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Reading Tools and Strategies (Tier 1)

The following lists of reading tools and strategies are important initial steps to consider when determining what types of assistive technology have been or need to be trialed or implemented to support your struggling student. These may be readily available in the classroom or on the web. Remember to consider the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines as you implement changes to support students.

  • Picture supports
  • Word wall/word magnets/wordle
  • Post-it/flag arrow
  • Font size/type changes
  • Correction/cover-up tape
  • Highlighters
  • Highlighting tape
  • Colored overlays
  • Bookmarks/Reading Guides
  • Pocket or Page Magnifier
  • Free text readers (e.g. Word Talk, Natural Reader, Read and Write for Google)

  • Teacher-created graphic organizers
  • Picture graphic and symbol supports
  • Dictionary/thesaurus in word processing software (e.g. Microsoft Word)
  • Auto-summarize in word processing program (e.g. Microsoft Word)
  • Colored highlighter pens, colored dots, post-it notes
  • Online dictionaries
  • Text compactor
  • Newsela
  • Online story book readers: Tarheel Reader, Starfall, Storynory, CAST UDL Book Builder

  • Reduce distractions by presenting fewer words on a page 
  • Increase space between words/lines
  • Color code words in text
  • Use tools to modify the visual presentation of text (e.g. font size/type, highlighters, color-coding dots, highlighting tape, colored overlays, etc.)
  • Review UDL Guidelines
  • Use prepared graphic organizers to aid comprehension
  • Present fewer words on a page 
  • Use Microsoft Word Statistics to measure text reading level 
  • Use Microsoft Word AutoSummarize or Text Compactor to reduce the complexity of text and summarize meaning.
  • Reduce length of reading assignment
  • Use highlighters, color-coding dots, and post-its to identify the main idea, supporting details, and other key words or ideas.
  • Provide descriptions for all graphics
  • Partner reads text out loud

Subpages (1): Newsela