Reading and comprehension are two of the most important skills taught in school.  Students need to read in every subject, and they need to learn different tools to check and demonstrate their understanding.  Sometimes, activities need to be consistent to continue practicing the same skill.

I’ve learned that sometimes, especially with struggling readers, activities need to be changed often to make reading fun.  When these students practice the same thing over and over, they get bored and frustrated; these are the readers we need to motivate the most to keep trying and read!

Often during small reading groups, I’ll play games with fluency, do different activities reading words and sentences, or have them create a journal or mini-project.  They need to do something engaging to see reading can be fun!  Currently, I’m working with a group of second graders on different comprehension strategies as part of an after-school tutoring program.  Everyday, we read a story and answer questions focusing on a different strategy.  To end our unit on sequencing, I decided to do something different.  Students picked one of the stories from the book and sequenced the order of events.  They wrote each step of the sequence on a notecard and then had to illustrate a picture.  Finally, they glued the cards on a strip to show the sequence of events.

The kids really enjoyed this activity; it was fun and different than what they normally do in school.  Also, since they were applying the sequencing skill to an actual activity, they truly demonstrated their understanding of the skill.  Usually, students read and discuss the ideas or strategy, but that doesn’t always mean students can apply the skill, especially with struggling readers.  When students can apply their learning and do something different, they make connections and are more likely to remember concepts.  This motivates readers to keep reading, which is our goal-to create life-long readers and learners!

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