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How to grow better readers

Literacy is still a major issue in the United States. Today, more than 30 percent of fourth graders do not read at grade level, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Many attribute this problem, in part, to the antiquated reading comprehension activities that permeate K-8 classrooms. For instance, the round-robin method has been in use for centuries yet, experts realize that it poses problems for underperforming students and offers few benefits for those with better developed reading skills, according to Edutopia.

Luckily, there are many impactful alternatives. If you want to set your kids up for literary success, try out a couple:

The reading relay
As you know, reading levels vary among the children, a fact few instructional exercises take into account. However, one particular activity does facilitate an equal playing field for all participants: the reading relay. During this drill, students are separated into groups and given a passage to read, according to the State Department. They must then race against each other to see which team can read the text and answer a handful of comprehension questions the fastest.

This exercise encourages collaboration and allows struggling readers to learn from their peers and pick specific moments to lend a hand.

The teacher presentation
Most experts recognize that activities in which instructors lead by example work best, as students can listen to seasoned readers recite text and pick up on little details like pronunciation. Of course, this doesn't mean you should give some droning monologue. Instead, engage your students with hand gestures or speak in dramatic voices. This will add excitement to the exercise and keep kids on the edge of their seats.

Want to learn more strategies for developing your children into excellent readers? ProSolutions Training offers a variety of online CDA courses and early childhood education training sessions, including "Phonemic Awareness in Young Children: The Gateway to Reading Success." Contact us to learn more