How to use Reading Mentors to support your Literacy Program

Every good Literacy Program should be backed up by Reading Mentors. The aim of Reading Mentors is to support students in their literacy journey. It is natural for students to become distracted, stressed out, or unmotivated as they do something for the first time. In the early stages of your Literacy Program, it is important to have Reading Mentors – teacher support – who are able to reflect, question, and monitor the students’ progress.

Canada Royal Arts High School has been implementing it’s first Literacy Program the last few weeks. Our school has been working hard to create it’s own library and get students excited through the Reading Cafe. To support the progress of our program, as well as to motivate students to succeed, we have designated each teacher to have students that they will guide.

How to use Reading Mentors to support your Literacy Program:

  1. Survey the Students. Let the students voice their own opinion and choose a few teacher mentors that they would be comfortable with. Later, assign a teacher mentor to the student that you believe would be most appropriate.
  2. Check in with the Student. The teacher mentor should check in with the student at least once a week for a short reading session. The mentor will read a passage with the student out loud, ask them to summarize what they have read, go through unknown vocabulary, and answer any questions the students might have.
  3. Provide Supplies. Each student should have a small pack of slim sticky notes that they keep in their books. The sticky notes are used for students to mark unfamiliar vocabulary and other interesting passages. It is a good way for the teacher mentor to see that the student has been reading.
  4. Encourage the Student. Teacher mentors can encourage the student by providing them with rewards when they finish their books.
  5. Review the Book. When the student has finished reading the book, they will take a big sticky note and write a short ‘review’ or opinion on the sticky note for the next reader to see.

Note: Make sure that the level of the book is appropriate for the student. Use the ‘5-Finger Rule’ when deciding what book to read.

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