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Socioeconomic Status (SES) refers to a combination of factors, including education and income of a family compared to other families. Students raised in socioeconomically advantaged homes can have significant advantages in learning to read, particularly in experience with oral language and early reading skills. Providing extra supports and resources can help create an equal foundation for all students.
According to the National Center for Childhood Poverty, 21% of children in the United States live in families with incomes that are classified as below the federal poverty threshold. Furthermore, 43% of children live in low-income families where they have difficulty covering basic expenses, such as housing and food. Two additional issues arise from living in a low-income family:
The trauma of economic hardship and lack of resources at home and in the community can have long-term effects on academic achievement as students advance into the upper elementary grades and beyond. Research has shown that this trauma puts students at risk for developing weaker literacy skills in lower elementary grades compared to their peers living in middle or high SES homes.
Teachers can support language development by using and providing syntax that is appropriately leveled (e.g.
Teachers support language development by using and providing Vocabulary that is appropriately leveled (e.g., using word wall words).
Advance graphic organizers link prior knowledge to upcoming learning to help students anticipate and understand the structure of new information.
Audiobooks allow students to hear fluent reading and to experience books above their reading skills.
Content that is provided in clear, short chunks can support students' Working Memory.
Building positive and trusting relationships with learners allows them to feel safe; a sense of belonging; and that their academic, cognitive, and social and emotional needs are supported.
Easy access to common words promotes sight word recognition as students see the words repeatedly.
Students activate more cognitive processes by exploring and representing their understandings in visual form.
Daily review strengthens previous learning and can lead to fluent recall.
With this interactive technique, teachers help students become storytellers by listening and questioning.
Dictionaries and thesauruses can serve as resources for students to expand their Vocabulary knowledge.
When teachers provide explicit instruction in comprehension strategies and model when to use them, students learn how to flexibly apply them to make meaning of texts.
Seeing and using new words repeatedly and in many contexts is critical for Vocabulary acquisition.
Overtly encouraging all students to seek support and ask questions creates a safe space for risk-taking and skill development.
Students are more likely to come to school when families feel like a valued part of the community.
Visiting places connected to classroom learning provides opportunities to deepen understanding through firsthand experiences.
Free play supports learner interests and allows more complex social interactions to develop.
As students walk through stations working in small groups, the social and physical nature of the learning supports deeper understanding.
Games help students visualize how to connect one fact to another.
Adding motions to complement learning activates more cognitive processes for recall and understanding.
Setting overall goals, as well as smaller goals as steps to reaching them, encourages consistent, achievable progress and helps students feel confident in their skills and abilities.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthen recall.
In guided inquiry, teachers help students use their own language for constructing knowledge by active listening and questioning.
Spending time with new content helps move concepts and ideas into Long-term Memory.
Independent reading promotes reading development by emphasizing student choice with teacher support in selecting books, as well as by making time for free reading.
Practicing until achieving several error-free attempts is critical for retention.
Having space where students can go supports Self-regulation and individual deliberate practice.
As students work with and process information by discussing, organizing, and sharing it together, they deepen their understanding.
Rhyming, alliteration, and other sound devices reinforce language development by activating the mental processes that promote memory.
Literacy centers with reading games, manipulatives, and activities support learner interests and promote the development of more complex reading skills and social interactions.
Providing physical representations of concepts helps activate mental processes.
Through short but regular mindfulness activities, students develop their awareness and ability to focus.
Creating patterns for remembering classroom processes, narrative structures, etc.
Multiple tables and chairs on wheels allow for setting up the classroom to support the desired learning outcomes of each classroom activity.
By talking through their thinking at each step of a process, teachers can model what learning looks like.
Teachers sharing text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections models this schema building.
Brain breaks that include movement allow learners to refresh their thinking and focus on learning new information.
Instruction in multiple formats allows students to activate different cognitive skills to understand and remember the steps they are to take in their reading work.
Multiple display spaces promote collaboration by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.
Multiple writing surfaces promote collaboration by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.
Connecting information to music and dance moves enhances Short-term and Long-term Memory by drawing on auditory processes and the cognitive benefits of physical activity.
A parent evening meeting about how to support literacy at home with one follow-up meeting with each family has shown strong results for students' reading development.
Reading aloud allows students to hear and practice reading and fluency skills.
Students with low early literacy skills benefit from a focus on phonics and Phonological Awareness.
Research shows physical activity improves focus and creativity.
Visuals help students recognize relationships within words and sentences to develop reading skills.
Talking with students about what they know about the topic of upcoming work helps activate their Background Knowledge or reveals gaps.
Maintaining consistent classroom routines and schedules ensures that students are able to trust and predict what will happen next.
Pretending allows students to step back from a problem or task and think about it from multiple angles.
Decreasing extra audio input provides a focused learning environment.
Reading aloud regularly exposes students to new and familiar vocabulary and texts.
Reading aloud books about skills children are learning provides another model for their development.
When students explain to others, they deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning.
Providing space and time for students to reflect is critical for moving what they have learned into Long-term Memory.
Students build their confidence and skills by reading and rereading books.
Books for vision differences support reading development for learners with visual needs.
Books of varying complexity and reading levels are necessary for all students to experience reading success.
Multicultural and diverse books are critical for supporting all students.
With rhyming and creative word use, poetry is a genre that supports the development of early literacy skills in particular.
Students who have had little exposure to the school's language can benefit from having books in their Primary Language in their classroom.
Books with SEL topics, such as developing friendships and identifying emotions, help teach these skills.
Incorporating multiple senses with strategies like chewing gum, using a vibrating pen, and sitting on a ball chair supports focus and Attention.
Providing ways for students to adjust sound level supports individual auditory needs.
Using earplugs or headphones can increase focus and comfort.
Providing a story map ahead of time or having students create a map during or after reading helps learners understand and practice narrative skills.
Providing students a voice in their learning is critical for making learning meaningful.
Providing ways for students to meet their individual temperature needs supports focus and Self-Regulation.
Transforming written text into audio activates different parts of the brain to support learning.
When students explain their thinking process aloud, they recognize the strategies they use and solidify their understanding.
Students develop reading skills by listening to and speaking with others in informal ways.
Timers help students learn to self-pace and transition.
Tossing a ball, beanbag, or other small object activates physical focus in support of mental focus.
Spaces that are structured, organized, and clean provide increased room for collaboration and active learning.
Having students verbally repeat information such as instructions ensures they have heard and supports remembering.
Providing visuals to introduce, support, or review instruction activates more cognitive processes to support learning.
Visual supports, like text magnification, colored overlays, and guided reading strips, help students focus and properly track as they read.
Wait time, or think time, of three or more seconds after posing a question increases how many students volunteer and the length and accuracy of their responses.
Web-based dictionaries and thesauruses can serve as visual and audio resources for students to expand their Vocabulary knowledge.
Students with strong early literacy skills benefit from a literacy-rich approach.
Word sorts are multisensory activities that help learners identify patterns and group words based on different categories.
A word wall helps build Vocabulary for reading fluidity.
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