Sometimes we forget that teachers-not programs- are the critical element in student success. Also, it’s good to be reminded that the fundamental purpose of reading its comprehension, and that comprehension is a complex, abstract activity (38).
We can all relate to an even minute sense of hopelessness when a teacher realizes that a student can’t read. Far more common is the identification of the dependent reader, and the strategies with which to coach the dependent reader into independence. Beers lists 46 signs/symptoms of dependent readers, including reading aloud with little or no expression, trouble recalling concrete information from a text, or reading to finish rather than to understand. Beers’ suggestions include the development of a personalized instruction plan for dependent reading targeting specific areas of weakness by creating specific plans for strengthening skills. Page 28 contains “If…Then” scenarios so that instruction plans can be easier to create. There are three examples of students who need different strategies for success, complete with indicators of a strong reader so that there is comparison and benchmarks by which to assess and assist the dependent and struggling reader.