How NOT to Teach Reading: Try Again

I Guess Not!

Part Twelve of a 12-part video series showing the flaws of common word reading strategies taught in schools– Moral: Do not teach struggling readers to guess!


The Try Again Strategy (or Tryin’ Lion)

This is a strategy that counsels the student to keep trying. Of course, trying again after a failure is an essential part of honing any skill, but in the absence of explicit instruction, telling a reader to “keep trying” is just frustrating and can provoke anxiety.

Structured Literacy offers us a powerful, explicit, systematic, direct instruction framework for understanding the structure of written English. The reader is encouraged to practice because practice can be accomplished with a high level of accuracy and has a clear payoff.  It feels good. It improves the reader’s word mindfulness.

Watch the video below to see an example of how this strategy is taught and see a better way to help your struggling reader. 

How you can help your struggling reader

We want to give struggling readers specific, explicit, and systematic instruction so that they feel they can tackle unknown words. This is exactly how the Lexercise structured literacy approach works. Connect with one of our certified, structured literacy therapists here.

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Jennifer Salisbury

In 2004, Jennifer joined Teach for America as a special educator where she taught kindergarten through fifth grade. Her passion for reading instruction led her to be trained in a program based on the Orton-Gillingham method. After achieving significant results with her students, she began conducting trainings to help strengthen other teachers’ reading instruction. “My motivation as a teacher is to share my love of learning, and my gift has been working with struggling readers. There is no better feeling than to help someone become a strong reader and independent learner.” Jennifer earned a B.A. in Global studies University of California Santa Barbara and M.S. in Special Education from Lehman College.