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Reading hinderances advice

 
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Sage

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reading hinderances advice Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

As I've said before in several places, I tutor kids in K-8 who need help with reading and/or math in some manner (in addition to benefiting from a positive role model, etc.) and although I could go scour the internet (again) for information and solutions to some of these, I put more stock into personal results from people I am at least familiar with. So, I'm going to describe a few things I have encountered along with the proposed solutions from teachers and I would love to hear from anyone who is dealing/has dealt with anything related to this topic in general. It doesn't necessarily have to be what I have encountered. For all I know, I may see something new and different tomorrow. If making it public knowledge is a big deal, I would appreciate a PM in that case.


Right now, one student in particular I'm having trouble understanding. She is a slow reader for her grade level, stumbles over many words, but retains whatever she reads and not only that, but retains it correctly despite reading it incorreclty. The teacher is pushing for increased fluency; faster reading while not giving up what she already has. Obviously, that is her problem. The teacher suggested we go over word lists that she has one minute to correctly "decode" as many words as possible. That doesn't appear to be helping. She also suggested that I read with her, aloud, at the same time, pushing her to go just a little faster than usual and modeling the way she "should" read. That's proving difficult since she stumbles over difficult words. So does anyone have an idea for speeding up one's reading? Also, she has some confidence issues because of this. She tends to shy away from the open places (like sneaking off to the corner table in the back when she knows she has to read) and tends to speak nervously. It isn't because of me, btw. ;) So any suggestions other than the usual supportive talk I give during reading would be welcome.


Another kid I used to work with had the exact opposite problem. He could read quickly, decode words well, and was actually grade levels ahead of where he should be. The problem is that he doesn't retain what he reads. He reads it to get it done, not to learn. It's the same thing with his homework. I'd try my best to slow him down, ask him comprehension questions, get him to think about what he was doing, but in the end, he still just did things to get them done. However, when it came test time, he didn't know what to do since he really wasn't learning anything before. Both the teacher and I talked to him about it, but it didn't sink in. So his case was all about comprehending what he was reading, not just the physical aspect of reading, which he has down.


The last thing isn't totally related to actually reading, but I work with a lot of students that simply cannot focus on anything for more than a couple of minutes. Even the slightest thing will send them off into lala-land and they'll want to talk about their weekends or past events, talk to each other about random things, or just ask questions. Now, the youngest children I find are easier to direct back to their reading since you can say "You can tell me that after three more pages" or something to that effect and they generally forget about it for the moment and keep reading since their reward is in sight. I find that the older children are harder to get to maintain their focus...if you can call it that. Even when they are alone with me they can barely do it, let alone when they are surrounded by classmates. Now these kids aren't technically diagnosed as ADD or whatever the acronym of the week is (well, one probably is) and it's a common trend I see with the inability to focus. Definitely any suggestions on this front would be appreciated.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How slow is slow exactly? Some people are just naturally slower than others when it comes to reading, but since the teacher is showing concern i'm going to assume that it is worryingly slow.

I use to do the same sort of thing that you do, although i didn't get to do the reading so much with the kids, i did some.

There are two suggestions that i can give, firstly try and find out what interests here or let her choose her own book. Obviously if she is interested and enjoying the book she is reading her pace might pick up to see what happens next (though i'm sure the books available to her don't have the greatest plots).

The second idea would be to reward her some how when she manages to read and retain information at a certain speed, but if she has a nervous disposition then it would be best not to make a big deal of it if she cannot manage the targets.

Are the parents involved in her advancement at all? Perhaps getting some/more practice in an environment she feels more comfortable will do her the world of good.

As for the near ADD kids, sorry can't offer anything to help with those, it was the little blighters like that that sent me off of that career track and instilled my hatred of small children, i wish thee luck.
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Milan Fiori

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ok I talked the first case over with a friend of mine who works at Sylvan and as a tutor in a highschool.

She says to work on sight words as the first thing to do. Which are words she should be able to recognize just by looking at them. Search for Dolch Sight Words online and it'll give you good list. This will help her build up confidence, because without confidence she'll be discouraged and won't want to read. Then read books she's interested in, and then rather than talking about what she could improve on, discuss what she did well on.

And finally, this is more of a question, that you can answer and I might be able to get more feedback for you. Is this her reading aloud or reading silently in her head? It could just be she has problems reading something decoding it and understanding it, then turning it into speech.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I guess I should state that some of these kids are mostly in a class specifically designed to address reading below grade level, so the teacher does indeed know what she is doing, but it is hard to tell whether it is working at times. I've noticed improvement in reading things such as novels, but text books are where these kids especially struggle.

This is all reading aloud. That is where the confidence comes in. Reading aloud seems to be the problem and since she knows she is not especially good at it, it makes her nervous. At first I thought it was because I am a guy, but looking of the previous tutor's notes (who was a woman), she found the student did the same things.

The teacher suggests that is all that she does since that's where she struggles the most. The teacher has also noticed (and I've only seen this once) where she has flipped words around while reading, indicating possible dyslexia. I wasn't planning on bringing that up since it's not confirmed in the least as of yet.

We do have sight word lists (what they're called and where the teacher got them are unknown to me) and we do them briefly when she has nothing incredibly pressing to do, but she is the one who prioritizes what we do. That's part of the skill set that the teacher encourages us to work on and the student's good at it.

She actually does not dislike reading. She likes it, although I have gathered that it is not her favorite activity. She has books that she has to read for assignments and she definitely does not like those or at least the ones she has read while I'm around, but she has enjoyed the books she picked out herself thus far. When she is reading something of her choice that isn't panning out, she'll turn it back in and check out a different book. Despite the situation she is in, she's a lot more upbeat than I am about anything.

And before I started doing this, I had to spend several hours on a Saturday listening to teachers and the program coordinators and a good part of it was the supportive, not focusing on the negative business. Unless something goes horrendously wrong and she needs to know, I suppress my pessimistic viewpoint and be the supportive, positive person they want me to be.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'd keep a positive attitude about it. I think it is more important to be able to retain the knowledge she reads than be able to read out loud. I find that reading outloud is something that seldom happens outside of school and for practical purposes it is more important to able to retain knowledge.

As for the problem with her reading, have you noticed any sort of pattern in her reading problem? When I taught my brother to read, I noticed he had problems with inconsistant spelling, such as in rough, dough, plough, though and through. The rnlgish language has alot fo these sort of speeling to sound probles, is it possiblet hat these are effecting her? It would seem a possibility that with her ability to retain info, that the inconsistancies of some spelling would cause her to second guess herself and go slower.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Despite me being a source of negativity here (or so I'm told), I play the happy, encouraging tutor very well when I'm at the schools. I'm like an entirely different person.

Not the same spelling/phonetic problems, but similar words like "economy" and "economic" cause some problems, although it is not an issue according to her teacher. She'll start out thinking she's reading one word, but she's actually reading a different, yet similar word and gets tripped up.

She also tends to make up her own sentences. For example, the book may say "He walked through the forest to get home," and she'll read, "He went home through the forest." Also not much of a concern as she obviously knows what is going on, but her fluency is 3-4 grade levels below average, so that is our focus, not comprehension.
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