As teachers, we know that not every lesson needs a song and dance. Am I right? Who’s got time for that? But we also know that there are certain lessons and concepts that are a top priority and deserve a little extra attention. Reading Strategies is one of these lessons! I am here to show you some ideas of how to get your students engaged while teaching reading strategies!
Teaching reading strategies is one of the most crucial lessons you will teach this year. Why? Reading strategies train students’ brains how to be a good reader and what good readers do while they read! They are able to learn the process of reading. Reading strategies also improve reading comprehension and allows them to better understand a text! Being a good reader will allow them to access all of the other material you cover throughout the year. It’s worth the extra time to build the foundations!
Now, it’s time to dive in! I will show you how we introduce each reading strategy in our classrooms! If you don’t know, Deserae and I both teach 4th grade. These anticipatory sets are not elaborate, but they definitely give us a reference point to use throughout the year with our students! Our hope is that they can inspire you to do the same for your class because it works!
Before we start, grab this FREEBIE to take some notes and to start some planning!
Teaching students how to make inferences? Come and look into my crystal ball! We always start with this strategy because they LOVE this static electricity ball we found in the science lab! Turning the lights off at stopping points in the book and having students come up to make inferences is the perfect way to get the class engaged! Every hand goes up every time!!!! Don’t have a static electricity ball? Don’t let that stop you! Any round shape works. I used a pumpkin for years!
Looking for more on Making Inferences? Check out what we use in our classrooms here!
When we teach questioning, we simply grab a microphone and have the students come up to ask a question in the microphone! Don’t have a microphone? Neither did I for a few years! Grab a stapler and talk in a newscaster voice. Be silly! The students love volunteering to come up and ask questions about the book before, during and after reading!
Looking for more on Questioning? Check out what we use in our classrooms here! (THIS ONE IS A FREEBIE!)
Synthesizing is taking what you know about a topic and molding it into something new after learning or reading more about a topic. Put some playdough into a ball and ask students what they know about a topic before reading. As you learn more about the topic while reading, mold the playdough into a new shape! Have enough playdough for all? Hand out a little to each student. As they read, have them form the playdough into a new shape and have them explain to each other what they started out knowing and what they know now!
Looking for more on Synthesizing? Check out what we use in our classrooms here!
Connect 4 is the perfect way to teach students how to make connections! As we make connections through our book, students come up to the front, state their connection and then play a piece. I then play the opposite color and we keep going until there’s a winner! A little competition is the perfect way to build engagement while teaching reading strategies!
Looking for more on Making Connections? Check out what we use in our classrooms here!
Sometimes there is so much information in a text, it gets intimidating! Determining importance helps readers tone it all down to what really matters. Our anticipatory set is a funnel or megaphone. Students understand that all the information starts off overwhelming, but when you filter out the unnecessary information, it all starts to make sense!
Looking for more on Determining Importance? Check out what we use in our classrooms here!
Not understanding what you’re reading? STOP! Grab your toolbelt or toolbox and use a “Fix It” strategy! Students are taught many strategies for this such as, to stop and reread, look at visuals, read ahead or adjust their rate of reading. Each tool represents something the student can do to “fix” their reading comprehension! Students love coming up at stop points in the text, grabbing a tool and offering advice on how they could “fix” the problem if someone is not understanding the text at that point!
Looking for more on Monitoring Comprehension? Check out what we use in our classrooms here!
This reading strategy is probably my favorite to teach. So many possibilities! One idea to get your students engaged is to cover up the cover of a book. Don’t let the class see any of the pictures! See if they can draw the main character or draw a scene in the book. Have them draw what the cover might look like. After they’re done, uncover the book and see how close they got!
Looking for more on Visualizing? Check out what we use in our classroom here!
Teaching Reading Strategies Throughout The Year
Teaching reading strategies using engaging lessons at the beginning of the year has benefits all year long! Throughout the year, we hear our students say, “My crystal ball tells me that the character really means…” or “The tool I’m going to use here is ___ because I don’t understand.” Talk about music to our ears! Reference these lessons throughout the year with your students, so they are constantly reminded of what good readers do while reading!