How can I help beginning readers when they are stuck on a word? There are a lot basic strategies young readers need to master.
What is the first sound? (Lips the Fish)
Remind your students to get their lips ready to sound out the first sound of the first word.
Sound it out (Stretchy Snake)
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!
Look at the Picture (Eagle Eye)
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.
Skip it and move on (Skippy Frog)
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 look right? (Careful Caterpillar)
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. They need to carefully read each part of the word to make sure they are getting it correct!
Does it sound right? (Tryin’ Lion)
Try a different strategy and try to read the word again.
Look for small words in big words (Chunky Monkey)
The word and is in the word hand. This strategy also works well for compound words such as snow and man in snowman!
Short/Long Vowels (Flippy Dolphin)
Try the short and long vowel sound to read the word.
Look for word families or known patterns
If you can read it you can read sit, hit, nit and fit!
“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.