This article will outline some top tips for reading and vocab:
- 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.
- Improve vocabulary for written and verbal expression by forming associations between words, paraphrasing, and elaborating on an idea.
- Teach prefixes, suffixes, and root words to students to improve spelling, decoding, and comprehension.
- Give ample opportunities to practice writing target words. The student might be asked to say them, or use them in sentences or a story.
- Look up unfamiliar words with an electronic speller that has speech output (such as the Franklin Speller) or a web-based dictionary. For example, Dictionary.com provides the pronunciation and definition of a word.
- Verbalize or write the answers to the pre-reading questions and share the answers with a friend or family member.
- Compose an alternative ending for the story or write a sequel.
- Act out key scenes from a text or give “How To” demonstrations for kinesthetic learners.
- 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?”).
- Increase reading fluency through a “reading apprenticeship” incorporating the following elements:
- Models of fluent reading.
- Repetition of the same passage, until reading is fluent.
- Dramatic readings (i.e. skits, poetry, and speeches).
- Regular tracking and graphing of reading rate and fluency.
- 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.
- For more information on reading apprenticeships, see The Fluent Reader: Oral Reading Strategies for Building Word Recognition, Fluency, and Comprehension, by Timothy Rasinski.