Scaffolding in teaching students to read makes perfect sense; children understand word-to-word reading, and then, as they recognize more and more high-fluency words, then begin to use syllabic and morphemic analysis of unfamiliar words. This poses one question: does the lack of reading comprehension in my classroom result from not enough reading in earlier grades, as Tompkins submits? Indeed, “children become fluent readers through a combination of instruction and lots of reading experience,” (p.188) so where is the disconnect that happens in low-fluency readers like the ones that make up half of my at-risk class? Evidence shows that support from home greatly influences a student’s ability to read fluently, but how do we as teachers compensate for homes that do not spend time on this crucial step? Motivating a student to read, too, is another factor; we can pick out all of the exciting books, but the students have to have home support to really keep them motivated outside the classroom, don’t they?
As for some of the low-fluency students in my classroom, I feel that it would be worthwhile to take them aside and really work on word recognition (introducing words in context, having children chant and clap words, having children practice reading and writing particular words) and would greatly increase their confidence and ability to read aloud in class.