Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Going Beyond "Sound It OUT!" - 2 simple strategies to start using NOW!

As a First Grade teacher and a Reading Coach, I learned more teaching my students to read than I could have EVER imagined!  They taught me that reading is very strategic, like a game of chess!  You might try this one, seeing if it worked and it it doesn't you have to try another.  And this is all to gain meaning of the text!  That's a lot to ask a young reader.

 Well now, my own homeschooled kiddos are showing me that they learn to read just like my students.  Early Reading takes practice, strategy and commitment!  And reading goes beyond that one strategy parents always fall back on...

"Just Sound It Out!"

If you caught my "Tips from a Teacher" Tuesday Periscope, last week I introduced the first Reading Strategy to start with your little reader.  Maybe you missed it?  Here's the link to get you caught up: 

Take a Picture Walk!

This is one of the BEST ways to warm up your reader's brain!  And it's just like I had mention in the scope, "walk your reader through the pictures in the book" will allow YOU to add a small amount of pre-reading support.  Ask open-ended questions about the pictures.  Point out "tricky words" that YOU see in the text and show your reading in the pictures. This short introduction gives your reader a chance to preview the book and predict (based on pictures) what they are about to read.  Remember to keep your picture walk short and sweet!  Don't wear them out before they start reading!!!

Don't you do the same when you are browsing books at the library?  You don't just start reading the book or magazine, do you?  You pick up your selections, flip through the pages, preview the pictures (if there are any) and/or read the blurb on the back.

We need to give our young readers the chance to do and practice these same reading behaviors.

Reading Strategy #1 - Look at the pictures

If your young reader gets stuck on a tricky word, the first strategy they should suggests is "look at the pictures". 

For example:
"That tricky word starts with a /m/ sound.  Do you see anything in the pictures that has that sound?"
"You said ____.  That doesn't match what I see in the picture.  Do you see anything that might make sense in this sentence?"

Young readers NEED good books that provide lots of picture support for this reason!  So make sure that your instructional books have just that, so that they will become confident using this simple strategy.  

To help you along, use this FREE Printable!  Post it in your school area or next to your cozy reading spot as a reminder of what a good reader does!

Look at the Picture Reading Strategy Printable

Join me on Periscope every Tuesday for LIVE broadcasts of this Reading Strategy Series!  And if you miss it - no worries - I will have a new blog post with the replay and another printable,  just for you and your little learners.

Happy Learning (and Reading) with your Little Ones!


  1. Can I have a printable of all of the strategies like the one that you use in your periscopes? I want to print it out and laminate it for my five year old. I love this! I'm looking forward to next week to see your two year old reading.

    1. Victoria - I will be finishing up this series of scopes within the next few weeks. At the end, I will have the complete printable on my blog for you to print for FREE! But if you just can't wait that long...email me at mommyslittlelearners@gmail.com and I'll send it to you early, just because I like ya! Hugs and high-fives.


Education.com - a Mommy Must Check Out!

While doing some late, night planning, I came across an excellent resource!  This website has everything from Phonemic Awareness games to...