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Summer Reading for Struggling Students

20140711-172109.jpgAt the end of the year I had my middleschool students each reading a novel independently and then writing in a literature journal. I created the literature journals with key words and questions for each chapter. I tried to stay three chapters ahead of each student so that I could record vocabulary words (each child had to read the vocabulary words to me before reading each chapter so I could ensure that key words would be read and understood) and questions that would help each student make connections to his experiences. I used ORCA Current books. They are books that have content for older readers but vocabulary and sentence length for struggling readers. Here is what the ORCA website has to say:

Orca Currents are short high-interest novels with contemporary themes, written expressly for middle-school students reading below grade level.

I also made tea or hot chocolate for the students and let them lounge. Some teachers may think I am soft but I wanted students to see how others enjoy reading. The best comments for me were the complaining words from the kids when it was time to put the books away.

For summer reading ask for “high interest, low vocabulary” books or check out the ORCA books (there are different series like ORCA SPORT books, ORCA ECHOES for younger readers and RAPID READS).

Also for summer, try audiobooks from iTunes or a website like or your ebooks from the library. Listening to books will build your child’s vocabulary, develop a love of story, and increase his understanding of stories. Make that iPod a learning tool!


About resourcefulresourceteacher

I have been a resource teacher since 2006, a mother since 1998, and a wife since 1994!

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