Starting a new kids class with text that includes reading. What if kids don't read?

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kidsteacher

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Hello, first time poster here. Hoping to get some advice based on your experiences.

I currently run a small kids' class. I'll be changing the format of the class and adding students soon. We currently don't use a text but I will be introducing one at that time. Since all kids' texts include reading work, how should I deal with, say, 5th and 6th grade elementary school students who may not read? The 5th and 6th grade texts include reading skills that have built on the previous 4 years of textbooks in the same series, and my new students won't have those skills.

What is the best way to cope with this gap?

Thanks for any ideas, especially those that have worked for you in the past!
 

Tdol

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Can you teach them as separate groups within the same class?
 
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If the kids can't read (yet), are you going to be responsible for teaching them to read, or is someone else? What is their language background? I assume they must be from a background that doesn't use the same alphabet as the English language. 5th and 6th graders who speak another European language and who can speak some English should be able to read in English at least a little. What is their speaking and listening level?
The advice I would give you really depends on what your purpose is and what your class context is.

If your purpose of having them read is to improve comprehension, vocabulary, exposure to written register of English etc, then they don't need to actually read the text themselves to achieve those things. You could read the text aloud and have them follow along, or you could pair up some more experienced readers with the non-readers and have them work in pairs to discuss the meaning of the text, complete comprehension exercises etc.

If your plan is to teach reading strategies - previewing, asking questions, visualizing the text, making connections, summarizing etc, then you also don't need to have them actually read the text to practice those things. I teach these things to my pre-reading kindergartners through readalouds. Likewise if you just want them to be able to understand and enjoy fiction, poetry etc.

If you're going to be responsible for actually teaching the new kids to read, then that's a whole different ball game...

-Charlotte
 
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