IMG_8390My 2nd graders have needed some additional reminders/practice on strategies to help ourselves when we read.  I had been noticing some inefficient or no strategies going on while reading.  Looking at the picture doesn’t always help.  Sounding it out doesn’t always help either.  We needed to brush up on other strategies we can use so we have a tool box full of IMG_8388strategies ready at our disposal.

I started the day out with the ‘Warning! Hard hat area!’ sign on my door.  I stood in front of my door with a hammer and my “hard hat” on (AKA surgical mask put on my head…don’t judge.  I’m a teacher who is trying to be resourceful!)  I was extremely serious and told the kids the room was under construction and we all needed to put our hard hats on before we could enter.  They all laughed and told me I looked silly, but they all put their “hard hats” on quickly so they could see what was happening in the classroom.

They came in and I pulled out my tool box and told them how as a reader I can’t use the same tool over and over again.  I need different tools for different jobs–just like a hammer can’t always do the job of a wrench or a screwdriver, a reader can’t rely on the same strategy.

I pulled out my different tools….

  • Saw: Look at the first letters
  • Tape measure: Does that make sense? Sound right? Look right?
  • Wrench: Reread the sentence
  • Pliers: Look at the picture
  • Hammer: Sound it out
  • Screwdriver: Get your mouth ready, look for a chunk you know

IMG_8389After we went over the different tools, I told the students I wanted them to pick a strategy they don’t use a lot and try to use it once during their reading for the day.

It’s still a little rocky for us, but we have to keep going over how we can be better at decoding new and unknown words in reading.  When you are reading with your child ask him or her some of the tools from their tool box and see if he or she is using a variety of strategies when coming to difficult words.

And for your viewing pleasure, I have attached the photo of me wearing my “hard hat”.  Once I took a picture of the kids they told me I needed to be in a picture because I look so silly.  Touche, my 2nd graders, that I do!  The things I do to get learning to stick. 🙂