Two quotes from this book:
"Many struggling readers focus too much on phonics."
"Unfortunately, when students experience reading difficulties, the first response is often "They need more phonics."
First of all, I am SO seeing this at my school. We had the embarrassing distinction of scoring way low on our mid-year AIMS testing. So we are being asked: what do we do with phonics? How do you teach it? Are you following the basal reader's teacher guide? And we're a grade level that actually helped our school. I feel for some other teachers in our school.
Second, in retrospect, I'm noticing this in one of my lowest readers especially. I was very surprised when this boy didn't move up when I tested his DRA level before Christmas. His reading had been so fluent, I just knew for certain he'd move up, maybe even two levels. But even though he can read pretty well, he isn't comprehending what he's reading.
One thing my textbook says is that proficient readers don't depend on phonics skills; instead they use context. And the reverse is true of struggling readers - they depend almost solely on phonics skills.
What I'm realizing is that I've got to figure out how to encourage my students, especially my struggling students, to think about context - is what they are reading making sense.
I sorta skimmed over the chapter in this book:
that talked about that. Definitely need to go back and highlight some things in there.
So what about you? What do you do to help your struggling readers get past just reading the words? I'm looking for clues :)