Prompts to Support the Use of Reading Strategies

To support the control of early reading behaviors:
Read it with your finger.
     Did you have enough (or too many) words?
     Did it match?
     Did you run out of words?
     Try __________.  Would that make sense?
     Try __________.  Would that sound right?
     Do you think it looks like ____________?
     Can you find ________?  (a known or new word)

To support the reader's use of self-monitoring or -checking behavior:
     Were you right?
     Where's the tricky word? (after an error)
     Why did you stop?
     Would _______ fit there?
     Would _______ make sense?
     Check it.  Does it look right and sound right to you?
     You almost got that.  See if you can find what is wrong.
     Try that again.
To support the reader's use of all sources of information:
     Check the picture.
     Does that make sense?
     Does that look right?
     You said, "_______."  Can we say it that way?
     You said, "_______."  Does that make sense?
     What's wrong with this?  (Repeat what the child said.)
     Do you know a word like that?
     Do you know a word that starts/ends with those letters?
     What do you know that might help?
To support the reader's self-correction behavior:
     Something wasn't quite right.
     Try that again.
     I liked the way you worked that out.
     You made a mistake.  Can you find it?
     You're nearly right.  Try that again.

To support phrased, fluent reading:
     Can you read this quickly?
     Put your words together so it sounds like talking.


The following poem was taken from The Reading Teacher, Vol. 46, No. 8   May 1993

Independent Reader
by Jill Marie Warner

When I get stuck on a word in a book
There are lots of things to do
I can do them all, please, by myself;
I don't need help from you.

I can look at the picture to get a hint,
Or think what the story's about.
I can "get my mouth ready" to say the first letter,
A kind of "sounding it out."
I can chop the word into smaller parts,
Like on and ing and ly,
Or find smaller words in compound words
Like raincoat and bumblebee.
I can think of a word that makes sense in that place,
Guess or say "blank" and read on
Until the sentence has reached its end,
Then go back and try these on:
"Does it make sense?"
"Can we say it that way?"
"Does it look right to me?"
Chances are the right word will pop out like the sun
In my own mind, can't you see?

If I've thought of and tried out most of these things
And I still do not know what to do,
Then I may turn around and ask
For some help to get me through.


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