The month of February has been all about sharing some Reading Strategies for you to try with your little readers. I've done a series of scopes on this topic...so be sure and catch up on those, if you missed them.
Now for a recap - just in case you need a refresher!
READING STRATEGY #1 - LOOK AT THE PICTURES
If your young reader gets stuck on a tricky word, the first strategy you should suggest is "look at the pictures". If they read "bug" but the word is "beetle" in the text, then allow them to study the pictures and use their background knowledge on what they already know about beetles. If looking at the pictures just doesn't work, then try...
READING STRATEGY #2 - Get your Mouth Ready
...which might not work well if the tricky word is "beetle" and your reader reads "bug". When you ask your reader to use the "get your mouth ready" strategy, you want them to say the beginning sound of that tricky word.
For example, if the text says, "She skipped down the sidewalk" and your reader says "She ran down the sidewalk"."
You might simply point to the word "skipped" and say "can you get your mouth ready and let's also look at the picture." Fingers crossed that using just these 2 strategies, your little reader will be able to decode the word, "skipped", and move on.
READING STRATEGY #3 - Does that Make Sense?
This is a powerful strategy! And if your little readers can start using this during their decoding struggles, they are well on their way to becoming star readers.
It's simple - if the word they read simply doesn't make sense...ask them! "Did that word make sense?" Sometimes I even repeat what they read so they can hear it again!
For example, if the text says "The rocket boosters are carrying the shuttle into space." and your reader says, "The rocket boosters are crying the shuttle into space." - STOP, check the pictures (no rocket boosters crying in this picture), and ask them..."did that make sense?"
Once this strategy becomes automatic, you'll start seeing some amazing things happen in your child's reading ability.
Making meaning or "sense" of the text is the ultimate goal for any reader. Now do you see the power behind Reading Strategy #3!?
Practice really does make perfect in the world of reading! Having your child read out loud to you while you coach them on these first 3 strategies can really make a big difference. Once you've noticed they are comfortable and automatically use Reading Strategy #1, then introduce Reading Strategy #2 to them.
Keep in mind that your job is to be their "Reading Coach"! Use positive words, cheer them on and don't drag out reading instruction until it becomes frustrating and unenjoyable for you and your little reader! If they are struggling with word after word, that book is TOO HARD! Put it away, take a break and pick a different book that is "just right" for your little reader.
Hope this inspires and helps YOU gain some confidence to teach your child to read!
BONUS: Here's the last scope, that goes more in depth with this strategy!