The article I linked to entitled Improving the Reading Rate of
Low Performers and is loaded with insights regarding the teaching of lower performers.
The frustration of slow readers
Trying to improve the reading rate of very low performers can be a frustrating experience for both learner and teacher. The learner typically knows that the goal is to read faster, without making a flurry of mistakes, and the learner tries, but the added effort most frequently leads to word guessing, word skipping, word stuttering, and to greatly increased physical signs of high energy, such as clenching their fists, taking deep breaths, and even sweating. The student knows how to try hard physically and thatʼs what he does. But it doesnʼt work for reading faster.
What Teachers Observe
The teacher may also notice that the studentʼs performance is not predictable from one day to the next. The typical pattern is for the learner to perform “better” on one day, and be very happy with his performance and the praise the teacher issues, but almost certainly, he reverts to his old habits on the next day and does poorly.
The teacher often concludes from observations that whatever it is that causes improvement is there one day and gone the next. The bottom-line conclusion is that something is wrong with the learnerʼs learning mechanisms.
This conclusion is thoughtful and comes after the teacher has tried
different approaches for improving rate-accuracy.
The Basic Rule
Teachers need an approach that permits students to show them through their reading behavior how much and how fast they can improve. The basic rule is that if students are properly motivated to read faster and donʼt, the reason is they canʼt.
Students Respond Logically
We donʼt want the task of learning to read a little faster to become an effort like Sisyphus trying to roll the rock out of the pit but never succeeding. This step is built around the fact that students respond to data. They are realistic. They know when they are failing and when they are progressing. If they receive good evidence they are doing well, and meeting reasonable expectations, they will keep trying and persist when they regress or when the material they read becomes a little more difficult.
If they canʼt see evidence of progress, they will tend to draw a conclusion we donʼt want them to draw—“I am a failure; I canʼt do it.”
The article describes the new program in detail and can be used by classroom teachers now, so there's no need to wait to use it.