Reading Response Journals
In a Title I Reading program, your students will read many books on their level. You can extend the reading process by adding a reading response journal to your students' daily or weekly routine (depending on the amount of time you meet with students each day.) Reading response journals will help struggling readers to focus on and improve comprehension skills as well as writing skills. When you teach writing in response journals as part of your Title I Reading instruction, you can focus on writing about the reading materials and necessary skills like using complete sentences, punctuation, capitalization, and subject-verb agreement.
Here's how a Title I Reading program writing lesson might look:
Your Title I students read a short book such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. When they finish, each student gets out their reading response journal. On a blank page, ask your struggling readers to write the date and the title of the book (writing the title with correct capitalization could be part of your lesson). The skill you are working on is sequencing, and in the journals, your students are writing the order of events from the story. As students are writing about the egg and then the caterpillar eating his way through the fruit and so on, you can remind students to use capital letters at the beginning of their sentences and punctuation at the end during this Title I Reading instruction. You can also ask your students to read what they wrote to the class to check for complete sentences and if what they are writing makes sense.
Different Kinds of Writing
Depending on the grade of your struggling readers in the Title I Reading program, they are probably learning how to write different types of paragraphs or essays in their regular classroom. The writing curriculum may include writing a narrative, persuasive essay, and an informative paragraph. Check with the regular classroom teacher, and see what the students are learning when she is teaching writing. You can help your struggling readers and writers through your Title I Reading instruction:
- Look over their writing work from their regular class and provide extra support for this piece in the Title I classroom.
- Work on a separate piece of writing that complements what students are working on in the regular classroom.
- Show your students good examples of a persuasive essay or narrative and discuss what makes those examples stand out.
Reading and writing go hand-in-hand for most students. Anything you can do in your Title I Reading program to help your students in any Language Arts area will benefit them and help them improve.