Helping Struggling Learners Feel Successful in Your Classroom

how to compensate for varied reading levels in your classroom


Have you ever felt that you had the perfect lesson set up and ready to go until you realized that it would be difficult for the struggling readers in your classroom?

       Unfortunately, as students age, the reading discrepancy in the classroom grows. Some students may have additional reading services to compensate for this, but it can still be problematic when trying to engage students in whole class lessons in the classroom.

       Thankfully, today there is technology in place to help both the teacher and the student. Read and Write for Google Chrome is a FREE extension that can be added to any computer or Chromebook that will allow students to be able to take part in the same lessons as their peers despite their reading level. 

What is Read and Write for Google Chrome?

Read and Write for Google Chrome is an extension that provides comprehensive reading and writing supports for Google Docs and the web as well as PDFs stored in Google Drive.

       There are two versions of this program, free and paid, but students can get so much use out of the free program that I would encourage you to use it with them right away.

How to Install Read and Write.

        1. Open Google Chrome and navigate to the Chrome Web Store.
        2. Enter "read and write" in the search box in the top left corner of the page.
        3. Locate “Read & Write for Google Chrome” under extensions, then select the Add to Chrome button.
        4. Select the Add extension button in the pop-up window near the Chrome address bar.
        5.  Click on the Read&Write icon (a purple puzzle piece) in the top right corner of Chrome.

        6.  After being prompted to sign in to your Google account, select the Allow button.

Using Read and Write for Google:

Google chrome toolbar to access reading software

     At the top of your screen, you will now see the toolbar. Depending on which version you are using will determine which buttons you can access. Here is a handy guide which will walk you through all of the icons on the toolbar

Who is Read and Write for Google good for?

       I have used this extension with special education students who have difficulty reading aloud text but otherwise have typical levels of comprehension. This extension allows students who cannot decode text to be able to hear what the text says. Often this is a hurdle they cannot overcome to complete their work. Students who may seem to dislike school, have low test scores, etc. may find this program beneficial for them to use.

low decoding skills, struggles with fluency, slow reading rates


       In addition to reading text to them, students can use voice to text to allow Google to type for them. This part of the program is wonderful for reluctant writers. You may have students who have so much to say but then when it comes to writing, they do not want to put that pen to paper. This program allows them to get their thoughts on paper without having to physically go through the laborious act of writing. 

What can I use Read and Write with?

       This program works with almost anything on the computer. It can read aloud an entire website, Google Doc or a PDF. Students can highlight a smaller portion of the text to hear a little bit at a time and have it repeat as many times as necessary.

Is Read and Write a good option for you? Check it out and let me know in the comments below. 

Getting all kids to read in your classroom




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