Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fun tips for Teaching Reading Strategies

I'm so excited to be a part of this blog hop! The best thing about blogging is that we all have tons of amazing ideas and tips at our fingertips. This huge blog hop feels like a professional development workshop where I get tips and tricks to make my students more successful, make my classroom run more smoothly, or just to make teaching more fun for me. ;) 

If you want to find all the ideas in one spot, check out this Pinterest board.

I spent forever thinking about a "bright" idea that was worthy of sharing for this blog hop. I came up with a few "snippets" to share with you.

My first snippet: Highlighting strips for showing text evidence. 
You've all seen them and probably use them with some of your students who may need help with tracking. I recently started using them for close reading. I love the concept of close reading, although I still feel like I am doggy paddling my way through it. One thing that I love about it is having your students use text evidence to support an answer. If we are reading a text on piece of paper, they love to use highlighters to highlight that evidence. But sometimes I don't want them to be highlighting in a book or writing marks in the book. So I started using highlighter strips. I'll ask them a question and have them reread the text to find the answer. When they find it, they put their highlighter strip over the sentence that shows their evidence for their answer. This was they were all responsible for finding their own evidence and they all had the opportunity to share their answers. (No need to shout out or raise wave your hand in the air.)

These books came from

What's that Word?
To teach the strategy of skip and go back and think about what makes sense, I play a little game with them. I use (surprise, surprise) a sticky note to cover a word. I choose a word that is not phonetic. I  make sure that the word has some good context too. Together, we read the sentence with the covered word. I model skipping the word and reading the rest of the sentence. Then I ask for suggestions about what would make sense.

In this example, the word climbed, crawled, jumped, swung, laid, sat might be predictions from kids.

I write the suggestions down. Then we reread our sentence substituting the suggested words in the covered word's spot. For each we ask, "Did that sound right in the sentence?" If a student were to guess the word, "sat", you would read the sentence, "She sat onto the rocks". That doesn't quite sound right so you could cross that one off.

Next, we reveal the first letter (or letters if its a digraph). We talk about which word it couldn't be based on the first few letters. We check to see if any of our words work or if we need to think of another.
In this case, we could cross all the words off except climbed and crawled (based on the first letter).

Finally we reveal the word. After revealing the word, have students look at the word to make sure it matches their guess. One last time, we read our sentence with the correct word and ask ourselves, "Does it make sense? Does it sound right?"

For this example, they may guess gives or feeds. After revealing the word, they can see that although both makes sense in the sentence, only the word feeds visual matches. 

Each time I play this, I point out my strategy posters so the kids see all the strategies we are using. They love this game! You can make up your own sentences or use sentences from a book you are reading. I used to enlarge a page from a book so I could have something big enough to show my group.

Magnifying words
I use a mini magnifying glass to search the text for words. We might be searching for short a words. We might also go on a sight word search in the book. I'll call out a word and they find it and magnify it.

I hope one of these ideas will be helpful to you in your classroom. :) If you have any ideas related to these, I'd love to hear from you. The more bright ideas, the better!

For more bright ideas, please visit the blogs below. Don't have time to go through every blog post? That's okay! Browse through the topics to find something that interests you. They are labeled below.


  1. These are great strategies. Thank you for the reminder to use with pre-made books. : ) I do the covered word in SmartBoard notebooks as well by putting boxes over them and having them fade out or color and they erase.

    1. How fun! I wish I had a SmartBoard! Thanks for your comment. :)