Monday, April 9, 2012

Beginning Reading Skills

Teachers Pay Teachers: Tessa's Store

Students recognize letters and letter sounds. But, how do you get them to become readers? What concepts need teaching in order for them to grow into engaged, thoughtful readers? There is no “easy” button for learning to read, but there are strategies that can make reading easier.

These strategies are best taught as explicit, think-aloud, mini-lessons during shared reading. Then, students apply the strategies with assistance and support during guided reading. Each strategy has its own animal-themed name, which is used for reference. Of course, each can be used without the animal names, as well. Matching Beanie Babies can be located to help teach the skills.

1. Lips the Fish (Get your lips ready): Say the first few sounds of the word. Read to the end of the sentence and say the sounds again.

2. Eagle Eye (Look at the pictures): Look at the picture for clues to what the word means.

3. Stretchy Snake (Stretch it out): Stretch the word out slowly. Put the sounds together.

4. Chunky Monkey (Chunk the word): Look for a chunk or word part you know.

5 . Skippy Frog (Skip it, skip it): Skip the word. Read to the end of the sentence. Hop back and read it again.

6. Tryin’ Lion (Try it again): Try to reread the whole sentence again. Try a word that makes sense.

7. Helpful Kangaroo (Ask for help): After all other strategies are used, ask for help.

It is helpful to record ongoing observations on how students are doing with their strategy use. This helps uncover which strategies need to be retaught to small groups or to whole classes. Also, it gives students continued reinforcement on certain concepts. Use the Guided Reading Recorded Notes form to help keep track of important information. It can be used to record strategies used with particular books, take notes of observations of students, and to keep track of their skill levels.

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