Good Afternoon!  Today we are going to discuss Reading Strategies.  Reading strategies are defined as strategies to help a child improve reading comprehension and fluency.

I’d like to first address fluency.  Fluency is just “how” a child reads.  How smooth and how fast.  I’ve never been one to feel as if a child needs to read super fast, but the faster and smoother a child reads the better his/her comprehension will be.  The best way to improve a child’s fluency is:

1) Read to your child modeling fluent reading.  This needs to be done for older children as well, as high as sixth grade.  We have found the best time for this is at night.  My daughter, evetho she is 11, still loves to be read to.

2) Have the child read aloud.  Pick a book and have your child read aloud to you.  At night or first thing in the morning is a good time for this.  Don’t correct your child too much, allow them to self correct.  If they are stuck, help them, but give them a couple of seconds to figure it out on their own.

In my humble opinion these two activities will do the must good in helping with fluency.

Now comprehension is another thing.  I have found that questions are good to test overall comprehension, but to keep a child interested and thinking about what they are reading they need more.  Years ago I found a wonderful book, but I haven’t been able to find to in print now.  I’ve also put together many activities of my own.

Any type of lapbook components are good to use. Let me show you one that is really simple to make.  I’m using 4 sheets of construction paper.  I’ve cut them down the middle longwise.  Then I layered the sheets about an inch and folded them down.  This gives you a layered book that you can use for vocabulary words, questions, and many other things.

Another very simple thing you can do is a hand with “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why”, and “how” written on the fingers and palm.  This is how one looks.  Something like this can be done in minutes and can have your child thinking about the story or scene they are reading with very little effort.

Keeping a reading journal is another way to have your child do something related to their book everyday.  I made this sheet the first year I taught 5th grade.  For each book they read they would make a booklet with at least 10 pages in it.  Then each day they read and do the activity.  Let me read you a couple of the activities.  Day 1 – Illustrate the cover of you reading journal.  Look at your book’s cover for ideas.  Day 4 – Write a summary of the events that have happened so far.  Day 11 – sketch a poster that advertises your book.  Below the book write two sentences that describe the book.  Day 15 – Write a paragraph explaining why you think your book should be made into a movie.  Who would you want to be the star?

A couple of years ago someone showed me how to make a booklet out of a paper bag.  I thought they were so cute.  It also allows your child to use their creative skills.  You can use this book as a mini-book to tell about their book.  They can also be used as a book report, using setting, characters, conflict, resolution and ending.

I have many more of these types of strategies.  Make a web, a picture mural, character map, picture walk, word cards for vocabulary, cause & effect, a banner, a flag, letter to the author, writing an article, advertise-a-book poster, story chart, and a story map.  These are different types of things I have used in the past to keep the children attentive to their reading.  If they know they will do an activity after they read, they will pay attention to their book better.

If you have a reluctant reader or a child that is having trouble with fluency or comprehension, there is a website that has printable books on all levels.  I only have one to show you, but this is an easy way to have shorter books for a child having trouble.  There is a cost for this service, but I have really enjoyed it.  The website is .  This book is level H which is about second grade reading level.  They also have lesson plans for each book with activities and quizzes.

Another good tool to teach both fluency and comprehension is reading “real world” reading.  Newspapers, magazines, newsletters are some “real world” reading you can use. I have had my children do a current events type activity once a week.  This has them looking at things in a more personal way.



“Comprehension Today” by Diane Henderson and Jenepher Snell

“Real-World Reading Comprehension” by Carson-Dellosa Publishing Co.

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