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Essential Reading Strategies

  • Strategy 1

Detecting and Correcting Errors /

Monitoring for Understanding

GOAL:  To know when you’re right, to know when you’re wrong, to know when you don’t know, to know how to fix it.

WHY?:  To make sense of the reading.

Today I will:

  • Use fix up strategies to correct errors  (sound it out, look for chunks, skip it/read on/go back)
  • Pause, reread, read on, think about what I know
  • Ask myself does it sound right?  Does it look right?  Does it make sense?
  • Talk about where an error was and how I fixed it 

Teacher prompts:

  • Something wasn’t quite right.  Can you find your error?  
  • What do you know that might help?
  • I noticed that you were looking at the picture to help you read that word.  Good job!
  • You looked carefully at the word while you pointed to be sure your voice matched!  Good for you!
  • How did you know that word was_____?
  • I liked how you solved that word!
  • I noticed you stopped for a moment.  Were you thinking about the story when you fixed that part?
  • It might be that. . .if you look again and think. . .could it be anything else?
  • Try that again and think about what would make sense.
  • You said ______.  What’s wrong?
  • When ______ didn’t sound right, you went back to fix it.  Good for you!
  • That looks like the word, but does that make sense?
  • How did you figure it out?
  • What information do you remember?
  • Did the passage make sense?
  • Did a word or phrase stump you?
  • Reread that, and see if you remember more.
  • Look for a character’s name, a specific place, etc., to find what to reread.
  • Have you previewed the chapter?
  • What do you already know about this topic, author, genre?
  • You checked that your reading made sense.
  • You read the material aloud as if you understood it.
  • You checked several ways to make sure you had the right word.
  • When ______ didn’t sound right, you went back to fix it.
  • You reread that part to check that word.  Did it work?
  • I noticed you were thinking about the story as you were reading.  Good thinking!
  • Show me where you fixed that problem.
  • How did you figure it out?
  • Why did you do that?
  • You said ______.  Then you said ______.  Why?
  • How did you know what the word was?

Strategy 2

Problem Solving New Words

GOAL:   To use multiple sources of information to figure out new words; to be flexible in problem-solving.

WHY?:  To read for meaning.

Today I will:

  • Use meaning and sentence structure to anticipate new words (context clues)
  • Notice chunks, word parts (prefixes, suffixes, roots), syllables.

Teacher prompts:

  • Is there another word that might work here?
  • Look at the beginning. . .ending.
  • What do you know that might help you?
  • That was almost right.  Try that again.
  • What good reader strategy could you try here?
  • Are there any little words in this word?  (chunks)
  • What parts of the word do you know?  
  • Reread and get your mouth ready to say the word.
  • What is another word that might fit/make sense here?
  • Look at the root word/prefix/suffix.
  • Read ahead to figure out the meaning of the word.

Strategy 3

Maintaining Fluency

GOAL:  To read a text accurately, at an appropriate rate, with expression, and with full attention to meaning.

WHY?:   Reading is thinking.  If we aren’t reading fluently we are losing comprehension.

Today I will:

  • Rapidly process the words and pictures
  • Read smoothly in meaningful phrases
  • Read with expression
  • Read with pacing that sounds like talking

Teacher prompts:

  • Put the words together so it sounds like talking.
  • Did that sound like the way we talk?
  • Make your voice go down when you see the period.
  • Make your voice go up when you see the question mark.
  • Take a short breath when you see the comma.
  • Show feelings/emotions when you see the exclamation point.   Use emphasis.
  • Make it sound like the characters are talking.

Strategy 4A

Expanding Meaning By Predicting

GOAL:   To deepen understanding using comprehension strategies.

WHY?:   To get our mind ready to read, and to give us a purpose to read.

Today I will:

  • Think about the title and illustrations and make an initial prediction.  (If nonfiction, I will think about what I will learn using the table of contents.)
  • Think about the title, illustrations, and what I’ve read so far.  Has my prediction been confirmed?  Will I change my prediction?
  • I will provide evidence to support my prediction.

Teacher prompts:

  • What made you come up with that prediction?  
  • How have your ideas changed?  
  • What evidence either confirmed your prediction, or made you change your prediction?
  • What do you think might happen next?
  • What information from the text did you use to predict?
  • Can you make your predictions in a more specific way?
  • I like the way you used specific details for evidence.

Strategy 4B

Expanding Meaning By Making Connections

GOAL:   To deepen understanding using comprehension strategies.

WHY?:  Using what we already know can help us better understand.

Today I will:

  • Think about how this text is related to what I already know ~ my own life, another text, something on the news, another book by te same author. . . .
  • Think about details and the sequence of events.  I will list details and events.  I will make connections between the events.
  • Notice differences and similarities between characters using a Venn diagram.
  • Write down my own personal feelings as the character goes through events.

Teacher prompts:

  • How does the story make you feel?  
  • Have you ever had similar experiences?  
  • Does the book remind you of another book, or does a character remind you of someone in your life?
  • How are the characters, setting, and/or problems connected to your life or to other stories you’ve read?  
  • What does the story make you wonder about?  
  • What surprised you?
  • How are you like one of the characters?
  • How is the family like your family?
  • Have you read another book by this author?
  • I liked the way you connected your life to the story.

Strategy 4C

Expanding Meaning By Inferring

GOAL:   To deepen understanding using comprehension strategies.

WHY?:  Authors show ~ they don’t tell.   We have to infer to answer the questions we have that are not explicitly stated in the text.

Today I will:

  • Think about what is implied, or not directly stated
  • Use my own experiences (prior knowledge) to fully understand a character
  • Infer the meaning of unfamiliar words, setting, explanation for events, feelings, pronouns, author’s message or lesson in the text
  • Fill in these blanks:  Maybe. . ., I think. . ., It could be. . ., It’s because. . ., Perhaps. . ., It means that. . ., I’m guessing. . .

Teacher prompts:

  • What is the author’s message?  
  • What is the story really about?  
  • Do you think the title is appropriate for the story?  
  • What does the story mean to you?  
  • Why did the author write the story?   
  • When the character said “__________,” what is really meant?
  • What did you learn from the character’s words on this page?
  • What do your inner thoughts show you about the character?
  • Can you infer what the character might do based on this event?
  • Think of 3 decisions a character made and explain what the decisions taught you about the character.
  • What specific adjectives or phrases describe the character’s behavior?
  • How are these characters alike?  Different?
  • What effect resulted from that event?  Decision?  Conflict?

Strategy 4D

Expanding Meaning By Asking Questions Of Self Before and After Reading

GOAL:   To deepen understanding using comprehension strategies.

WHY?:  We ask questions to clarify, to  stay involved, to read with a purpose, and to deepen comprehension.

Today I will:

  • Ask myself who/what each paragraph was about as I read.
  • Ask questions that can be answered as I read or after I finish reading.
  • Ask questions pertaining to the title, setting, characters, problem, resolution, message.
  • Search for information in my text.
  • Adjust my reading rate to locate information by rereading confusing areas, and skimming and scanning to locate and verify answers.
  • If the text allows, underline proof of answers.

Teacher prompts:

  • Where did you find the answer to that question?  
  • Were all of your questions answered in the text, or do you still have unanswered questions?  
  • How will you get the answers?
  • What do you already know that might help you?
  • What will happen next?
  • How will the character solve his/her problem?
  • What have you learned that will help you understand a character?  Decision?  Conflict?
  • What did you learn from the picture?  Diagram?  Chart?
  • Did you read the caption?
  • I liked the way you raised a question then read on to explore the answer. 
  • Here are the answers ~ what questions can you create?

Strategy 4E

Expanding Meaning By Summarizing

GOAL:   To deepen understanding using comprehension strategies.

WHY?:   To check understanding.

 Today I will:

  • Organize information by stating the main ideas or the important parts of the story in my own words
  • Determine what is important, omitting extra details!
  • Keep it brief

Teacher prompts:

  • Does your summary include only the main ideas and important parts?
  • Tell me about what you’ve read.
  • What is the main idea?
  • Can you provide some details?
  • Did that make sense?
  • Are you retelling or summarizing?
  • Choose 2 or 3 key events to summarize.
  • Explain the main events in your own words.
  • What is the purpose of the chapter?
  • What can you find in the text to help you set a purpose?
  • Can you separate the facts from the conclusions you made in your summary?
  • Give several effects of the event?
  • Can you show how these 2 are alike and different?

Strategy 4F

Expanding Meaning By Evaluating/Synthesizing

GOAL:   To deepen understanding using comprehension strategies.

WHY?:   As a reader I can judge and react to a text.

Today I will ask myself:

  • How do I feel about what I just read?
  • Do I agree or disagree with it?
  • Am I learning what I wanted to know?
  • How good a job has the author done?
  • What do I think about the author’s style?

Teacher prompts:

  • What made you think this way?  
  • Does anyone have anything to add to that idea?

Strategy 4G

Expanding Meaning By Subtexting

GOAL:   To deepen understanding using comprehension strategies.

WHY?:  We can better relate to a character by becoming him/her.

Today I will:

  • Put myself in a character’s shoes
  • Become the character by expressing what the character truly feels

?Teacher prompts:

  • What made you think this way?  
  • Does anyone have anything to add to that idea?

Strategy 4H

Expanding Meaning By Visualizing

GOAL:   To deepen understanding using comprehension strategies.

WHY?:  Visualizing helps keep us interested, makes texts personal and memorable, and helps us recall details after we read.

Today I will: 

  • Create a movie in my mind of what is truly going on in the text
  • Pay extra attention to the adjectives and adverbs used
  • Use my senses and emotions as I picture the characters, setting, and events

Teacher prompts:

  • What did you visualize or picture?  
  • Did you get a clearer picture in your mind?
  • How could the pictures help you?
  • Tell me what you saw when you read this part.
  • How did the character walk?  Dress?  What does he/she look like?
  • Can you find parts in the story that help you see what a place or character is like?
  • What story details helped you create a mental image?
  • Where did you have trouble making mental pictures?
  • Create a graphic organizer of:  see, hear, taste, smell, feel 

Strategy 4I

Expanding Meaning By Retelling

GOAL:   To deepen understanding using comprehension strategies.

WHY?:  To create a detailed mental image.  Retelling helps us become better writers.

Today I will:

  • Retell the entire story in detail and in order
  • Include the characters, setting, details about the events, the problem, and the ending
  • If I am listening to a retelling I will judge if enough information was given

Teacher prompts:

  • Is that enough information?

Strategy 5

Noticing Nonfiction Text Features

GOAL:   To understand that nonfiction texts often offers hints to enhance understanding

WHY?:  To learn information.

Today I will:

  • Preview text for features
  • Explain how the feature aids in understanding
  • Read at a slower pace
  • Reference features during and after reading

Teacher prompts:

  • Tell me about ________.  How do you know?  
  • What on the page might help you?

 

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