Supporting Students
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Graphic organizers
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Knowing that our students learn in diversified ways, technology can help to support the learning of many of our students. 

Not only can technology be motivating but it can also afford students an opportunity to achieve by providing supports and prompts that help them to reflect on their work, recall prior learning and create new products that are visually appealing and achieve outcomes in novel ways.  Students are also developing life skills that will assist them in being successful learners and workers.

Technological competence is now considered a basic employability skill in Canada.

When working with Struggling Students the following may be helpful-

Ideas for Supporting Struggling Readers and Writers in Your Classrooms

v      Use explicit instruction when introducing a new skill or concept.  Ensure that many examples and extensive modeling are provided. Introduce these in the most appropriate instructional format- individual, small group, whole class. 

v      Use read alouds and focus on characteristics of text and introduction of a wide variety of genre.

v      Use a reading assessment resource as one additional assessment method to inform your instruction. 

v      Use visual graphic organizers to assist students with pre-writing activities and with making connections.

v      Establish classroom routines and procedures for reading and writing in your classroom.  (see some ideas additional ideas in the mini-lesson section of this website)

v      Provide additional support and monitoring for struggling students.

v      Have students make predictions when reading and revise and confirm their predictions as they proceed.

v      Use audio, visual and technical resources to support student learning and to recognize multiple ways of learning in your classroom.

v      Use the computer programs/services available in your school to support reading and writing in your classroom. (e.g. Inspiration, Kidspiration, EBSCO-, Power Point, Publisher, Appleworks…) Talk to your Tech Mentor or your Board Technology Professional Development person if you need assistance.  Remember that "Technology is a gateway to better writing.  Word processing functions make it much easier to revise work, to improve leads and transitions, and to add figurative language.  They give writers tools to enhance their work." (Knowing How by McMackin & Siegel, pg. 152)

v      Assess students in multiple ways and at a variety of times and settings.  View assessment as a growth and learning opportunity not as a culmination of learning. Use assessment to inform instruction.

v      Struggling Readers and Writers need many opportunities and reinforcement to make connections (text to text, text to self and text to world).  

v Provide authentic purposes for reading and writing.  This will assist with making  connections and establishing meaningful, relevant purposes for meeting classroom outcomes.

v      Use bookmarks that prompt comprehension strategies, retain routines and mini-lessons for student review and reminding on the computer, post visual cues and prompts in your classroom to help give students the necessary reinforcement as they read and write. Use explicit instruction in your classroom.*

    The pages in this section will give you some ideas from which you can springboard off of as you discover other ways to support student learning and success using these suggestions and technology in your classroom.


*Thanks to Stephen Jamieson, Literacy Mentor, South Shore District School Board for classroom pictures.


This site was last updated on 02/09/10.

Sue Taylor-Foley, Coordinator of Assessment and Technology, South Shore Regional School Board, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada

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