So, I bet you’re wondering, what does vanilla pudding have to do with reading interventions? And the answer is…
Absolutely nothing! Instead of teaching my intervention groups today, I have been home eating more vanilla pudding than is normal or healthy. I had a little oral surgery this morning and my mouth is currently out of commission. Not my favorite way to spend the weekend!
Anyway, back to what this post is REALLY supposed to be about. This week my 1st and 2nd grade groups were working on breaking down words into their syllables to read (decoding) and inferring (comprehension). For guided reading or intervention groups, I like to post a decoding strategy and a comprehension strategy on the board behind me for easy reference.
Spanish is a syllabic language. If kids can read syllables correctly, they can decode just about anything…even a college textbook! Notice that I said “decode,” not “read,” because reading involves comprehension. 🙂 Naturally, then, getting kids to attend to syllables in their reading is of utmost importance! The majority of the kids in my groups, however, are still at the stage where they rely heavily on the pattern of the text, pictures, and sometimes random guesswork to figure out what a new word says. It’s great that their concept of reading centers around making meaning, but I’m trying to get them to take the next step to more fully make use of visual cues (the syllables).
To help them do this, I encourage the kids to use a finger to cover up all the syllables in a word except for the syllable they’re focusing on. I also made up this very simple game to help them focus on one syllable at a time:
I wrote one syllable on each sticky note and placed both sticky notes so the kids could read them. Then, I showed them just one syllable at a time before showing them the entire word. My second grade boys like a little competition, so I turned it into a game (the first one to call out the word correctly earned a point). They really liked the game, and I hope that it will help them learn to focus on individual syllables so that they can transfer this skill to their reading.
Time to go eat some more vanilla pudding! Happy weekend!