Tips for Teachers

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  • Rely on good researchPromote the adoption of reading instruction programs in your school that are based on sound research and that provide all children with explicit, systematic instruction in phonics and exposure to rich literature, both fiction and nonfiction.
  • Push for good professional developmentInsist on high quality instructional strategies that includes discussion of research on how children learn to read as well as extensive in-class follow-up.
  • Make success school widePromote adoption of effective reading instruction and professional development methods.
  • Team up with parentsInvolve parents in support of their children’s reading. Work with parents and guardians to ensure that their children arrive at school ready to learn every day. Children should spend more time reading than is available at school, and teachers can reinforce this important point to parents and provide ideas on how to make reading an everyday activity in their home.
  • How’s it going?Assess students’ progress regularly.
  • Small classes pay big dividendsEncourage school officials to reduce class size for reading instruction and to provide tutoring for students who fall behind. Changes in school organization may be necessary to create more appropriate class groupings and effective uses of special education, Title I, and other supplementary resources.
  • Be alert to older non-readersReading success is especially critical in the early grades because it is easier to prevent reading problems than to remediate them. Teachers at all grade levels should keep an eye out for students having trouble with reading. One-to-one tutoring programs built on sound phonetic principles can often make a remarkable difference in students’ reading performance in a period of months. Teachers can help ensure that older students reading below grade levels have level-appropriate texts for independent reading.
  • Use help wiselyClassroom paraprofessionals involved in reading education should receive the training and support necessary to enable them to make a significant contribution to children’s reading achievement. Teachers should utilize paraprofessionals in ways that augment the research-based reading program used in the classroom and allow students to receive more individualized support. Volunteers should also receive adequate training and supervision, should be assigned work with children who can benefit from their assistance, and they should operate consistently with the reading program of the school.

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