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Essential Reading Strategies for the Struggling Reader:
Activities for an Accelerated Reading Program
University of Texas System/Texas Education Agency

The activities in this manual are drawn from converging research evidence on the effectiveness of critical components to early reading success (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998).

These instructional elements include: phonological awareness; fluent reading in a variety of texts; comprehension strategies and vocabulary development; decoding strategies; and word analysis.

To improve their reading proficiency, students who struggle with reading need intensive, systematic, and explicit instruction in these components in addition to their regular classroom reading instruction.

The activities in this manual are intended to supplement the regular classroom reading program and to provide the additional practice struggling readers need to develop basic reading strategies.

This manual is divided into four sections: Fluency, Phonological Awareness, Instructional Reading with Comprehension, and Word Analysis and Spelling.

The two sample lesson plans on the following pages illustrate how the four sections can be organized into 30–35 minute lessons over the span of a week.

The original lesson plan, containing all of the elements taught in equal time frames each day, is appropriate to use with students who can read at least 15 words per minute (wpm) on grade level text and are making reading fluency gains of at least two words per minute, per week.

The adapted lesson plan is more appropriate for students who read less then 15 wpm in grade level text and gain less than two words per minute per week.

The adapted lesson plan allows for increased time in fluency building and word analysis activities to increase automatic word recognition, while continuing to provide consistent reinforcement in the areas of phonological awareness and instructional reading.

Each section of the manual contains an overview of the instructional element, followed by progress-monitoring activities and modifications for English language learners.

The subsequent lessons and activities in each element can be used to review, practice, and reinforce the skill or skills associated with the element.

Lesson plans for the activities include the objective for the lesson, a list of materials needed, and steps for completing the activity.
In addition, the plans include adaptations for different levels of instruction and for different target skills, and modifications for English language learners.

Appendices provide directions for making materials, word pattern lists for use with many of the activities, and lists of decodable book series and teacher resources.

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