Strategies to use during reading


If the child has trouble decoding words, try

  • Reading words around it:  “What word would make sense here?”  Then ask, “Does your word look like this word?”

  • Finding a word that is similar to the unknown word (rhyming word).

  • Breaking a word with more than one syllable into parts.

To monitor the student’s comprehension (understanding) of the text:

Stop from time to time to ask questions. What do you think will happen next or why do you think this happened?

Pay attention to the student’s reaction to the text while reading.

Does the student laugh at funny parts? 

After sounding out a word does the student look puzzled? (they probably don’t know the meaning of the word and often, struggling readers will not ask!)

Does the student say things like “I didn’t know that” or “I thought that was going to happen!”?  These types of reactions show the student is engaged and understanding what they are reading


  • If the student struggles on more than 5% of the words, then the book is probably beyond the child’s reading level.  You can then either read the book to the student, or choose a new book.  Reading to the student is just as valuable as having the student read, just be sure the student is engaged in what you are reading and that you are showing them good reading habits as you read.


  • If the student doesn’t seem interested in the book, offer him/her the choice to select a different one.  But do not allow a student to simply switch from book to book.  Students need to feel they have the choice and control to read what is interesting to them; however that needs to be balanced with actually getting some reading done during the short time we have!



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