Middle School Reading: Improving your Seventh and Eighth Grader's Reading Comprehension

Comprehension makes the difference between a passing and failing grade in middle school reading classes. Read on learn more about how to help your seventh or eighth grader improve his or her reading skills.

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Reading Fundamentals

If your child has exhibited that he or she does not understand their reading assignments, there may need to work on skills other than reading comprehension. Often, when a student does not comprehend their reading it is because he or she has not mastered other reading fundamentals. This can be easily corrected once detected.

Many middle school students are enrolling in reading tutoring programs. These learning centers help students improve their reading through professional, one-on-one instruction. The best tutors are those who are state-certified teachers or trained linguists. This is because they have received a formal education and know what methods are most effective when teaching children how to read.

Retention

When your child is reading, encourage them to take notes. This is true even for fictional pieces. Taking notes will help your seventh and eighth grade student recall the smallest details as well as more general themes and ideas. Writing reinforces concepts and helps cement information into longer term memory. In fact, many students who take notes will remember information that they would have forgotten otherwise, even if they never reread through their notes! When your child takes notes on their reading, remind him or her to include page numbers for easy reference. Many middle school students also use post-it notes or index cards to mark important pages.

Vocabulary Building

Vocabulary is a critical component of reading comprehension. If a student doesn't understand the words they are reading it will be impossible for him or her to understand what the book, article, or other reading material is about. Encourage your middle schooler to write down each word he or she comes across in their reading assignments that they do not know. After they finish each section, have your child look up the meaning of each unfamiliar word.

It is very important for middle school students to stop and re-read passages that they do not understand. Make yourself available when your child is reading so you can help them to understand concepts, ideas, or words that are confusing them.

Seventh and eighth graders may think this is a lot of extra work to complete for a reading assignment. However, the note taking and re-reading will pay off when it comes to test time. Putting in the work when you are originally assigned a reading will create less stress when studying for tests! Remember to encourage your student for their hard work. Reading is a difficult task to master and your child is working their hardest to succeed.

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