Powerful Strategies to Help Underachieving Students Achieve Reading Success

  1. Ball Park. Find out approximate grade level of achievement.
    1. Include observation of attitude, confidence, strengths and weaknesses.
    2. If parent present, find out if interaction is empowering or disempowering. Having the parent present also gives parent concrete examples of child’s skills and approach to reading.
    3. The WRAT test is excellent for this purpose. It could also be the first problem in each section and level of the Reading Games for School Success to find the opportunity level in each area of reading.
  2. Set a motivating goal.
    1. It must be owned and believed able to be achieved by the student.
    2. It must be motivating to unleash energy and focus.
    3. The student needs to see the boundaries, that it is only a finite (limited) number of tangible things that need to be done and/or achieved.
    4. The first step or two need to be attempted and achieved so the student knows that the rest can also be achieved.
    5. Demonstrate that strategies and tricks can boost his or her power to achieve the goal.
  3. Start and Continue a Personal Reading Skills Record.
    1. Make sure there is understanding and mastery at each step leading to the goal.
    2. Check off the objectives as they are achieved. Always pinpoint the opportunity objective. (The objective next to learn because all the prerequisite objectives up to that point have been mastered.)
  4. Start and Continue introducing Reading and Learning Strategies.
    1. Explain there are an almost unlimited number of strategies that are available and that each one adds to the student’s power to be successful.
    2. Some strategies have immediate, impressive power that can dazzle and amaze. Introduce how to learn new words and their meaning by drawing pictures and associating them with the words.
  5. Introduce target specific games that provide optimum learning conditions to master the skills for which the games are designed and provide hundreds of hours of practice without the drudgery usually associated with practice.
    1. Some games should be introduced to all students because of their reading aerobic powers. They provide mental stimulation in regard to reading in general. Games of this sort include WHAT WORD AM I THINKING OF?
    2. Some games are target specific. They are specifically designed to develop particular reading skills. For example, sound discrimination and reproduction, sound sequencing, letter sounds, blending sounds into words, dividing words into syllables, identifying words by contour, sight vocabulary and oral reading accuracy, word meaning, comprehension skills, expressive oral reading, etc. Use the Personal Reading Skills Record to determine opportunity needs and then refer to the games and computer programs listed in the game sections.
  6. Set up Anytime/Anywhere Learning Opportunities.
    1. Your Personal Reading Skills Record, Quick Tests to Check Skill Mastery, and Reading Games for School Success book provide for anytime/anywhere learning opportunities. This means that a large amount of extra time becomes available because everything is always available for learning anywhere the student happens to be.
    2. The Learning Success website at http://www.learningsuccess.com provides additional sources of activities and programs that can be available anytime and anywhere as long as you have on-line access.
  7. Recycle Weaknesses into Strengths and make learning permanent.
    1. Teach the learning cycle: goal – observation – interpretation – planning – action – until goal is achieved. (knowledge intelligence)
    2. 3-minute learning program with Memory Squares.
    3. Study Buddy learning program
    4. Pocket cards
  8. Build basic vocabulary intelligence.
    1. See IQ Boosters.
  9. Set up regular Home Support System.
    1. Personal Stewardship co-planning meetings
    2. Family Time Agenda and activities
    3. Power Study Boosters Record
    4. Values of homework record
  10. Set up regular Home/School Support System
    1. Teacher conferences and co-planning
    2. Personal Program Record Sheets, class planners
    3. Supportive Forms, such as daily homework sheets, grade to date sheets, learning needs and opportunities sheets, etc.