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Good readers use the following 7 Keys to unlock meaning:
1. Create mental images: Good readers create a wide range of visual, auditory, and other sensory images as they read, and they become emotionally involved with what they read. 2. Use background knowledge: Good readers use their relevant prior knowledge before, during, and after reading to enhance their understanding of what they’re reading. 3. Ask questions: Good readers generate questions before, during, and after reading to clarify meaning, make predictions, and focus their attention on what’s important. 4. Make inferences: good readers use their prior knowledge and information from what they read to make predictions, seek answers to questions, draw conclusions, and create interpretations that deepen their understanding of the text. 5. Determine the most important ideas or themes: Good readers identify key ideas or themes as they read, and they can distinguish between important and unimportant information. 6. Synthesize information: good track their thinking as it evolves during reading, to get the overall meaning. 7. Use fix up strategies: Good readers are aware of when they understand and when they don’t. If they have trouble understanding specific words, phrases, or longer passages, they use a wide range of problem-solving strategies including skipping ahead, rereading, asking questions, using a dictionary, and reading the passage aloud.
Excerpted from: 7 Keys to Comprehension: How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get it! Authors: Susan Zimmermann and Chryse Hutchins.
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Skills and Strategies to Focus On:
These are just a few areas in which to help students with during guided reading...

  • tracking print left to right and word by word
  • one to one matching
  • using picture cues
  • applying letter and sound knowledge in context
  • activating prior knowledge
  • recognizing and reading sight words
  • predicting and inferring
  • attending to concepts of print (spacing, capitalization, punctuation)
  • retelling a story with sequence and story elements (characters, setting, beginning, middle, end)
  • self correcting

Reading Cues - Prompts and strategies for 'during reading' to help beginning readers



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The following reading strategies are the basis of Guided Reading. Parents and teachers may utilize them when reading with children.

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Tell the child to look at the picture. You may tell the child the word is something that can be seen in the picture, if that is the case.
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Tell the child to look for chunks in the word, such as it in sit, at in mat, or and and ing in standing.
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Ask the child to get his/her mouth ready to say the word by shaping the mouth for the beginning letter.
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Ask the child if the word looks like another word s/he knows. Does bed look like red?, for example.
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Ask the child to go on and read to the end of the sentence. Often by reading the other words in context, the child can figure out the unknown word.
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If the child says the wrong word while reading, ask questions like:
Does it make sense?
Does it sound right?
Does it look right?
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HOW DO I TEACH KIDS TO USE STRATEGIES?
Teaching strategies involves four steps: explaining why the strategy is important, modeling, guided practice (in guided reading), and internalization. To teach a strategy, you must model it many times for kids . After modeling a strategy kids need opportunities to practice using it. To internalize a strategy, kids must have lots of experience with it, both through modeling and guided practice. Have students tell how they use the strategy, and observing students during their reading are ways to encourage internalization.
THINGS TO DO:
Before reading:
  1. skimmed/scanned
  2. made predictions
  3. identified authors's purpose
During reading:
  1. Self assessed my reading
  2. Used context clues, semantics, syntactics, pictures, phonics cues.
  3. Used fix-up strategies such as slowed down, read on and went back, and re-read.
After Reading:
Made connections among text features
Made inferences
Confirmed and/or disconfirmed predictions
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Stategies Star
Literacy Cafe Menu - The 2 Sisters who created The Daily 5
Cute, catchy strategy cards
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Handy Reading Strategies Download
Bookmarks for Strategy Practice
Reading Strategies For Parents Pamphlet
Teaching Comprehension Strategies
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Strategy cards


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