It is often difficult to help a struggling child keep a positive attitude about reading. For many children it becomes a daunting and impossible task. It is up to the adult working with the child to do everything possible to instill in the child a desire to be successfull and a feeling that she can become a reader. That is a challenge for us all. How do we help the child become excited about something that she feels unsuccessful doing? I think that tracking (grouping children by ability) is one of the mistakes teachers often make. Reading researchers indicate that tracking is one of the worst things that can be done for a child on or below reading level. She has no models for success and she may mentally label herself as "dumb." Those are hard issues to overcome. Mixed level groups and activities seem to be the most successful for struggling readers. I had a lot of success in my own classroom with mixed groups. It was a beginning step to instilling that desire to read in a child who originally had that excitement when she started school.
Labels: early reading