Reading How Powerful Is Content Knowledge? raised some interesting points. Learning basic skills like reading is really important. Some kids struggle while other kids get it. Prior knowledge is an important part of learning to read.
“You only learn what you almost know.” What “prior knowledge” do struggling readers have? This gets to be a vicious circle. For some of our struggling readers, there isn’t much easy reading material about anything in their prior knowledge or areas of interest. Not a lot is written about Dance Revolution or Xbox games at a second grade reading level.
Band-Aids (370L) and Post-It notes (590L) are a start thanks to ReadWorks but these are still difficult for some third grades. Fortunately we found the ocean animals story (640L) that related to a Marine Discovery Center summer camp experience. Now the reading wasn’t any easier, but the prior knowledge provided context.