What is a “Reading Intensive”?
A Reading Intensive is a short period of time where students are exposed to specific information intensively and in various formats that target specific skill sets in the reading/spelling domain. Reading Intensives are good for students that struggle in sounding out a word, reading fluently, or understanding the words they just read. Reading intensives instruct students in sound to symbol association for all phonemes (units of sound) at the student’s specific level to improve spelling, reading and writing.
Why should my child participate in a Reading Intensive?
Students that struggle with reading know they struggle and most likely hate reading and anything that has to do with it (therefore, school). When school is in session students that struggle with reading are more anxious because they know they are going to be asked to perform in an area that is hard for them. Reading intensives are offered when school is not in session so that students are less anxious and are able to receive and process the new information without the stress of school.
Shouldn’t we give them a break from reading when they aren’t in school?
There are different perspectives on this topic. I believe it is important to capitalize on their “non-stressed” time and try to give them the opportunity to learn when they aren’t in school and then rest their brain for the remainder of the day.
Others feel that since students are stressed out about going to school then when they don’t have school, they should relax and not introduce the stress of reading instruction. I believe that it is our responsibility to teach our children how to manage stress and relaxation which means that yes, sometimes, teaching them to avoid the things that are stressful or anxiety producing is prudent. At other times, not so prudent, simply because there are some things in life that cannot be avoided and they must learn how to cope with those situations. Introducing this type of stress early in their educational career will save much more stress and anxiety later in life/education because they will begin to get the skills they need to be successful in reading.