How do we help struggling readers? We know that struggling readers have many deficits but how do we meet their many needs and help them catch up to their peers in the most efficient way possible?
Should we teach literacy skills in separate blocks of learning?
- phonemic awareness
- sight word games
Does this method of instruction actually produce strong readers? In most cases, yes! And when it does, it’s truly satisfying.
However, when we look at reading outcomes like the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), things take a sour turn. By the time these students reach 4th grade, over 30% of them show few even basic reading skills. This creates discouragement for children, parents and teachers. We need to help these struggling readers succeed!
boost Struggling Readers through integration
Want to boost reading outcomes for children of all levels? An integrated approach that combines phonemic awareness, phonics knowledge, high-frequency word practice, spelling, and writing is the way to go. We’ve seen time and time again that when these foundational reading skills are taught together, kids become great readers. Say goodbye to isolation and hello to integration!
Word Ladders are a key aspect of reading and spelling success For Struggling Readers
Revolutionize reading instruction with a dynamic 5-10 minute activity that combines phonemic awareness, phonics, handwriting, and spelling. Engage students and supercharge their reading skills with this innovative approach that saves time and delivers results. Forget teaching skills separately, and discover the power of combining them for maximum impact. Curious about how it works?
Examples of word ladders
Check out this word ladder example: a teacher challenges students to change ‘net’ to ‘nut’. Watch as students make the switch, saying each sound and manipulating letter-sound tiles or writing letters as they go. Then, listen as they segment each sound in the newly created word, solidifying their understanding and mastery. Step up your reading instruction game with this transformative strategy.
Enhance Multiple Skills with One Activity:
Boost phonemic skills, master letter-sound knowledge, and strengthen decoding and spelling abilities. Uncover the connection between word identification and vocabulary while grasping the concept of the alphabetic principle. Word ladders are even more effective when students write the sounds as they simultaneously say the sounds.
Research on Word Ladders
In their incredible research, McCandliss, Beck, Sandak, and Perfetti explore the intriguing world of phonemic awareness with word ladders. Known by these researchers as phonemic chaining, this activity carries the same essence as the word ladders we’ve discussed. This innovative technique works wonders in enhancing a multitude of skills – from phonemic awareness to decoding, and even comprehension. This type of integrated activity is a revelation in the field of children’s reading education, and you absolutely can’t afford to miss out on the remarkable benefits it brings. Don’t just take our word for it – delve into their research.
Discover the amazing speed at which our students become experts in phonemic manipulation skills! In just a fraction of the time, these skills can be mastered with our simple yet powerful word ladder activity. From there, they seamlessly progress to become proficient in the written code, thanks to their strong foundation. Renowned researcher Dr. Keith Stanovich emphasizes the incredible benefits of early and strong phonemic awareness in his influential paper “Matthew effects in reading.”
Bring Reading Therapy Home or to Your Classroom
Students need to have strong phonemic awareness skills as well as robust instruction and practice with the alphabetic principle to become strong readers and spellers. Simultaneous processing of saying the sounds as they write and manipulation of sounds while writing is one of the most powerful techniques for creating strong readers and writers. That is why it is an integral part of every beginning or remedial reading lesson in my dyslexia therapy practice. But I make all these resources available to you in my reading bundles so you can use them at home or in your classroom. Here is a free orthographic mapping template you can use with this activity.
In all of my reading bundles working with reading ladders is the first activity in every lesson.
I make all of my resources as easy to follow and prepare as possible. The lessons are streamlined for success. If you have questions please contact me and I will be happy to help you pick the correct resource for your student. Download the free word ladders below to use in your next lesson.