Reading Strategies

Reading Strategies

 Please encourage your child to use these strategies when reading at home!


Look at the Picture 

Readers use the pictures and ask “Do the words and picture match?”.Pictures help to confirm that the words being read make sense. Illustrations can provide hints to help students decode a word. Using the pictures is a necessary strategy to help children prepare for other strategies they use as they become more developed readers.

When reading with/to your child, take a moment to look at and discuss what is happening in the pictures on each page prior to reading the words on the page.  This supports the idea that pictures can help tell the story.


 Get Your Mouth Ready 

Good readers use appropriate strategies of decoding to recognize unknown words when reading.  You can help your child when they come to an unknown word by reminding them to “Get your mouth
 ready.”  If they forget what that means, use the following prompts when they come to a word that is unknown:

  • Look at the beginning letter.  “What sound does that letter make?”
  • Say the sound of the first letter   (bug= bug)
  • Then look at the picture & think "What would make sense?" (Many times the unknown word will pop into their head.)

**Remember to ask your child, “Does that word make sense in the sentence?”  

 s a t  Say the Sounds.  Read the Word.

Never use this strategy first!  Readers need to focus on meaning first!

To use this strategy, readers start with the first letter, and say each letter-sound out loud.  Then, blend the sounds together and try to say the word.   (hot=  h-o-t)
Always ask, "Does the word make sense in the sentence?"

Look for a Part or a Chunk in the Word

This strategy involves your child breaking words into manageable ‘chunks’ , rather than sounding out each individual letter.
Have your child look at the word to find letters combinations that they know. Once they have found one (or more), encourage the use of fingers to isolate the ‘chunks’.

For example in the word ‘small’, your child should be able to recognize the blend ‘sm-‘and identify its corresponding sound; ‘-all’ is the next chunk that can be used to help us solve the word: ‘sm-all’,‘small’

At times, all readers lose concentration; therefore, they are unable to retain the meaning of the story.  A good strategy to try is ...
Go back and reread the sentence. Then ask yourself, "What would make sense?"

Read on, and then Come Back

When children come to an unknown word, sometimes they just stop and can not move forward.  At this point, a good strategy to try is "Read on, and then come back.  The reader should skip the unknown word, and read to the end of the sentence.  Then, the reader should back up and read the sentence again,using the first letter or letters of the skipped word and their context clues to decode theunknown word.  The reader should ask, "What would make sense and look like that?"


X Cross Checking

Good Readers always ask themselves:

Does it look right?
Does it sound right?
Does it make sense?

Cross checking is a strategy for helping children think while they read.  When they get to the end of a sentence, stop and cross check: Does it look right? (Does the word you are reading match the picture or letters written? ),  Does it sound right?, and  Does it make sense?.  Kids should be aware of mistakes when they are reading.  Then, they need to go back and use fix-up strategies.