Supporting Struggling Readers in Grades 3-5, Part 3

Today is the third day in my series to empower teachers, Supporting Struggling Readers in Grades 3-5.  If you are new to the series, or want to see what the hype is about, click on the button below to visit the other posts in this series.
Do you teach struggling readers in grades 3-5? Click through to this blog post series walking you through the steps of assessment, planning, teaching, and reflecting as you support those struggling readers! Some freebies and cheat sheets for teachers are included!

So far, you've created an Assessment Binder, made your list of struggling readers, and assessed Fluency.
Our focus today is Comprehension!!

Whoo-hoo!  Y'all know how much I enjoy Literacy, particularly helping teachers help their students...  Let's get started!!  
someecards.com - Dear News Media, 'Did Beyonce lip-sync?' is not news. 'The kid who didn't know a single letter in September, but is now reading' is news.
Just a reminder from the other day: We are going to engage in a bit of "Digging Deeper" with each student on your list.  We want to use this time to be a detective and find out why they are struggling readers. There are 3 main reasons the majority of struggling readers in upper elementary have difficulty reading:
1. Fluency - they take a long time to read and don't have the stamina to read for very long.
2. Comprehension -  they don't understand what they read.
3. Decoding - they have trouble with word attack skills. 
Step 2 - Assess Comprehension:  I bet you thought they were finished after you assessed fluency.  No way, Jose.  If you already have the materials and knowledge to do a running record, now is the time!  {Go on ahead, and meet us as step 3!}  If you like doing running records (which I highly recommend, but understand that you are busy, remember!?!) you can download Reading Assessments online for free from The Teachers College! 
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Reading Assessments
You can download and print assessments to determine reading level (GR levels A-Z), Letter/Sound identification, and Concepts About Print.  I'll use this for those kiddos who hang out on a level for so long that they can read the book from our AlphaKids kit, even though they are not proficient at that level.  They also have writing assessments available.

2 quicker ways:  If you are using MAZE assessments (from AimsWeb - paid), they can be fairly reliable.  This is super quick (3 minutes) and can be group administered.  You can check the comprehension of your class in 3 minutes.  If you have a bit of time, you can create your own MAZE assessments from CBM Warehouse.  However, I'd like to bring your attention back to EasyCBM.  Remember when I showed you this picture?
See that circled part?  That is grade level specific multiple choice reading comprehension assessments.  These can be printed out and group administered or the students can take them online.  (Assuming you got fancy and entered in your students.)  Whatevs - just print, make copies, and assess.  Again, the directions are on the website, and so is the Scoring Guidelines Table.  If they are in the "red zone," then they need help with comprehension.  Then again, you probably already knew that.


Remember, we still need to assess decoding skills before we can make our instructional decisions.  Next Thursday, we'll assess decoding!!

If you need help implementing a Comprehension intervention, check out Intervention CentralFCRR, or any of the other amazing resources available.
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