Following our district-wide screenings at the beginning of the school year, our Reading Specialists collaborate with our principal and classroom teachers to identify eighth-grade students who are performing below expectations. These children, generally 4-6 students at a time, visit the Reading Specialist's classroom for 30 minutes every day to receive additional instruction in the areas of oral reading fluency and reading comprehension. Programs such as Reading Plus are also used to provide additional practice with these reading skills. This instruction does not replace the instruction they receive within their classroom but is simply another layer of support to ensure they develop the skills they need to be successful.
Helping your eighth-grade student at home
1. Talk with your child's English teacher and Reading Specialist to find out exactly what skills your child is practicing at school. They are experts who can provide you with a wealth of information about your child and specific activities you can do at home to target his/her reading needs.
2. Be a good example and let your child see you reading to show him/her that reading is important.
3. Talk about the books that your child is reading. Ask detailed questions about the characters and what took place during the story. Also ask your child to summarize the story, identify examples of cause and effect, and make predictions as they read.
4. Add to your book collection. Visit the library, book sales, book fairs, and even trade books with friends. Becoming a great reader takes a lot of practice!