I teach reading in a very diverse middle school. I have many different learners in my room. I have children with learning difficulties, some who have ADD, and children with communication difficulties. My students have trouble comprehending material, particularly my many ESOL students. My students are 8th graders who struggle with reading. These students lack motivation to read because they have no family support, and they lack enthusiasm because reading has been difficult for them their entire life. Reading needs to come alive for them. The materials I give them need to be inviting, and engaging.
My struggling 8th graders need to find reading engaging and purposeful in order for them to get excited about reading.
Colorful, interesting materials would be a big change from the black and white copies they have always seen. These students have not had a lot of success in reading, for a few reasons, but the big one is that they find it boring, and useless. It is my job to show them otherwise. I can best do this with materials that are inviting and interesting not only to read, but to look at.
My students have struggled their whole life with reading. They have not had success, so therefore they dislike reading, and it is painful for them to stick with a long or difficult passage. I work on teaching my students skills and strategies to successfully attack the passage at hand, but it is hard to get them motivated when a passage looks blah, or in their words.... boring. While I know that we need to teach our kids to not judge a book by its cover, I have to get my students to open the book. I would like for my students to have materials that are engaging, and fun to look at so that they WANT to read it.
Providing clear pictures will help dispel misunderstandings, as well as help grab the attention of reticent readers.
Addressing reading difficulties through use of more enticing and colorful materials will help greatly with student engagement and "buy-in". Getting my struggling students to be excited by reading is not an easy task. I have put many things into motion for them, including building my own curriculum. Having a color copier will allow me to copy stories and passages in bright, realistic color. For my students, seeing pictures and diagrams accurately is important as many have not left our town. Their experiences are limited, and therefore their understanding is limited. Seeing diagrams, graphs and pictures in color will help with understanding of text features.
I will use the copier to bring the stories to life.
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