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Kids reading

Literacy

Reading Improvement Plan for Middle School Students

Coming back into the classroom full-time after instruction and learning being disjointed by shifts in schedules, quarantining, and remote/hybrid instruction can leave educators feeling overwhelmed and wondering where to begin. How do we begin to determine the learning needs of our middle schoolers? How do we make time for the individual assessments needed to determine students’ needs, while also meeting the demands of the rigorous standards and standardized tests?

Typically, teachers can analyze data from previous years to plan a starting point and grouping. Due to COVID-19,  the data from this previous year may be incomplete or not a reliable representation of a student’s reading ability. Some data was collected from assessments that were administered remotely. Testing remotely can open the doors for many other variables that may skew results. So, where do we start?

Identify students:

Identifying students in need of urgent intervention is the priority, while also keeping in mind that all students most likely have gaps in their reading development. Using a rapid screener, like Lexplore,  to determine reading ability is key. A rapid screener provides an educator with a clear and concise snapshot of their students’ reading skills.

“As educators and schools face unprecedented challenges and time is at a premium to address learning loss, three minutes of using Lexplore provides a clear picture of students’ reading that pinpoints areas of need and provides recommendations,” said Martin Sjöstrand, CEO of Lexplore.

Skill Based Assessment:

Once the students in great need are identified, administering a skill-based assessment to identify specific skills in need of targeted instruction can frame and guide your lesson planning. Focus the small group and individual lessons for these struggling readers around the specific phonics, decoding, and fluency skills identified in the assessment.

Foundations of Reading:

In this reading improvement period, all students will need additional supports and guidance as we all adjust to returning to the full in-person schedule. It is critical we check in on the foundations of reading to rebuild those crucial skills needed to succeed in all content areas. Reading is the vehicle that transports our middle schoolers on their learning journey in all their subjects. A cracked foundation can lead to disruption in learning across the board. Decoding and fluency, essential foundational components of reading ability, are the backbone to reading comprehension, so including small mini-lessons and small group lessons in decoding multi-syllabic words and morphology for all students will help to secure that foundation.

Three-Step Reading Improvement Plan for Middle School Students Include:

  • Use a rapid reading assessment to screen students to determine reading ability and group accordingly
  • Administer skill-specific assessment to students demonstrating that they are performing below grade level
  • Include regular lessons in foundational reading skills, such as decoding, advanced phonics, and morphology, for all students. All reading programs must include evidence-based curriculum and be taught with fidelity to capture true reading gains.