Kids have lots of energy and they definitely know how to use it!
While it’s important to harness that energy, it can also lead them astray when trying to accomplish goals. The ability to focus is built slowly, over time. It requires patience.
Since patience is something that most school aged children are still developing, it’s our job to guide them into setting realistic goals and working hard to reach them. In building block one we discussed goal setting. Now it’s time to turn those goals into a reality.
Here are two things adults can do to kick things off in a positive way:
- Lead by example. Just because we’re reading independently it doesn’t mean we can’t do it together. Grab yourself something you enjoy reading and commit to the same level of focus as your reading buddy. Seeing a friend, role model or loved one is encouraging to young readers.
- Start by reading aloud. For a bit of extra motivation try reading the passage aloud or suggest they use text-to-speech if you aren’t able to join them. Then ask your reader to answer the questions that follow. If you’re reading a book, start with a paragraph or two then switch to independent reading.
Increasing focus time
One way to increase stamina is to increase time spent focusing by small intervals. Do this by:
- Planning reading sessions daily, or every few days
- Starting with a quick and easy session to build momentum
- Increase time intervals regularly
- Increase the challenge regularly
When working on reading stamina the goal isn’t to read the most challenging passages or answer the hardest questions, it’s to stay focused. It’s best if readers can decode words and meaning on their own without help when building reading stamina. It’s also one of the many reasons why we put so much emphasis on engaging reading passages – they keep attention by design.
Go Deeper with your dashboard
Visit the report section on your dashboard and navigate to the report section. Here, you’ll see all sorts of useful information about their reading level, skill comprehension and placement test results. Do this ahead of the first session to get an accurate picture of ability before starting.
Accelerate with an assignment
Start with practicing a skill or genre that is well within your reader’s abilities and interests. Use the assignment tool on your dashboard to choose questions and passages that they have a record of success on. This will help them build momentum. As they answer questions, Dreamscape adapts to deliver questions that challenge players while always meeting them at their level. This builds momentum and confidence!
Use your dashboard to keep up to date with how they are doing between sessions using the real time dashboard, which can also be found in the reports section. If they are getting stuck on questions or passages, consider assigning easier questions to keep confidence up. If they are speeding through passages, consider increasing the difficulty level by a moderate amount.
We’re reading on the regular, our momentum is mounting and our sessions are targeted, engaging, and fun! Now it’s time to turn our attention to confidence, our third building block.
Check back next week as we go into more detail!