Common Core Standards covered:
ELACC2RF3: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
ELACC2RF4: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
ELACC2RL10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
ELACC2SL1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
1. Use Picture Clues:
Role Model reading a story in which you come upon an unfamiliar word. Think aloud while you show students how you study the picture and think about the details of the story to decide what word would make sense in the story. Students can practice with the teacher a few more times with a predetermined book with words covered up by sticky notes. Then students can practice with a partner buddy reading.
2. Moving Through the Whole Word:
Model coming to an unfamiliar word and tracking with your finger from the beginning to the end of the word trying to sound it out as you go. Look for smaller parts in the word that you can chunk together to help with sounding it out. You can also cover up any ending that may be on the word to see smaller familiar parts. Make sure to model moving through the whole word. When finished tracking through the whole word, make sure you ask yourself, “Does that make sense?” Model thinking about the letter sounds and forming a word that makes sense in the story. Use a short informational text big book to model this strategy. You can tie in a nonfiction text from content that you are currently teaching in science or social studies. Then have students practice this strategy with a buddy.
3. Reread and Read On:
Read a nonfiction text to students and model coming to an unfamiliar word. Reread the text before the unfamiliar word and if you still cannot figure out a word that makes sense in the sentence, skip the word and read on to the end of the sentence. Then decide what word would make sense in the sentence. If you are still unsure you can reread again. Be sure to model that you are always thinking about the story and what would make sense.
4. Look it up in the Dictionary:
Students can use the device of their choice and type the unfamiliar word into a service such as dictionary.com. With technology today, students can easily find the word in the dictionary, see the parts of speech, a definition, and hear how to say the word. This may seem like the easy way out, but using the dictionary can teach students valuable information about a word if they are taught how to use the dictionary properly. Of course they can also use the good old paperback copy of the dictionary and practice alphabetical order as well.