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Slow & Low Readers October 3, 2009

Posted by mrsmerritt in Getting Started, Lessons Learned.
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 Well, this year I have two girls who are slow readers. They are both low readers in English and very low readers in Spanish. One of the girls is extremely low. After 4 weeks she hasn’t finished Ana bailó Tango. So, it’s time for a new strategy.

            Years ago I purchased the book Ciudad de las Bestias on tape.

            Last year as a break from the routine, I let my students listen and follow along (following along essential) with the book. As they did this I realized the benefit. This activity really bridges the gap between the language they understand when they hear but don’t recognize when they see.

I felt the potential to jump start kids reading using an audio book was huge. However, there are not many unabridged Spanish audio books available that are high interest.

            These are my newest strategies which I am just starting.

            After the slow reader finished Ana bailó tango (took her three weeks) I put her in a private spot, gave her Cuidad de las Bestias (for which I do not yet have a packet) and the audiocassette. I am hopeful that after following along while someone pronounces all those words for her she will be better able to read in Spanish.

            The extremely low reader presented another problem. First, since Ciudad is on cassette not mp3 I can’t really have two students listening at a time. Plus, I just wasn’t sure she would be able to follow along with the book yet.

            As always when I am desperate, I grabbed a Blaine reader. This time I grabbed Pobre Ana. The girl couldn’t read Ana bailó tango. But I have a CD for Pobre Ana. Last Monday I gave her the book, the CD, a CD player and a packet.  She finished before the week was over.

            I am just going to move her through the readers that I have audio for. Then reassess. Since I have audio for 4 readers, I have about 4 weeks to prepare my next move.

            I am going to take some of my budget money and purchase an inexpensive mp3 player. Then I can load all the audio books on it.

            My vision for this is to ultimately get 1-2 mp3 players, pick up some additional audio books and load them up. This will not replace reading. If I get enough resources I will let students start the year listening, following along and doing a packet. Then move into independent reading.

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