Strategies to Improve Student Literacy

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Abstract

In this research, we will analyze the causes that affect literacy in students of poverty and the best strategies to improve it. If teachers want to address the needs of this group of students and lessen the educational gap, it is imperative to consider their social and economic circumstances outside the school. In addition, we suggest strategies for teachers to support these students in the classroom. This project research used studies as reference for information such as journal articles, blogs, and website articles.

Introduction

Schools across America have the responsibility of educating millions of students of social classes and economic conditions. The achievement gap between children that comes from poverty homes represents a great challenge in our educational system. Lacour and Tissington (2011) define poverty as the extent to which an individual does without resources. Teachers need to understand how poverty impacts students’ literacy and that poverty in itself is not the cause of low achievement, but the lack of resources to fulfill basic needs. Students from low-income homes come to school lacking some basic skills and with different experiences than those from middle and high class. This project researches the reasons that affect the literacy of students in poverty and suggests strategies to help these students improve literacy.

Stress Factor

Students that come from low-income homes don’t have much consistency in their lives (Kieffer, C. 2013). From not knowing who will pick them up at the end of the school day to moving to a new home two or even three times in a year, are factors that cause fear and anxiety. Other factors that contribute to stress are lack of food, overcrowding, or utility disconnection(Woolfolk, A. 2016). Children need consistency in their lives to feel safe and secure. The brain of students that experience high levels of stress does not look or behave the same as brains who don’t (Levy, L. 2014). The difference was found in areas of the brain that are in charge of paying attention, listening, learning on demand, spatial skills, memory, organizing thoughts to formulate written language, and thinking about what someone is saying(Vasconcelos, k. 2017).

Students from poverty homes have different experiences than students from a different social class. They don’t have the same opportunities to go to a museum, travel to other cities and countries, go to movie theaters or cultural activities; therefore, their vocabulary will be limited which in turn will make reading and reading comprehension difficult.

Prenatal care and Early stimulus

Many cognitive and learning problems are due to inadequate prenatal care,

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