• Reading Strategies

    What Good Readers Do....cat


    Developing effective reading skills is one of the primary goals in elementary school. We often assume that a child, who reads fluently, understands what he/she is reading. However, this is not always the case and it is amazing how much we can do to help them add meaning to the text. In the classroom, students will be taught strategies to help them understand what they are reading. You can use these same strategies at home to reinforce and apply what the have learned. Since children are familiar with the strategies, they can help guide YOU and practicing the strategies will be something you both find rewarding.

    Listed below are the strategies we use.

    When we connect a story to our own life experiences, to other stories, or an event that happens within our world, it helps readers understand the story a little more. As your child reads, ask them if they can make a connection. Three examples of the connections we make in second level are:

    1. Text-to-Self Connection
    2. Text-to-Text-Connection
    3. Text-to-World Connection

    Good readers ask themselves questions as they read. They also think about where the answer may lie within the story. As your child reads, encourage them to ask questions frequently and think about the answers. Using sticky notes is an easy way for students to mark their questions. Then afterwards, you can discuss together the answers and how/where you found them. You may already model this habit by simply taking the time to ask questions during reading. The sources of answers to question may...

    -be answered in the text
    -require some inferring
    -require some previous knowledge
    -require discussion
    -require some further research

    Sometimes the author doesn't like to come out and tell us all of the answers. At times we need to dig deeper into the text to make sense of the author's message. We need to read between the lines and draw our own conclusions. We can support our inferences with clues that the author gives us in the story. Ask your child to make some inferences and use the book to show where the clues that support the inferences come from.

    Good readers create pictures in their minds to help them understand what is happening in the story. Talk to your child about the mental pictures they see while reading. Compare your mental pictures with his/her ideas as you read. Maybe they will be similar ideas.

    Other comprehension activities that you may practice at home may include:

    -retelling the story in sequence
    -giving the main idea of the story
    -giving details about the story
    -sharing favorite parts
    -sharing the parts that are interesting or surprising
    -discussing and comparing characters
    -identifying the problem and the solution
    -making predictions about what happens next, or what happens once the story is finished?