How to Support Advanced and Proficient Readers

Reading Plus

Strong readers in general education or gifted programs need personalized instruction that rises to their level and challenges them to reach their full academic potential. Especially during remote instruction, proficient and advanced readers need to be appropriately challenged with rigorous content and tasks that build critical thinking skills.

Proficient and advanced readers need instruction that matches their individual learning abilities, prepares them for success in college and career, and sustains their interest and motivation.

Accurate Assessment Data

The first step in determining the best support for a proficient reader is an accurate assessment. Without testing results from spring 2020, many educators lack recent, accurate data on their students’ reading skills. Administer an online reading assessment to quickly and effectively ensure your advanced readers are receiving instruction at the appropriate level.

Independent, Personalized Practice and Adaptive Instruction

Online instructional programs can be beneficial for gifted students who continually request more challenging content from their teachers. A program that dynamically adapts to a student’s performance will help a proficient reader succeed and continue to be challenged. For example, Reading Plus automatically increases comprehension-based reading rates and readability levels as students accomplish their goals, continually raising the bar on achievements.

Reading and Writing Connection

Students who can comprehend grade-level texts are well suited to focus on expanding their writing skills. Writing prompts help students learn to integrate information from texts with their experiences to construct critical and thoughtful responses to text-dependent questions. Additionally, students should be able to respond to writing prompts for books of their own choosing to encourage independence.

Engaging Content

Engaging texts inspire students to read more. All students—including proficient and advanced readers—deserve interesting texts, from authentic documents to classic literature, to contemporary fiction and real-life stories. Students reading at grade level can expand the types of texts they read to enhance their knowledge in multiple content areas.

Reading Plus offers over 2,500 engaging and rigorously crafted complex texts with Lexile® ranges appropriate for students reading on all levels through college.

Support for Inefficient Readers

30% of proficient readers are challenged by inefficient reading—they struggle to move their eyes smoothly and comfortably over lines of texts at an appropriate rate. How do these students manage to score as proficient readers? These are students who probably have a lot of grit, a will to do well, and strong background knowledge; however, they are not set up to be lifelong readers who enjoy reading.

It is essential to build students’ efficiency with silent reading. Research shows that by building efficiency, students gain a deeper comprehension of text as well as increased enjoyment of reading. Once students learn how to read, they still need to develop efficient reading habits that will prepare them for higher volumes of coursework in the future, more complex text, and lifelong learning.

College and Career Readiness and High-Stakes Test Prep

All students should be prepared for life after school, whether they enter the workforce or continue education in college. It is vital for students to be adequately prepared for not just these paths, but the high-stakes tests at the high school level, such as the ACT and SAT.

A reading program must include practice with question formats that match those used in high-stakes tests, such as drag-and-drop, select a sentence, and choosing multiple answers. Familiarity with these question types will aid students in building confidence before taking any assessments.

Project-based learning and tasks that prompt students to refer to their real-life experience help to build practical skills for the workplace or college. Social and emotional learning (SEL) tasks prepare them for building interpersonal relationships.

Teacher Visibility and Communication

When gifted students are completing work independently, teachers need visibility into their progress and completed work. Robust reporting tools help teachers determine if students are completing all assignments, progressing slowly, or need to be challenged more. A clear understanding of student data and performance is especially critical when students are learning from home.

Most importantly, teachers should encourage open communication so students feel free to share if something isn’t working. Are they being challenged enough? Too much? Collaboration and communication are essential components of any instruction, particularly for high-achieving students.

Literacy Solution for Advanced and Proficient Readers

We found that Reading Plus improved the reading fluency not only of struggling readers, but of our top readers who thought they couldn’t get any better. We’ve seen two, three, four grade levels of improvement for most of our students. The reading fluency of our top readers, which through the testing wasn’t as high as it could be, just zoomed in Reading Plus.”

 – Principal, Santa Barbara, CA

Want to learn more?

Reading Plus is designed to complement core curriculum by building general academic vocabulary and improving capacity and motivation to engage with and comprehend texts of greater complexity. The program provides proficient readers with the opportunity to continue building their knowledge, skills, and motivation. Visit or click the link below to learn more.