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How to Help Struggling Readers During Distance Learning

student doing distance learning

With some of your students learning from home this fall, it’s hard to know if they are getting all the support they need! This is true for all your remote students, but your students that struggle with reading need you now more than ever! Help your struggling readers during distance learning with these strategies.

Provide Differentiated Reading Passages

Make sure your learners have reading passages that are accessible for them while still having engaging content for their age level! These differentiated reading passages for middle school will help all of your learners online! I like to start the year with these Growth Mindset passages. This is the perfect topic for your students as they start the year away from the school building. Distance learning comes with some challenges, and teaching your students to persevere is crucial! These readings about growth mindset are written at three different reading levels and give a brief overview of growth and fixed mindsets. Upload the digital Google Slides version to Google Classroom or your online learning platform. You can even assign the appropriate differentiated passage to groups within Google Classroom. In the Classwork tab, choose the students you want to assign the passage to. I love sharing work this way because students will not know that they received the lower reading level passage, and every remote learner is getting the same high-interest topics. In addition to the differentiated reading passage, this product also includes:

  • A differentiated context clues activity
  • Short answer reading comprehension questions
  • A writing activity

Other topics are perfect for year-long differentiated reading! Try these engaging, high-interest topics:

Share these differentiated passages with your distance learners!

Practice Specific Skills

Struggling readers can get overwhelmed when faced with all the skills and standards they need to improve upon. Rather than share reading passages and lessons that focus on an overview of everything you want your readers to learn, spend time focusing on one specific skill at a time. Here’s how it works! Assign your distance learners daily readings that review certain skill areas. In person, consider using these as bell ringers during ELA class. Online, these self-grading Google Forms are perfect review assignments for standards and skills. The reading comprehension bundle covers a wide-range of the following skills including central ideas, making inferences, and context clues. Your students will also like to learn about theme with these fun, enjoyable reading passages!

Encourage Independent Reading

Learning how to become a better reader is not just about reading nonfiction passages to practice skills. Yes, these are super important, but also remind your students that reading just for fun is the key to growing as a reader! Read a chapter of a book that you think your middle schoolers might enjoy. Some of my favorite read alouds to share via Zoom or Google Meet are Wild Robot and Fish in a Tree. Read one of your favorites to your readers and encourage them to finish the book (or another one they may enjoy on their own)! Don’t stress about reaching your struggling readers during distance learning. You are the best resource for your students, but these reading passages and differentiated materials will help them shine online!

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