There’s nothing more painful than making someone do something they don’t like to do. When a student absolutely loathes reading… even though you know they need to practice, you don’t want to put them through the struggle. You know it’s best for them in the long run so you muster up the strength to persist, but it still hurts you inside. It’s not fun to watch someone struggle, and when they resist, you want to free them of the pain. But… you do what’s best for your students in the long run.
But, some teachers wonder… how long should I persist? How long should I put my struggling readers through the process that absolutely pains them? How long before reading practice stops being beneficial and starts hindering progress?
To answer this question I went to Reading Horizons Dyslexia Specialist and Teacher Trainer, Shantell Berrett, and here’s what she had to say:
- Before worrying about reading practice, make sure a struggling reader has had and knows how to apply proper decoding strategies.
- If a struggling reader absolutely has to practice reading before completing a proper reading intervention, cut the time down into chunks, never longer than 10-15 minutes.
- Providing a struggling reader with a proper intervention is much more helpful than requiring them to practice reading.
Allan Trimble said
I am a retired educator with 50 years experience at every grade level, Teaching History and computer science in High School, and many years working with students with disabilities. Spent several years as an administrator and adjunct faculty in three different colleges. I am also DYSLEXIC. My years in elementary school were not pleasent. My second grade teacher told my Mother I could read if I wanted to, I was there when she said it. I was very upset, I had been working very hard to learn to read and it made no sense to me.I did not know how to tell my teacher or my Mother that I wanted to learn to read. So I did not do well in elementary school, and my parents were not very happy with me either. By the time I got to high school I was beginning to understand reading, It was very slow and difficult. My spelling and grammer suffered also. I did better in High School and managed to grduate. I was accepted to San Francisco State University on probation. I made it. When I signed up for graduate school, at the interviewing process I saw my second grade teacher, and introduced my self, She was now a PhD. She did remember me, and wanted to know what I was doing there. When I told her I was an applicant for grad school, I thought she passout. I graduated with a Masters degree in school administration, and credentials in Elementary, Secondary, Lip reading, Speech pathology, and working with disadvantaged students. Because of one of my professors interest in me, I was offered a scholarship to the Institute of Administrative Research, Teachers College, Columbia University. I did not receive a PhD because of my Dyslexia, spelling and grammer were still a bit of a problem.However in my 50 years of teaching I did very well. I have four children, three boys and a girl. My daught was an excellent student and is doing fine in her business. My three sons are all DYSLEXIC. but they to are doing fine. Because I understood their problem, I was a help to them. I DID NOT ASK THEM TO READ IN THEIR EARLY YEARS, once I discovered their dyslexia. I let the school understand that they were not to push them to read.They did very well outside of school. My youngest son was flying aircraft at age 7. Enlisted in the Civil Air Patrol ( a division of the USAF) at age 12. Was a Lt. Commander at age 17. He learned to read in the 8th grade. My oldest son is now a Board Certified Neurologist, my second son is a Senior Design Engineer at Cysco Sytems.fffffthey all learned to read in the 8th 9th grade. There is no reason to push reading to a child who is Dyslexic. All it does is to discourage the student to not want to read at all. There are so many activities these children can do in preparation for reading, and when the time comes they will read and do well.