How do you meet the reading needs of a child that is 2 full grade levels above the rest of your students in class? It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it can be very difficult for a classroom teacher. Of course, you must differentiate for the advanced reader, but how do you do that for 1 child when the others are at least 8 levels below your precocious reader? Here are some ideas to help you and your advanced readers.
4 Ways to Help Advanced Readers
- Find their interests- The sooner than you find their interests, the sooner you can help them find appropriate books for themselves. Like all readers, it is important that they be encouraged to read books that they will find challenging but approachable.
- Guided Reading Group of 1 – One person does not a group make! So, how can you engage your advanced reader in a discussion group? Putting them in a regular guided reading group with students reading multiple grade levels lower than them will be of limited value to them. Perhaps there are other children in another class that can help form a group. A classroom volunteer can also be a wonderful reading buddy.
- Student Driven Independent Reading– The Schoolwide Enhanced Model Reading (SEM-R) approach allows a student to read a book at their own interest and reading level and check in with the teacher during scheduled reading conferences. The SEM-R approach is flexible enough to be used with individual students or a small group of students as needed.
- Skill-based groups – A popular way of meeting the needs of your gifted reader is to consider using some skill-based groups. Although the reading level may be different, a skills group can review and reinforce skills that your gifted reader may find valuable. In order to become even better readers skill development is necessary.
As a teacher, your gifted readers need you just as much as the other students in the class. They just may need your attention in a different way.