What Good Readers Do to Decode Unknown Words
- Get your mouth ready
- Use the pictures
- Think about what looks right
- Think about what sounds right
- Think about what makes sense
- Look for word chunks you know
- Look for words that look the same
- Read on and go back
What Good Readers Do to Understand What They Read
- Make connections
- Make pictures in your head
- Ask questions and wonder
- Use pictures and quotes to make inferences
Encourage Reading Comprehension at Home
In the classroom, students are introduced to comprehension strategies that we practice whole group and again in small group instruction. Here are the strategies we use that you can ask your child to practice at home:
- Making Connections-when we connect the book to our own life, to other books, or to something happening in the world, it helps us to understand the story better. As your child reads, ask if he or she can make some connections. The three kinds of connections we make are:
- Questioning-good readers ask themselves questions as they read and then think about where the answers come from. As your child reads, encourage him or her to ask questions and then think about the answers. The sources of answers to question might...
- be answered in the text
- require some inferring
- require some background (previous) knowledge
- require some discussion with others
- require some further research
- Inferring-sometimes the author doesn't come right out and tell us something-we have to make inferences from the text to understand the author's message. 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 inference are.
- Visualizing-good readers create pictures in their minds to help them to understand what is happening in the story. Talk with your child about the mental pictures you create as you read and compare it to his or her ideas.
Other comprehension activities that you can do at home
- Retell the story sequence
- Give the main idea of the story
- Give details about the story
- Share favorite parts
- Share parts that were interesting or surprising
- Make predictions about what happens next, or what happens after the story ends
- Discuss and/or compare characters- What were their traits? Did they change during the story?
- Identify the problem/solution- What was the difficulty the main character faced? How was the problem solved?
- Identify the author's message- What did the author mean? Why did the author write this book?