Supporting vocabulary while reading

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This article will outline some top tips for reading and vocab:

  1. Log unfamiliar words in a personal dictionary that includes the sentence that contains the word, page number, a guess about the meaning, the pronunciation, a dictionary definition, and a new sentence using the word.
  2. Improve vocabulary for written and verbal expression by forming associations between words, paraphrasing, and elaborating on an idea.
  3. Teach prefixes, suffixes, and root words to students to improve spelling, decoding, and comprehension.
  4. Give ample opportunities to practice writing target words. The student might be asked to say them, or use them in sentences or a story.
  5. Look up unfamiliar words with an electronic speller that has speech output (such as the Franklin Speller) or a web-based dictionary. For example, provides the pronunciation and definition of a word.

After reading

  1. Verbalize or write the answers to the pre-reading questions and share the answers with a friend or family member.
  2. Compose an alternative ending for the story or write a sequel.
  3. Act out key scenes from a text or give “How To” demonstrations for kinesthetic learners.
  4. Challenge students to draw inferences from the text (i.e. “How do you think the main character feels?” “Do you think it will be harder to stop a heavier or lighter object traveling at the same velocity?”).

Oral reading

  1. Increase reading fluency through a “reading apprenticeship” incorporating the following elements:
  2. Models of fluent reading.
  3. Repetition of the same passage, until reading is fluent.
  4. Dramatic readings (i.e. skits, poetry, and speeches).
  5. Regular tracking and graphing of reading rate and fluency.
  6. See Read Naturally for a systematic program that incorporates choral reading (reading at the same time as a fluent reader), repetitions, and tracking of reading fluency.
  7. For more information on reading apprenticeships, see The Fluent Reader: Oral Reading Strategies for Building Word Recognition, Fluency, and Comprehension, by Timothy Rasinski.