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Friday, October 24, 2014

Quit Sounding Out!



I don't know about your students, but my little first graders are addicted to sounding out. Fundations is a beautiful thing, but it can become very tedious when students try to "tap out" every single word in the book. I am working very hard to get my students to use other word attack strategies. I made the anchor chart above to help remind my first graders of their strategies. The pictures and colors help all my students, but especially my ELL students.

1. Look at the picture
2. What would make sense?
3. Look at the beginning letter.
4. Skip it, and then go back.
5. Look for chunks you know.

It usually isn't too difficult to get students to use the picture and the beginning letter. Occasionally students forget to match the beginning letter with the picture. We do a lot of activities match new vocabulary words to pictures on the SMARTboard to practice thinking about the beginning letter. The more advanced the books become, the better able students are able to use chunks. The words in the C-D level books are not really made up of too many parts. We do start to think about digraphs, though.

I find the most powerful strategies to be skipping then going back and thinking what makes sense. These are often the most difficult to get students to use. Students are often reluctant to skip words, thinking they aren't "allowed to do that." Once they finally get the hang of it, this is often students' favorite strategy. 


To get students to understand how to use these strategies, we do plenty of guided reading with lots of time spent whisper reading. Most importantly, I explicitly model how I think aloud when I problem solve during reading. With each book, I will pretend I don't know a word. Then, we will use our anchor chart to select strategies for me to try. During this modeling, I love using the document camera and SMARTboard.


I am sure plenty of you are familiar with Reading A-Z. They have awesome projectable books for the SMARTboard. You can use a variety of tools to markup the text right there on the board for students. This is also a powerful way preview vocabulary during picture walks. Again, giving students the chance to work on matching beginning letters with what makes sense.


If you would like a copy of the anchor chart, please click the link here. It works well printed as an anchor chart or displayed on a SMARTboard. Enjoy!

What are your students favorite word attack strategies?






1 comment:

  1. My students are so hesitant to tap out words that they usually just say the first word they think of. I need to try Reading A-Z- I can't believe I haven't!

    -Maria

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