The Teacher's Tool Kit For Literacy

Part 4: High Impact Strategies for Struggling Readers, Years 3 to 6

Episode Summary

In this podcast episode, Sharon and Phil discuss high-impact strategies to help struggling readers in Years 3 to 6. They emphasise selecting books with engaging, complex illustrations and clever language to motivate and challenge students. Key points include addressing different reading challenges, leveraging students' strengths, using diverse and complex texts, and maintaining detailed reading journals. Collaboration with librarians and regularly reading aloud to students are also highlighted as crucial elements in fostering a comprehensive and supportive reading environment.

Episode Notes

In the latest instalment of our podcast series, Sharon and Phil delve into the realm of supporting struggling readers in Years 3 to 6 with high-impact strategies. They emphasise the importance of selecting books that offer rich experiences beyond just the words on the page. They explore how intricate illustrations can enhance the reading experience for struggling readers, drawing them into the narrative in new and engaging ways.

The conversation highlights the value of books that invite repeated readings, providing ample opportunities for readers to uncover layers of meaning and explore literary devices. Through careful book selection, even struggling readers can be empowered to engage deeply with texts, moving beyond mere decoding challenges to embrace higher-level comprehension skills.

The hosts emphasise the need to address individual challenges faced by struggling readers, recognising that decoding difficulties do not equate to poor comprehension skills. By exposing students to a wide range of texts and literary devices, educators can help them build a fuller understanding of what reading entails and cultivate confidence in their abilities as readers.

Moreover, the podcast advocates for a holistic approach to reading instruction, emphasising the interconnected nature of different reading skills. Rather than isolating decoding from comprehension, educators should encourage students to see reading as a multifaceted process that encompasses various aspects, including accuracy, fluency, comprehension, and critical thinking.

The discussion also touches upon practical strategies for book selection, such as book tasting sessions, where students sample excerpts from different books to find ones that resonate with them. Additionally, the importance of maintaining reading journals and reading calendars to track progress, set goals, and reflect on reading experiences is underscored.

The podcast concludes by highlighting the power of read-aloud sessions and the value of poetry in supporting struggling readers. By providing opportunities for repeated readings and exposure to rich language structures, educators can help students develop their reading skills and foster a love for literature.

Overall, the episode serves as a comprehensive guide for educators seeking effective strategies to support struggling readers and promote literacy development in Years 3 to 6. Through thoughtful book selection, ongoing assessment, and targeted instruction, educators can empower all students to become confident and proficient readers.







Tune in to "Teacher's Tool Kit For Literacy," a free podcast where accomplished literacy educator Sharon Callen and her team share valuable insights and tips. With over 30 years of experience, they provide strategic learning solutions to empower teachers and leaders worldwide.  Subscribe on your favourite platform for exclusive literacy learning content.  AppleSpotify,  GoogleYouTube

Have questions or feedback? Reach out to us directly at