Middle School Reading

Welcome to Middle School Reading!

Stack of books

Middle school is the time a student develops sophisticated reading skills that allow him or her to analyze literature and master the content of all the curriculum —ELA,  social studies, science, and math. It is the time when students transition from learning to read to reading to learn.  During this important time, reading becomes a powerful tool to find information, make sense of complex material, and find enjoyment in literature and popular media. Middle-school instruction focuses on the refining and strengthening of existing skills. Key components in of reading in an ELA class include:

  • Strategic reading: Students will learn how and when to skim and when to read and study thoroughly. Reading with a purpose, annotating, and rereading for understanding are important strategic skills.  

  • Comprehension: Determining the deeper meaning of a text will strengthen understanding. Students will connect new information to other knowledge and personal experience, draw conclusions, and critically evaluate a text  to understand what they are reading.

  • Vocabulary: Learning vocabulary is more than memorizing definitions in a content area.  It is using new words correctly in writing, speaking, and reading and breaking words apart using knowledge of prefixes, suffixes, and base words to expand vocabulary.

  • Speed: Reading at a conversational pace and with accuracy is necessary for a student to comprehend what they read and for them to complete homework in a reasonable amount of time. To build speed and accuracy, a child needs to read text at a level that is not challenging for him or her to comprehend.

  • Writing skills: Written responses to reading can greatly enhance comprehension. Comprehension improves when students practice answering specific questions, researching new topics, and provide supporting text evidence for their opinions and conclusions.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the STAR assessment?

At CGBMS, we use a universal screening assessment called STAR.  Universal screening is conducted to identify or predict students who may struggle with reading or math skills. It is a brief assessment, conducted with all students at a grade level, and followed by additional testing if needed.

What does the term Lexile mean?

When students take the STAR Assessment they are given a Lexile level.  The term Lexile refers to a scientific approach to measuring both reading ability and the text complexity of reading materials on the same developmental scale.  When a student‘s lexile level is determined by  STAR, it is referring to his or her reading ability level.  A teacher at CGBMS might use a Lexile score to help a student choose a book at level that aligns to his or her reading ability or Lexile.


What is meant by Response to Intervention or RTI?

According to the RTI action network, RTI is described as,

“a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning needs. The RTI process begins with high-quality instruction and universal screening. Struggling learners are provided with interventions (additional instruction targeting a deficient skill) at increasing levels of intensity to accelerate a student’s rate of learning. Progress is closely monitored to assess an individual student’s growth and educational decisions about the intensity and duration of interventions are based on individual student response to the additional instruction.”

What types of interventions could a student need in the area of reading?

  • Phonemic awareness and the teaching of phonics

  • Decoding and word studies, including the learning of a sight vocabulary

  • Language development, to include vocabulary development

  • The explicit teaching of comprehension strategies

  • The development of fluent reading by reading and rereading familiar texts



Please feel free to contact me before or after school by phone or email if you have any questions.


Mary Anderson, Middle School Reading Specialist

920-668-8518 ext. 263