2003 Conference Proceedings

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Bob Keller
Don Johnston Incorporated
26799 W Commerce Drive
Volo, IL 60073
Phone: 847-740-0749, ext 550
Fax: 847-740-7326
Email: bkeller@donjohnston.com

Older struggling students move through their literacy career holding on to many barriers that keep them from learning to read. And the older they get the resistance to learning to read and write becomes greater. These many years of failure and disappointment with reading present their own unique set of challenges. At this late date in a student's career it is necessary that every effort be made to accommodate for the weaknesses causing the poor literacy achievement.

Most teachers begin the year with standard textbooks, reading, writing and word study programs already in place. Unfortunately these "one size fits all" programs don't "fit" the struggling students in the classroom. So, what do you do? A good solution would be to use high-interest, low-vocabulary reading materials that supplement what you are already doing with the other students. Three areas will be discussed in this presentation:

Choosing high-interest, low-vocabulary reading materials to supplement the existing curriculum takes careful consideration. Supplemental materials serve as a way to build background knowledge for a content area subject or support important fundamental skills students need to practice to become proficient readers.

All types of learners can now have a variety of literature accessible to them when electronic computer books and paperback books are made a part of the classroom library. Students use different levels of support to practice reading, so that they can build volume and ultimately increase background knowledge, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

Supplemental electronic and print high-interest, low-vocabulary books support students in so many ways throughout the 4-block model. Teachers have the ability to work with students on comprehension by tapping into their unique learning styles (visual, kinesthetic and auditory) by using a technology component, or electronic text.

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