When reading, children are going to face words that they don’t know. Many children will just stop and look to you for help, or make up a word, or just skip it all together. My school system has come up with a list of strategies for a reader to use to try and decode the word. They are:
- Look at the pictures and think about what makes sense.
- Go back, reread, and think about what makes sense.
- Think! Do I know this word? Do I know how to write this word?
- Look at the beginning letter or letters.
- Get my mouth ready to say the beginning sound or sounds.
- Look at the beginning letter or letters and then look for the parts I know.
- Check the beginning and then look at the last letter or letters in the word.
- Try a word and think: Does it make sense? Does it look right? Does it sound like the English language?
- Skip it and go on.
Please notice that the number one strategy is to look at the pictures. Please don’t cover the pictures when your child is decoding, they are a very useful tool.