Naomi_Joy asks:

What can I do to help a 3rd grader read?

I am a 3rd grade teacher, and I have a student who can barely read and is really struggling. She has been home-schooled since K5, and her parents do not want her held back.She is also extremely shy. When it comes time for her to read or take a test, she makes things up. What can I do to help her?  Her grades are really struggling and we are only 7 weeks into school. Any advice is appreciated!
In Topics: School and Academics, Learning issues and special needs
> 60 days ago



Oct 15, 2011
Subscribe to Expert

What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

I know this is a frustrating experience to have a child who is a struggling reader and at risk for school failure. First, it may be wise to see why she is struggling, which could mean a referral to the school IEP team. This would need to be made by either the parent or teachers in writing.

Next, we need to make reading fun and related to her everyday life, thus improving her skills. Try bringing reading in to the home (such as with a simple recipe, fun book about her favorite television character, or online gaming) may be just the "ticket" to getting our third grader more motivated to "try" to read.

Also, consider some great online websites which promote reading skills in a very fun fashion. Here are a few for elementary aged students: (has info for parents and teachers, too) (Clifford series can be found here:

Patricia Polacco just for kids fun pages:

Eric Carle fun pages:

Good luck and thanks for writing!

Louise Sattler, Psychologist

Did you find this answer useful?

Additional Answers (2)

marianna101 writes:
Well, when I was in 3rd grade, I could read very good. But I have an idea for you. Ask the child's parents if you could hold her after school about a hour each day. When you do this start with small books and gradually get bigger. Suppose say every 2 weeks start a new level of books. Soon she will get better. Maybe send home a book twice a week, or however many times. Please consider taking this advice.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
LDSolutions , Child Professional writes:
The child might have a reading disability.  Learning to read is a sequential process.  Each new skill a child learns builds on the mastery of previously learned skills.  First, a child learns to break down words into their most basic sounds, which we call decoding.  Later on, the child begins to comprehend the meaning of words and sentences, which we call reading comprehension.   Decoding is an essential step in the reading process since it forms the foundation of reading.  For a child with a reading disability, decoding does NOT come naturally and is NOT an automatic process.  Most reading experts will agree that decoding problems is the basis of most reading disabilities.  Some warning signs to look for:

 Child has difficulties sounding out words
 Slow laborious reading
 Reads without expression
 Ignores punctuation while reading out loud
 Guesses based on first letter of word
 Puts extra sounds into a word
 Drops syllables
 Reverses sounds
 Struggles with spelling
 Substitutes small common words

If the child is struggling in reading and showing the above symptoms, there may be good reason for you to suspect a reading disability.  If this is the case then an immediate assessment will be necessary through an educational psychologist.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
Answer this question