition, and ability to apply strategies in order to enhance understanding.
Your older, striving readers may not have received the instruction and practice they needed in earlier grades. Because of this lost opportunity for building strong foundational reading skills, they are now missing out on valuable learning across all academic areas.
When planning reading interventions, reading science gives you guidance for prioritizing the skills that will make the most impact in the shortest amount of time, so you can get your students out of intervention and into grade-level learning as fast as possible.
Accelerate Learning with Critical Content and Deep Insights
While there are numerous skills and concepts that are important in teaching reading, educators should focus instruction on critical skills in key areas that will make the biggest difference in helping Grades 6–8 students progress toward grade-level reading more quickly.
Successful intervention planning begins with digital or oral assessments to identify students’ unique needs. Leverage those insights to ensure you are delivering the right research-backed instruction at just the right time, whether that’s for essential skills in decoding, comprehension, or active reading.
The Intervention That Motivates Older Readers
While these students may be below-grade level readers, they are not below-grade level thinkers. Their prior experiences with reading may have been marked by frustration and struggle, which makes it even more imperative to deliver instruction that cultivates successful reading experiences instead.
Consider these research-backed motivational levers as you plan your interventions:
- Autonomy—Encourage positive feelings about reading by providing opportunities for students to have choice in what they read.
- Relevance—Students are more engaged and satisfied in reading experiences when content feels relevant and developmentally appropriate to them.
- Competence—Select texts and tasks that are rigorous, with an appropriate level of challenge and provide scaffolding as needed. Working at the right level of challenge builds a growth mindset, and positive feedback provides affirmation for students that they can be successful.
- Purpose—Give students the “why” behind their assignments. This context increases the likelihood that they will value the task.
It’s never too late to learn how to read. With research-driven interventions focusing on developmentally appropriate content and making reading manageable, these striving readers can be transformed into stronger readers.
Sponsored post by Curriculum Associates.