10 Tips to Help Your Students Develop Reading Skills

Are you sure that all your students would attain basic reading proficiency by the end of 3rd grade?

Language proficiency by the end of 3rd grade is important – not just because students could get retained – because it is essential for knitting their future. Substantial evidence exists to suggest that poor language skills by the end of 3rd grade can impede student growth.

Here are 10 simple tips that will help your students develop reading skills.

10 Tips to help your students develop reading skills

  1. Teach your students to love and respect their books. Kids need to learn how handle their books with care.
  2. Try to understand what is holding them back; it could be vocabulary, pronunciation or the book itself; it may be that you need to hold more practice sessions.
  3. Schedule an everyday 10-minute reading session in your school library. This helps kids get used to the company of books, and seeds good reading habits.
  4. Teach your kids to pick their books. This is how my kids choose their books, “A bit knotty, but not too lazy; a bit slinky, but not too easy.”
  5. Encourage kids to re-read. Re-reading a book helps build confidence, increases reading-speed, and helps improve pronunciation.
  6. Conduct read-aloud sessions in your class. Everybody should get a chance to read, and be heard by the class. Whenever somebody makes a mistake, gently point out the error, and then help them figure out the letters they overlooked, and how to pronounce it properly.
  7. If you have ELLs in your class, try to use read-aloud and read-along videos with subtitles as much as you can. Tonia has listed few excellent read-aloud videos here.
  8. Host weekly drama sessions. Assign everyone a role in the act, hand them a printed script, and ask them to read their dialogues loudly.
  9. Use oral word-games. Teach them how to split-up a word and spell them. For example, the word ‘pronunciation’ is split as ‘pro-nun-ci-a-tion’.
  10. Discuss reading problems with students’ parents. Parental participation can do wonders. Ask them to hold reading sessions at home. Parents need to read to their kids, and they need to listen to their kids read.