- Look at the pictures. Often looking at the pictures gives a child an idea of what the words are about and will give him the context to make a good guess at an unknown word.
- Get your mouth ready. If a child is reading and he comes to an unknown word, he should begin by saying the sound of the first letter and sometimes, the word will just pop right out!
- Does it make sense? Students always want to make sure that what they read makes sense. If it doesn't, they need to try another strategy.
- Does it sound right? As the child reads, the words should sound right in the sentence. If not the child should try another strategy. For instance, "I is good" doesn't sound right so it must be "I am good," because that sounds right.
- Do the letters look right? If a child makes a guess at an unknown word, he needs to go back and make sure that the letters in the word match the guess.
- Reread. Any time the words don't make sense, the child needs to reread to clarify so that he understands what the words say.
These are strategies that parents can also reinforce at home when a child comes to a word that he doesn't know as he reads each night from his book-in-the-bag.
Today the children learned a new song to reinforce the strategies in class. The words are on the chart below with the strategies underlined. It's sung to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot."