Reading Strategies for Beginning Readers

How can I help beginning readers when they are stuck on a word? There are a lot basic strategies young readers need to master.

Sound it out

Stretch the word out slowly. Sometimes we use a slinky and stretch the word fast then slow.
Know the sounds - Blend the sounds - Read the words!

Skip it and move on

If you skip the unknown word try to finish the sentence. Then stop and go back to infer what would make sense. This allows students to develop context clues.

Does it make sense?

Remind your students that if they read a word and it doesn't make sense in the sentence that that is the time to go back and read it again or try another strategy to figure the word out.

Look at the Picture

Pictures bring meaning and allows students to develop their ability to predict. Just like young children can "read" a story without reading the words simply by looking at a picture. 

Does it look right?

When students read a word and the letters do not correspond to the word that they read they should learn to question what they are reading. 

Does it sound right?

When reading, if it doesn't sound right it likely isn't right! 

Look for small words in big words

The word and is in the word hand. This strategy also works well for compound words such as snow and man in snowman!

Look for word families or known patterns

If you can read it you can read sit, hit, nit and fit!

Bossy E!

"Bossy E plays a game, it makes the vowel say it's name!" When students see an e at the end of a word, the e often makes the previous vowel say its name. For example, care and car. The a says its name in the word care! 

Use consistent visuals

I find it important to have consistent visuals so that the images are familiar to students. I like to use visuals in a variety ways to support my students. Check out what I use in my classroom! All of these use the same images for supporting students in reading.


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