Who are the Struggling Older Readers?
Every middle and upper primary school classroom has them ... Those students who never quite make it over what we call 'the decoding hump'. They get stuck at around a reading age of 7-8yrs and gradually slip further and further behind their peers. As they are confronted by unfamiliar words which they do not immediately recognise, they develop a default decoding strategy of 'sample and guess' which makes their reading increasing inaccurate and develops a downward spiral of poor confidence and lack of self esteem about their reading. These are not necessarily readers with specific learning difficulties (although our routines do work well for them as well).
What do Struggling Older Reader's suffer most from?.... SUCCESS DEPRIVATION.
Many of them have experienced 4-8 years of failure with this reading thing and have developed some sophisticated avoidance strategies or have just plain given up.
So....any attempt to help them out of the mire of reading failure has to revolve around SUCCESS.
This is what we aim for in our SOR course
* There is never more than one new learning goal in any lesson
* There is a highly structured, repetitious routine that is never departed from
* There is only a small amount of text for each lesson
* There are no debilitating teachable moments - all of that cueing and prompting to 'do the right thing'
* Students are able to work on text which would normally be too hard for them...and they feel good about that
* The text they are asked to read doesn't look like it has been written for a 7-8 year old
All of these things add up to a very positive experience AND some stunning results.
Here is some before and after assessment data after a 10 week SOR intervention. Given that the Burt Word Test only measures the ability to decode or recognise a word in isolation, (the issue we have identified) this data represents significant progress. The average gain for these 7 students is 17 months in just 10 weeks.
"The Struggling Older Reader" training is specifically designed for teachers of those older students who 'get stuck' on decoding - they haven't yet developed the decoding fluency they need to become confident readers.
"SevenPlus" - An 8-10 week intervention
The starting point is our SevenPlus Intervention, carefully designed to address the needs of the reader who is stuck at around a reading age of seven-eight or who is progressing but only slowly. Their motivation for reading and their self esteem about themselves as readers is fading fast. Decoding strategies, fluency and vocabulary are all attended to in a routine that ensures success and the rebuilding of confidence.
"The 5 Bits" - Where to next?
The success or failure of any intervention is usually determined by what happens next. We provide you with our especially modified SharpReading Stage 2 routine which helps transition learners back into a more mainstreamed guided reading routine. This ensures that the newly found confidence and enthusiasm for reading is maintained and prepares them for Stage 3 - Comprehension Strategy Instruction.