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Reading Strategies That Your Child Will Be Learning in 5th Grade!

(These are emphasized in the book on book reports.)

 Comprehension- “I understand what I read.”(click for our list)

We are starting the year with reviewing MAIN IDEA and working on Summarizing information that we read.

  • Check for Understanding:  We have learned that it is very important to not only do our best reading, but to also do our best thinking!  We know it is necessary to stop often during reading to make sure we have understood what we are reading.  Practice this at home by stopping every so often during the story.  Your child should be able to give a quick summary of what they just read.  Who was the story about?  What has happened so far?  Go ahead and use the words, “Let’s check for understanding,” with your child.  They know just what it means!  We use the 5 w’s (who, what, where, when, and why)
  • Back up and Reread:  Have you ever read a page or two of a book and suddenly realized that you don’t have a clue what you just read?  What do you probably do?  You back up and reread it!  This strategy is important for children to try when they have not understood something they just read.  By backing up and reading a section or page over, they will hopefully take their time and focus in more which will lead to a clearer understanding! 
  • Name the setting: The setting is where the story is occurring and when it is happening.
  • Know the title, author and illustrator:Your child should know how to recognize the title, author and illustrator (if there is one) in every book that they read.
  • Retell the story: Tell what happened at the beginning, middle and end of the story. (Summary)
  • Making connections:We discussed 3 different connections that the student can make while reading.
    • Text to Self: The student tells how he/she has something in common with the characters or the story.
    • Text to World: The student makes a connection with the knowledge that he has with something in the book.
    • Text to Text: The student makes a connection between two books (same characters, setting, etc.)
  • Identify Fiction or Non-Fiction: The student can tell if it is real facts (non- fiction) or a made up story (fiction).  We will learn the word genre.
  • Make predictions: Your child is practicing stopping in the story and thinking about what might happen next. It should make sense with what is happening in the story but doesn’t have to be correct.
  • Inferring: Your child will learn how to infer what the author means with implied references by using context clues.
  • Know author’s purpose: Your student can determine what the author’s purpose was in writing the book (to inform, to persuade, or to entertain, etc.).  We use easy as “PIE”.
  • Use text features: This is most important in non-fiction text. The student can use titles, headings, captions, and graphics to understand more about what is happening in the book.
  • Ask questions throughout reading: Your child is working on thinking and asking why while reading. They are realizing that good readers continue to ask questions throughout the reading process.
  • Accuracy- “I can read the words.”

  • Cross-Checking:  Your child has been learning to stop when they have just read a sentence that doesn’t make sense or if they get to a word that they just don’t know.  After they find that tricky word, they ask themselves some questions:  “Does the word I’m reading (or thinking it could be) match up with the letters or picture I see on the page?”  “Does it sound right?”  “Does it make sense?” 
  • Know letters and sounds: We have to know the sounds of the words to read and the letter names to spell.
  • Flip the sound- This is a strategy that the students use as they begin to encounter words with long vowels. We have discussed short vowels so it is natural for them to read the words with a short vowel sound. If that way does make sense in the story we say, “Flip the Sound.” They then say the long vowel sound (it always says its name). Example: If the word “cake” is in the story, your child may say “cak”. That does not make sense. So then, they should say the long vowel sound and say “cake”.  That word should make sense with the pictures or rest of the sentence.
  • Find Chunks in words: This means that the student is finding smaller words or parts in the larger word.
  • Play with rhyming words: Students can see a word like “cat” and know the words, “mat, hat, bat, etc.
  • Identify compound words: Students notice that there are smaller words in larger words. For example, cupcake is a compound word that students can read if they break the word into its two words.
  • Skip the word and come back: The student can skip the word and then come back after reading the rest of the sentence. It might give context to what the word is and how to say it.
  • Context clues:  use the words before or after the word to figure out what the word means.  Reread the sentence with a synonym in the place of it.
  • Fluency- “I can read smoothly, with expression.”

  • Choose Good Fit Books:   We have learned that it is SO important to spend time reading books that are good fit books for each of us (we used shoes to see how different people need different size shoes). It is very important for your child to be able to read books that they can read independently with very few to NO errors.  We use the 3 finger rule- they read a page from the middle of the book and hold up a finger each time they do not know a word.  If they can’t read 3 or more words on a page then the book is too hard right now. This will help them become smooth (fluent) readers and have better comprehension of what they read.
  • Read and read it again: Your child is learning that when you are reading sometimes you need to read it multiple times to read it the correct way. We have talked about how it sounds to read so that people enjoy listening to it and not like a robot.
  • Read and talk like the characters: This means that your child is working on expression and making the book come to life. Add emphasis on different characters and what they are saying.  If there is something exciting going on in the story, make it sound exciting and how the characters really would sound.   They also need to understand the relationships that characters have, changes that they undergo, and interactions with other characters.
  • Read to the end of the sentence: It always sounds good to read a book and not read choppy or word by word. As adults, we know that a sentence means to pause in reading. That is how we want our students to read so that they will become better writers, so your child is working on reading the entire sentence without stopping.  It may take a few times to get it right, but that is what practice is for.  Make it like a game and see how many sentences they can read without stopping in the middle of the sentence. This will help with understanding punctuation.
  • Expand Vocabulary- I know, find, and use interesting words.”

  • Ask for help defining the word: Student can ask another person (adult or other student) if they come across a word they do not know. The student records the word and page number on a new words chart and then can ask when reading time is over (if it is silent reading time).
  • Use a tool- dictionary, thesaurus, or glossary: The student can use a dictionary as a tool when they don’t know a word while reading.
  • Use other words to help (context) and prior knowledge: Students can use words within the rest of the sentence or paragraph to know what a word means.


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